Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Interview with Paranormal Romance Author Shiela Stewart

Sheila Stewart, author of the paranormal romance novel, DISCOVERY IN PASSION, has been writing for the better part of twenty years, pouring her heart out in words, living a fantasy through the characters she creates. It has always been a dream of hers to have her work published, and in 2006 her dream finally came to life.

When not writing, she is busy working on a website for a non-profit organization she belongs to, as well as a promotional blog for other authors, tending to her three children, and spending time with the love of her life, William.

Shiela has a deep affection for animals and it’s evident in the five cats, one dog, eight fish, and three turtles she owns. Aside from writing, she enjoys sketching, painting, singing, and dancing, as well as stargazing, astronomy, and astrology. Her favorite time of the day is sunset.

You can visit her website at www.shielasbooks.ca.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Shiela. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Thank you so much for having me today!

I’m a happily married woman who has been with my hubby for nearly twenty three years. We have three wonderful children who are growing up faster than I would like at times. I am an animal lover which anyone can see when entering my home. I have five cats, one female black lab dog, nine fish and three turtles.

I’ve been writing all my life. From the moment I figured out how to write I did. I honestly can not remember a time I didn’t write something. I’ve not only written novels but I’ve written several poems, none of which have ever been published.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Discovery in Passion is a tale of a haunted house and the woman who lives in it and her passion to set the spirits free while falling in love. This book was written in part about something that happened in my past. I lived in a farm house that was rumored to be haunted. There are several stories as to how it became haunted, some of which are that the woman who lived there had been starved to death by her husband, or that she died of a horrible illness. Accounts of her haunting include seeing her having coffee or tea at the kitchen table, banging around in the kitchen, opening and closing cupboard doors, opening the curtains in the morning to let in the sun, and giving a baby her bottle. I took all of those rumors, added a dose of romance and mystery and came up with Discovery in Passion.

Here is a blurb:

Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.

Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.
Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.
When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself?
Welcome to the town of Passion.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Discovery in Passion”?

There really wasn’t much research involved other than finding the layout of small towns to use as my fictional town of Passion. I wanted something not too small but not so large that a person walking down the street wouldn’t recognize their neighbors. I wanted that typical small town where everyone knows everyone and gossip runs rampant.

I did some research into how investigations are run, how a murder is investigated and the weapon that is used in my story. I also corresponded with an RCMP depot in southern Saskatchewan on ranks and how small town police stations are run including how many officers/constables are employed in a town of twenty five hundred people. RCMP stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

My publishers are wonderful gals. Lori James, COO of Linden Bay Romance does a lot of cover designs for the LBR books. She did my Passion series and she did a wonderful job on them. I’ve had plenty of compliments on how hot and steamy my Passion covers are. But with each new book, all Linden Bay Authors get a say in how their covers should look. When the contract for a story is signed, Lori contacts the author for input on what the cover of the book should look like. So the author gets to add what he or she would like for the cover of their novel. They are very accommodating at Linden Bay Romance and I have yet to have a cover I didn’t like from them.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Oh, it’s been very bumpy and I have the bruises to show for it. I spent years submitting manuscripts to publishing houses before I finally signed a contract with one. I have a box of rejection letters that I keep in my bedroom closet and ever so often I pull it out and look through them and go... “Ha, you didn’t want me. Your loss! Fool!” LOL

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

It only took approximately five months from the time I signed the contract to the time Discovery was released. I had no idea all the work that went into having a book published until my first book, Kidnapped was published. The book goes through so many hands before it’s released and each person that looks it over does so for the author’s best interest. You have one editor who reads it over for consistency in the plotline and if everything is goods, she sends it to the next editor who then works with the author to fine tune the book, cutting out repetitive words, fixing sentence structure, dialog, tags, comma’s, points of view and so on. Then, when all that is done, she hands it off to the nest editor who goes through it and checks it line by line to make sure everything is good. If she finds any errors, she marks them down and send the document to the author who then goes through the document as well to find any mistakes that were missed during the other editing sessions, or improper formatting. She then sends it along with her corrections to the COO who makes the corrections and sends it back to the author and all the editors for final green lighting. Which means, “The go ahead to publish”. Whew! I’m tired just typing all that. LOL

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I don’t have an agent as of right now. I may, someday in the future deside I may need one and when that time comes I’ll do exactly what I did when I began looking for publishers. I’ll do some research, get as much information as possible and ask around and find out if any of my fellow authors have an agent they would recommend. Right now, I don’t feel I need one.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Actually, there are already two other books in the Passion series. Escape in Passion and Mercy in Passion. Both, along with Discovery in Passion, are available now in ebook and in Print.

Escape in Passion:

Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.

Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.
Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.
When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself?
Welcome to the town of Passion.

Mercy in Passion:

Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love.

Wild, rebellious, and perpetually in trouble, Justin Davis was labeled the town troublemaker and an embarrassment to his father, the chief of police in the small town of Passion. When Justin was framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he impulsively left the town he’d called home, vowing never to return.
For six years Beth Healy pined after Justin, the boy next door who she’d come to think of as her friend, and had wanted for a lover. Now an officer of the law, Beth is shocked when her pursuit of a speeding car leads her to the one man she’s been longing to find—Justin Davis—and after all these years, he’s finally come home.
Despite the sizzling attraction, Beth’s feelings of hurt and betrayal linger and acceptance and forgiveness don’t come easy. Justin soon discovers that begging for mercy and allowing Beth time to grow to love him again might be the only way to win her back. Then an enemy of Justin’s begins to threaten his life, forcing Beth to make a choice. Will she be able to put the past behind her and trust in the man that Justin is now? Welcome to the town of Passion

And I also have a new series I’m working on. Book one, Seducing the Darkness has just been released in ebook format. In total there are five books in the Darkness series.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I used to be a morning writer but lately my brain seems to want to create later in the evening and at night. Perhaps it’s because the series I’m working on now involves darkness. Who knows. I enjoyed working during the day because all my children are in school or at work and I would have the house to myself. But as the summer days approach I find myself wanting to be outside, tending to my flowers and yard rather than hide inside with my nose in a computer.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest to promote your book?

I think it would either be television commercials for my books with real actors and actresses portraying the heroes and heroines or billboard ads. Nothing like a big sign boasting a picture of a book cover to draw attention. J

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Well, let’s see. The author is the one who put heart and soul into the story so it should be a priority to that author to promote their work. Since the internet has become so prominent in everyday life, promoting is so much easier. Authors can have a website devoted to them and their work. They can attend groups that chat about books, and advertise on as many sites as they want.

I personally belong to several yahoo groups where authors are free to discuss their books, supply excerpts, and talk up their story as much as they want. I have my own yahoo group that I use to communicate with my readers. I also belong to several other groups such as Facebook, Myspace, Book Marketing sites, just to name a few. And then there are the blogs. I try to scout out blogs and make appearances as much as possible. I also have two of my own blogs, Romance with Shiela is a place where I post everything and anything I feel like posting. Jokes, pictures, excerpts, funny pictures or just to rant on. Book Cover Lovers is another of my blogs but it’s not about me. I put other authors book covers up along with their information and places where their books can be purchased. I believe in helping others as well. We’re all struggling to promote ourselves and any chance and author can get to have his or her name and book out there the better.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Never give up! Never stop learning! But most of all, write what is true to your heart. Learn your craft, get to know the market, find out what sells, and find out what publishing houses want in a story. Also, join groups, get to know other authors. We’re always willing to give pointers or advice.

Thank you for coming, Shiela! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you so much for having me here today! It’s been a pleasure!

I can be found almost anywhere on the web. I also have a website that the viewers can check out that is full of details of me and my books and some fun and interesting activities.

My website is: www.shielasbooks.ca

Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shielasromanticdesires/

Romance Blog: http://romancewithshielastewart.blogspot.com/

Book Cover Lovers: http://bookcoverlovers.blogspot.com/

I also have a newsletter: shielas@shaw.ca

ATTENTION: This interview is being brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion. As a special promotion for Shiela Stewart’s book, DISCOVERY IN PASSION – BOOK 1 IN THE PASSION SERIES, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away one FREE virtual book tour or $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky person who comments on Shiela’s blog stops during his virtual book tour in July. Leave a comment below to have a chance to win one of these prizes! For more stops on Shiela’s book tour, visit www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: DISCOVERY IN PASSION by Shiela Stewart


Discovery in Passion
by Shiela Stewart
Paranormal Romance
Linden Bay Romance

Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.

Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.

When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself?

Welcome to the town of Passion.

About the Author:

Sheila Stewart has been writing for the better part of twenty years, pouring her heart out in words, living a fantasy through the characters she creates. It has always been a dream of hers to have her work published, and in 2006 her dream finally came to life.

When not writing, she is busy working on a website for a non-profit organization she belongs to, as well as a promotional blog for other authors, tending to her three children, and spending time with the love of her life, William.

Shiela has a deep affection for animals and it’s evident in the five cats, one dog, eight fish, and three turtles she owns. Aside from writing, she enjoys sketching, painting, singing, and dancing, as well as stargazing, astronomy, and astrology. Her favorite time of the day is sunset.

You can visit her website at www.shielasbooks.ca.

Stay tuned for her interview on July 28!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Interview with Pirate Humor Book Authors Tim Bete and Cap'n Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall

Tim Bete (pronounced "beet") began his nautical adventures as a child sailing on Buzzards Bay off the coast of Massachusetts. At age 10, he longed for a small cannon to put on his grandfather's 30-foot wooden ketch - a quick, two masted vessel that is perfect for catching other ships so you can plunder'em. His parents scuttled the cannon idea, saying he "would terrorize other boats with it." That's exactly what he had in mind.

Bete's humorous parenting advice has been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web sites, including the Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Parent, Big Apple Parent, Northwest Family, FathersWorld.com and ParentingHumor.com. His first book, In the Beginning…There Were No Diapers as well as and Guide to Pirate Parenting were finalists in the Foreword Magazine Humor Book of the Year competition.

Bete’s hobbies include pushing his luck and skating on thin ice. In his spare time, he’s director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. You can visit his website at www.timbete.com.

Captain Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall (pronounced "MacDougall") has been hiding from authorities for most of his life. He lives on his ship, The Frightened Flounder, but can sometimes be found at the Crow’s Nest Tavern. His hobbies include plundering and rum.

About the Book:

In Guide to Pirate Parenting, Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall provides everything you need to know to turn your little powder monkeys into happy, healthy buccaneers! Cap'n Billy answers difficult parenting questions, such as:

* At what age your child should be able to remove a bottle cap by taking out his glass eye and using his eye socket?

* Which offense requires administering The Flying Dutchman Wedgie?

* How do you prevent sogging the quartermaster?

* What is the best place to maroon your disobedient child?

* How do you remove chewing gum or a giant octopus from your child’s hair?

* What’s the difference between “plundering” and “pillaging?”

* How do you convert your minivan into a pirate schooner?

* When should you smack your teenager in the side of the head with an oar?

Each information-packed section ends with “Your pirate’s progress,” a short quiz that shows whether your child is reaching his or her pirate development milestones.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Tim and Cap’n Billy. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Tim Bete: My name is Tim Bete. I’ve been writing for about 10 years.

Cap’n Billy: And I be Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall.

TB: Together we wrote the book, Guide to Pirate Parenting.

CB: But I be the brains behind the book, he’s just a scurvy bilge rat with a laptop.

TB: My humor writing has been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web sites, including the Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Parent, Big Apple Parent, Northwest Family, FathersWorld.com and ParentingHumor.com. My first book was In the Beginning…There Were No Diapers.

CB: I’ve been hiding from authorities for most of my life. I live on me ship, The Frightened Flounder, but sometimes ye can find me at the Crow’s Nest Tavern. That’s where I met the pale, flabby land-lubber writer.

TB: My hobbies include pushing my luck and skating on thin ice. In my spare time, I’m director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

CB: My hobbies be plundering and rum.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

TB: I decided to write Guide to Pirate Parenting when Cap’n Billy put his dagger next to my neck and told me I was going to write a book for him.

CB: Aye, I have a way of convincing people to see things my way. It’s me dream that thousands of parents raise their little powder monkeys as pirates. Then I can put together a huge crew and plunder to me heart’s content. There’s nothing more exciting than sailing with Cap’n Billy, except maybe a merchant vessel full of gold.

TB: Our book teaches parents every aspect of pirate growth and development -- from baby pirate care through the teen years -- so their kids can become self-respecting swashbucklers of the high seas or suburbs. It answers common questions such as:

* At what age should your child be able to remove a bottle cap by taking out his glass eye and using his eye socket as an opener?

* What’s the best place to maroon a disobedient child?

* How do you remove chewing gum or a giant octopus from your child’s hair?

* How do you convert your minivan into a pirate schooner?

* When should you smack your teenager in the side of the head with an oar?

Each information-packed section ends with “Your pirate’s progress,” a short quiz that shows whether your child is reaching his or her pirate development milestones. For example, if your son has said “I’ll need another ration of grog if you expect me to eat these peas,” or told his teacher his homework was “eaten by a giant barracuda when the family’s ship wrecked on a coral reef near the Dry Tortugas,” you’re well on your way to having a pirate in the family.

What kind of research was involved in writing Guide to Pirate Parenting?

CB: None at all. I’ve been a pirate all me life. When I was a baby, me mother wrapped me in a sail. I teethed on hardtack. I know everything about pirating and raising pirates.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

TB:

I self-published Guide to Pirate Parenting with Cold Tree Press, so I had total control over the cover design. I picked with art and worked with their designer. Since then, Cold Tree Press has become a traditional publisher and they flipped my book. So what started as a POD title is now a traditionally-published one.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

CB: When I pilot a ship, it’s always smooth sailing. Unless of course I’m in battle and firing me big guns at a merchant vessel that refuses to surrender.

TB: The publishing process went off without a hitch. Because it was a POD title, I had control over all the creative aspects. That made it easy.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

TB: It was just three months from when I signed a contract and submitted the manuscript to when I had finished copies delivered. Cold Tree Press is a class act.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

TB: I don’t have an agent. You need one to sell a book to most of the larger publishers but you don’t need an agent to pitch to smaller publishers.

CB: I need an agent so I can sell the movie rights to Pirate Parenting. I think Mel Gibson should play me.

TB: Danny Devito would be more like it. Actually, we’ve had a few movie executives request copies of the book but haven’t heard anything back yet.

Do you plan subsequent books?

TB: I thought about Guide to Ninja Parenting but Cap’n Billy told me that pirates and ninjas are mortal enemies. Then he told me he’d “introduce me to Johnny Corkscrew” if I wrote that book. I don’t know what “Johnny Corkscrew” is and I don’t intend to find out.

CB: You’re a wise man, me hearty.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

TB: I’m a write-whenever-I-can-find-the-time writer. With four kids, it’s difficult to get in any regular writing schedule.

CB: I’m a write-when-I’m-sober kind of guy.

TB: He doesn’t write very often.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

TB: I’d buy a fleet of pirate mini-vans with loud speakers. I’d hired a thousand college students, have them dress as pirates and drive across the country plundering and selling books.

CB: That’s the first sensible idea you’ve ever had.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

TB: Publishers don’t do a good job of promoting books. And even if they do put in some effort, they stop after about six months because they have a new line of books to promote. The author HAS to self-promote. I recently created two short videos to promote Guide to Pirate Parenting. They’re on my Web site: www.PirateParenting.com. They’ve been very effective in generating sales.

CB: I like to go to bookstores and threaten the customers until they buy me book.

TB: That’s an effective technique, too.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

TB: If you want to write, write. Don’t worry about getting published. If you try to write for fame or money, neither will happen. Find what you’re passionate about and write about it.

CB: I’m passionate about gold and rum. Maybe I’ll write The Gold-lovers Guide to Gold. Or maybe I’ll make you write it.

Thank you for coming, Tim and Cap’n Billy! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

TB: Our Web site is www.PiratePareting.com. You can buy an autographed copy of Guide to Pirate Parenting there. You can also buy it at Amazon.com or your local bookstore.

CB: Just remember that I get half the royalties, me hearty. Or else.

ATTENTION: This interview is being brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion. As a special promotion for Tim's and Cap'n Billy’s book, GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away one FREE virtual book tour or $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky person who comments on their blog stops during their virtual book tour in July. Leave a comment below to have a chance to win one of these prizes! For more stops on the GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08, visit www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com.

Friday, July 18, 2008

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING by Tim Bete and Captain Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall


Guide to Pirate Parenting
by Tim Bete and Captain Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall
Humor/Parenting
Cold Tree Press

In Guide to Pirate Parenting, Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall provides everything you need to know to turn your little powder monkeys into happy, healthy buccaneers! Cap'n Billy answers difficult parenting questions, such as:

* At what age your child should be able to remove a bottle cap by taking out his glass eye and using his eye socket?

* Which offense requires administering The Flying Dutchman Wedgie?

* How do you prevent sogging the quartermaster?

* What is the best place to maroon your disobedient child?

* How do you remove chewing gum or a giant octopus from your child’s hair?

* What’s the difference between “plundering” and “pillaging?”

* How do you convert your minivan into a pirate schooner?

* When should you smack your teenager in the side of the head with an oar?

Each information-packed section ends with “Your pirate’s progress,” a short quiz that shows whether your child is reaching his or her pirate development milestones.

About the Authors:

Tim Bete (pronounced "beet") began his nautical adventures as a child sailing on Buzzards Bay off the coast of Massachusetts. At age 10, he longed for a small cannon to put on his grandfather's 30-foot wooden ketch - a quick, two masted vessel that is perfect for catching other ships so you can plunder'em. His parents scuttled the cannon idea, saying he "would terrorize other boats with it." That's exactly what he had in mind.

Bete's humorous parenting advice has been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web sites, including the Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Parent, Big Apple Parent, Northwest Family, FathersWorld.com and ParentingHumor.com. His first book, In the Beginning…There Were No Diapers as well as and Guide to Pirate Parenting were finalists in the Foreword Magazine Humor Book of the Year competition.

Bete’s hobbies include pushing his luck and skating on thin ice. In his spare time, he’s director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. You can visit his website at www.timbete.com.

Captain Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall (pronounced "MacDougall") has been hiding from authorities for most of his life. He lives on his ship, The Frightened Flounder, but can sometimes be found at the Crow’s Nest Tavern. His hobbies include plundering and rum.

Stay tuned for their author interview on July 21!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Interview with Teen Fantasy Author Kamilla Reid

At age 29 Kamilla Reid became the youngest person to hold the position of Artistic Director for a professional theatre company in Edmonton. During this time at Celebrations Theatre she honed her artistic skills by writing and directing five shows per year. Over this ten year incumbency the position evolved and Kamilla developed her own independent theatrical production company to which the dinner theatre contracted out. This worked quite well with her new schedule due to the birth of her daughter.

After forty produced plays, Kamilla felt she’d creatively done all she could within the live theatre format and, during a period of massive change whereby she found herself in the role of single mother, she began scrawling and plunking on the keyboard and finally, drawing out the long held images of DréAmm and its freckled young inhabitant Root Karbunkulus.

Currently Kamilla is working on book two of the “Questory” series. You can visit her website at www.rootkarbunkulus.com or her blog at www.rootkarbunkulus.com/blog.

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About the Book:

Young Root Karbunkulus gets an invitation to participate in 'the coolest scavenger hunt of all time!' Finally, her chance! She can escape the Aunts and prove once and for all there’s no stinkin’ “L” on her forehead! So what if she's up against hundreds of other kids. It can’t be worse than murder ball. The rules say teams of three. Okay, okay her appointed team mates, Lian and Dwyn are screws-in-the-temples annoying...but livable...and really no worse than Goatface Kor or Hilly Punyun who, forget the panties, has a tiara for each day of the week. More rules: Can't use magic on competitors. Doh! Oh well, at this point her magic is of the non-existent variety anyhow so…next! The first item up for grabs is the Miist of Kalliope, apparently some dead magician's elixir. No prob. But wait. Out of hundreds of teams, there are only six of these Miists to be found? Leaving only six teams left to go after the next item? Then five, four, three, two…woah...this could get ugly....hmmm...compete and win...or go back to exfoliating those hard, crusted entities called Auntie Octavia's feet?

Root Karbunkulus accepts the invitation. It will be a race of many, many hated things. But it will also be a contest of courage, friendship and the rising of soul. Within it Root will learn the terrifying truth behind the mysterious items. She will also discover, to her horror that she is not a player in an innocent kid’s race but a pawn in a vicious adult game that will readily send its champion into the profiteering hands of the enemy.

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Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kamilla. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Hi and thank you so much for having me! Well, here’s how I kinda got the bug. I was eight years old and we were still living in the orange and white house. We moved around quite a lot and that's how we remembered our homes, by their colors. So, it was while living in the orange and white house that my teacher gave us an assignment to write a story. I cringed at first because it meant serious interference with my play time, in particular with Terry M, my latest crush (despite the fact that he liked Jamie but alas, another story).

Anyhow, being the keener I was back then (what happened?) I got to work on my story that very first day after school. And never stopped. Suddenly, playtime didn't matter. Nor did supper or gasp! -Terry M! All I wanted to do was continue with this wonderful feeling of creating. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And then I asked my teacher if I could also draw the pictures. When my 'masterpiece' was completed I got an A+ and my teacher sent it in to Owl magazine, who published it. After that I was hooked.

It’s kind of funny, though because my path led me to write for live theatre for many years before I finally took the leap into novels. Man, am I glad I did! Finally, my imagination can soar! No limits of sets and casts and budgets. It is heavenly!

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

I had the idea for DréAmm, the location for my book many, many years ago and because I was involved in live theatre I wrote it as a musical. But I never really liked the feel of it in this format. It felt limited. Plus, I hadn’t quite come into the ‘hook’ yet, that thing that made me go “yes, this is it!” It wasn’t until years later when I caught a snippet of that TV reality show “The Amazing Race” that I finally got that ‘aha!’ moment. I loved the idea of teams of kids all racing against each other in a glorified kind of scavenger hunt to find something very, very important. DréAmm then became a magical land where virtually anything could happen. That’s when the main character, Root Karbunkulus just showed up and showed me around. Of course then the plot got really got good with all sorts of agendas going on, personal and otherwise. In the end, the name ‘DréAmm’ stayed but everything else was ditched.

Around this same time I was leaving the theatre and facing a new role as Single Mum; the perfect combination for finally doing that thing that you promised yourself that you would do but never did.

What kind of research was involved in writing “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus”?

I didn’t research anything specific but I did have to come up with a system of magic, where there are rules to explain why things work and don’t work. That took some time. I am also constantly observing and learning about things in our world that inspire me to ideas.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I knew from the start that I wanted to go out on my own first. After years in live theatre where budgets dictated everything and I just couldn’t treadmill out another 6-person musical, I wanted complete freedom to explore this new field on my own. From writing my book and having fun creating the book cover with an illustrator to making an awesome website and book trailer. I wanted to do it all for the fun of it but also to learn the business of books. It was very worth it to me.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

It has been both. But always, always worth every bruise. Wearing too many hats, not to mention the Single Mum Crown began to take its toll. I was doing too much and getting burnt out. But the good thing is that I had managed a fair amount of success on my own, which was a great thing to bring to the tables of agents and traditional publishers.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Oh yes, I think an agent is imperative. My book is currently being considered by four major literary agents.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Well, this series is six books and I’m just on book 2 so that’ll keep me busy for awhile. But I also have an idea for another magical adventure in the works.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I get up most days at 4:30 or 5am, jog around the lakes with my dogs and then get to writing. I love writing in the mornings when I feel most refreshed and in tune with myself and my work.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A publicist who is an internet genius with tons of great contacts and Oprah’s BFF J

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

I think self-promotion is absolutely necessary. Right out of the gate I was building an amazing website and book trailer. The trailer won awards and took off on the internet, which was great for creating some buzz. But it was also the most important part of my book tour. I played it on big screens before every reading and it was a huge hit with the kids. You can view it on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIgo1wS_0JI

Or at the book’s website, http://www.rootkarbunkulus.com

Which is also truly incredible and creates a big impression on my teen readers. I had trendy dogtags made up and used them as prizes for Q and A’s along with props and my signature red ‘Valador’ cloak as a costume. I did a huge book launch, too that really got the word out at the beginning. You can also view it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA-b7DAfZrQ&feature=related

The book tour was by far the most rewarding and successful as it helped me to sell 1000 books in 8 weeks. Since then it has been a steady sell. I also submitted my book for reviews and used them in promotions. The internet was probably my biggest challenge as, after the website and trailer, I just had no idea where to even begin. But I think the internet is a huge, HUGE asset to promoting and so I have been learning as I go along.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

We all have different paths to our dreams…it’s like the way a ship is navigated with many detours and changes as the sea demands but always the compass remains steadfast. However way you decide to go doesn’t matter. Just never, ever lose sight of your inner compass. Never give up. You’ll get there sooner than you think. But more importantly, as cliché as it sounds, enjoy the journey. Get there balanced so that you have no ‘tunnel vision’ regrets. Get there with great memories and friends and family to share it with.

Thank you for coming, Kamilla! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you so much for granting me this time to share with you and your readers. It was a thrill and a pleasure. Please let me know if you’d like to do a book giveaway. I would be more than happy to send one out! In the meantime, you can find my book at http://www.rootkarbunkulus.com along with lots of other fun stuff there J

All the very best to you,

Kamilla

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Message from Judi Moreo


Judi Moreo toured with us at Pump Up Your Book Promotion a few months ago. I'd like to share an email she sent to me a few minutes ago:

For those of you who may want a little extra motivation......a new inspirational slide show to put a little lift in your day...

http://www.youaremorethanenough.com/slideshow-oyster/download/index.htm

Enjoy!

Judi

http://www.JudiMoreo.com
http://www.YouAreMoreThanEnough.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Get a FREE $500 Goodie Bag from Lisa Daily Today!

Get a goodie bag worth $500 today when you purchase one of the funnier beach books of the summer.

Fifteen Minutes of Shame, a novel from bestselling author Lisa Daily, is a romantic comedy about what happens when America’s favorite TV love guru finds out her husband is cheating – live, on national television.

Not only is the most humiliating moment of Darby Vaughn’s life splashed across every supermarket tabloid and celebrity gossip show, but fans are turning on her, and her love life is fodder for late-night comedians. If Darby breaks her own zero-tolerance policy for cheaters and takes her philandering husband back, her career will be over. But if she sticks to her own rules, she’ll lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Praise for Fifteen Minutes of Shame:

“A smart, hilariously funny gem of a book that will delight fans of Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella. It’s no surprise that one of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters has snatched up rights to turn it into a movie.”
--Lisa McLeod, Buffalo News

“I’m not a gusher, unless I truly love something. But today I have to gush.”
--Kristi Gustafson, Albany Times-Union

“I was instantly hooked…had me laughing and cheering.”
-Clare Naylor, bestselling author of The First Assistant

To get the free $500 goody bag, purchase Fifteen Minutes of Shame before 12 midnight PST on Monday, July 14 at Amazon.com (where it’s currently bargain-priced around $10) and email your receipt to swagbag (at) lisadaily.com.

For a details and a complete listing of all the swag, which includes a free lip-plumping serum, free mineral makeup, free cellulite firming cream, a free T-Tapp exercise video download, a two-month subscription to Cupid.com, sneak peek chapters of not-yet-released books and lots of other goodies, check out www.lisadaily.com/swagbag

Sunday, July 13, 2008

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: THE PINK FOREST by Dana Dorfman


The Pink Forest: A Woman's Intimate Confessions
by Dana Dorfman
Spirit/New Age
Banderae Publishing

In the netted light, a face very recognizable stares out at me. I do my best to look casual. I gaze at her chiseled outline. Her high cheekbones are distinctly familiar. As the figure slowly disappears her delicate shadings pause in a pinkish glow. “You can be absolutely infuriating at times. I cannot take the subject seriously.” She half-smiles and then vanishes in the curls of her breaths.

A woman tries to teach her conscience about love. The pink forest is her story.

This biography is about a woman who wants to throw a pillow at her conscience for trying to run her life. Set in the vividness of a kiss this courageous feminine read goes far beyond bug-jeweled sandals and striped pumps and applauds an ordinary woman in her super-hero moments.

For every woman who has ever wanted to stop her life and let her conscience hop out at the curb, you will welcome the power you gain in The Pink Forest.

Dorfman writes about the hunted soul. The part of us that we travel through from a distance, the part of us that cannot slip away untold. There are few authors that can catch the soul of a story like Dorfman. Her charm lies not just in her artistry but in the way she leads your presence on to the written page. If you would like the author to unpack the pages of your life visit her at SoulBiographer.com DanaDorfman.com, The Lollipop Chronicle and the Here And There Gazette.

About the Author:

Dana Dorfman is an author who gravitates to the signs of life. In tune to the emotions surrounding her, she insists she can still see the first star she wished upon. Dorfman was raised as an only child and has been writing since the age of four. She graduated from the University of Southern California and considers herself a "life writer" who is able to tap into the blush of the earth. She resides in Los Angeles with her mystical spirit. You can visit her website at http://www.danadorfman.com/.

Stay tuned for her author interview on July 17!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Relationship Expert Maria Swan Giving Away Book at The Savvy Boomer Today!

Maria Swan, author of the relationship book, Boomer Babes: True Tales of Love and Lust in the Later Years, is having a contest at The Savvy Boomer! Looking for some outrageous inspiration to kick start your love life? Or some sizzingly salacious gossip about the woman who could be your next-door neighbor? It’s not surprise that the generation who burned bras and brought about The Summer of Love continues to redefine the way the world thinks about sex. Long-term lovers or one-night stands, there’s nothing these women haven’t tried. And now they dish on some of their dirtiest secrets.

Anyone who leaves a comment at The Savvy Boomer is eligible! Hurry...special offer runs out at midnight tonight!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Satire/Humor Author Tom Samuels

Tom Samuels was born in Allentown, PA, twenty-two years ago, and attends West Chester University where he will graduate this year with a B.A. in Communication. He plans to study the field of Creativity in graduate school. He has a comprehensive library on the history of American music, including biographies, recordings and sheet music. He plays the guitar and ukulele. He strives to find a good balance in his life through meditation, eating well, learning and creating.

Tom's second book, Stop Making Music, is based on a character he created who is
guaranteed to provoke a response with the reader. The book contains 136 essays written in the voice of an arrogant nitwit who wrestles with “evil” musicians, songwriters and producers. He developed this persona through essays he wrote on a blog, http://www.last.fm/user/bigsexyshaq/. Two years ago he published a book called Talm Psalms: The Complete First Season. It is a collection of futuristic, silly stories that incorporate humor and philosophy.

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Welcome to The Writer's Life, Tom. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I was born in Allentown, PA, twenty-two years ago. I am currently attending West Chester University, studying Communication. Next, I plan to study the field of Creativity in graduate school. I am fascinated with the history of American music. I collect biographies, recordings and sheet music. I strive to find a good balance in life through meditation, eating well, learning and creating.

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Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Stop Making Music is based on a character I created through essays I wrote on a blog, http://www.last.fm/user/bigsexyshaq/. My blog attracted thousands of responses so I knew this was an interesting character. The book contains 136 essays written in the voice of an arrogant nitwit who wrestles with “evil” musicians, songwriters and producers.

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What kind of research was involved in writing “Stop Making Music”?

My interest in the history of American music is laced through out the book. I make references to Gershwin, Al Jolson and Louis Armstrong. I also mention current musicians who will be the next Gershwins, Jolsons and Armstrongs.

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How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

It was my idea which was drawn by an artist, employed by the Art Book Bindery Company. This is the company I used to self-publish my books.

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Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

As your question implies, it is very difficult for someone my age to get published. I have a stack of rejection letters to prove it. At this point in time, self-publishing was my only option.

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Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I would love to have an agent. I appreciate that your blog offers this kind of information to unpublished authors. We need all the help we can get! Without an agent, authors find their only option is to go the route of self-publishing.

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Do you plan subsequent books?

Absolutely! I will continue to write everyday. I can’t imagine a day when I no longer write. I have a few ideas for other books but it is too soon to describe them.

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Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I jot down ideas, long hand, in a journal during the day then type like the wind on my computer at night. Most of my work gets done at night.

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If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I would create holograms of Jessica Alba reading my book and display the holograms outside of every mall.

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How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

I am currently creating a website, www.tomsamuels.com, which will describe my two books, Stop Making Music and Talm Psalms: The Complete First Season. I’ll have my other projects available there as well, such as music and voice-over recordings. My books are available on amazon.com.

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Thank you for coming, Tom! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

They can buy my book on amazon.com at: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0615197132.