Saturday, August 28, 2010

Judge Glenda Hatchett on virtual book tour September - October '10

Here comes the judge!

Join TV personality Judge Glenda Hatchett, author of the self-help book, Dare to Take Charge: How to Live Your Life on Purpose (Center Street), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in September and October ‘10 on her first ever virtual book tour.

For nearly ten years, Judge Glenda Hatchett has delighted TV audiences with a brand of justice that turns the everyday into something eminently watchable.

Her message can be distilled into the following two words: Dare Yourself. Whatever obstacles or fears one faces, Judge Hatchett’s prescription implores readers to write their own story in this life. With care and conviction, Judge Hatchett uses real life stories from the courtroom and her personal life to counsel readers. Shows them how to find their true purpose and gifts, to be real about their reality and its potential outside of challenging circumstances, and to always be true to themselves.

Interactive as well as inspirational, DARE TO TAKE CHARGE challenges the reader to ask self-reflective questions that lead to moments of self-discovery and a defined pathway to healing. Daring her audience to study the positive with the same interest and intensity that they study the negative, Judge Hatchett uncovers the potential for grace and success in lives that are now punctuated with despair and unfaithfulness.

After graduating from Emory University School of Law and completing a coveted clerkship in the U.S. Federal Courts, Glenda Hatchett accepted a position at Delta Air Lines, as the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman. She served in dual roles as a senior attorney for Delta, litigating cases in federal courts throughout the country, and Manager of Public Relations, supervising global crisis management, and media relations for all of Europe, Asia and the United States. In fact, her outstanding contributions were recognized by Ebony Magazine, which named Glenda Hatchett one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.” She made the difficult decision to leave Delta Air Lines in order to accept an appointment as Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court.

Upon accepting the position, Glenda Hatchett became Georgia’s first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. Glenda Hatchett is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and has been recognized as a distinguished alumni and awarded an honorary degree by the college. She also attended Emory University School of Law and because of her commitment to excellence and service within the community, Glenda was awarded the Emory Medal, the highest award given to an alum by the university. Currently, Glenda Hatchett presides over the syndicated show, “Judge Hatchett” currently in its 8th season (Sony Pictures Television), and is author of the national best-seller, “Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say” (HarperCollins). She has previously served on the Board of Directors of Gap, Inc. the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and The Service Master Company.

Presently, Glenda Hatchett is a board member of the Atlanta Falcons Football Organization and serves on the Board of Advisors for Play Pumps International. She also serves on the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Board of Governors and she resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her two sons.

You can visit her website at www.glendahatchett.com.

To find out where she'll be appearing on virtual tour, visit her official tour page at Pump Up Your Book here. Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in virtual book tours and online book promotioin. Visit their website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview with Christian Adventure Novelist Jonathan Williams, Author of Jungle Sunrise




Jonathan Williams served as a missionary with the International Mission Board’s Xtreme Team in the jungles of Peru for two years. It was there, lying under a mosquito net in a hut in the middle of the Amazon Jungle, that Williams began to write his first novel, Jungle Sunrise. Williams, 30, writes and lives in North Texas with his beautiful wife, Jessica, and adorable daughter, Gracie. He pastors Body Life church and serves as the Campus Pastor for Trinity Christian Academy as he pursues a Masters of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His passion and desire is to inspire readers with creativity and truth.

Visit www.JungleSunrise.com for social links, reviews, and a video trailer.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Jonathan. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Jungle Sunrise?

I began to write as a staff writer for newspapers and magazines in college. I enjoyed the journalistic writing style, but prefer creative writing and the freedom and challenges of writing fiction. Jungle Sunrise is my first novel. The story was born out of my personal experiences as a missionary in the Peruvian jungles. I spent two years discovering how God can get your attention and change your life when you’re in the middle of a native village. I wrote this story in order to inspire readers to open up to that kind of experience.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

My wife actually named the book. I was struggling landing on a title, and she came up with it. Jungle Sunrise is a perfect title, though, because it immediately engages the reader with the dangerous and native background of the story while alluding to the symbolism of the protagonist’s journey. Throughout the story, the reader will encounter various sunrises that often point to a turning point in the life of Jonah Frost.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

The adventure, danger, and love story will entertain, but my hope reaches far beyond that. I think that readers will be inspired by this story. Most people can relate to a character that is searching for a second chance at life, and they’ll be encouraged to know that those chances are out there.



Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Nordskog Publishing, have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

The entire Nordskog Publishing team, especially Desta Garrett, was so gracious in allowing me to have input and involvement in the cover design. The picture on the cover is actually one that I took of an actual Peruvian jungle sunrise. I was standing on the edge of one of the villages, Masenawa, where I was afforded a beautiful view of the river, the tree line, and, of course, the breathtaking sunrise.

Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

AHelen Cook with PrimeStar Publicity has been invaluable in promoting Jungle Sunrise. She has scheduled multiple online and radio interviews, sent out press releases, and made this virtual book tour possible. I have also had several book signings at churches and bookstores.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Kaci Hill, co-author of Lunatic and Elyon with NY Times Bestselling Author Ted Dekker, reviewed Jungle Sunrise for FictionAddict.com and compared my novel with The End of the Spear, Apocalypto, and Safely Home. I think Jungle Sunrise is unique because the main character becomes intimately involved with the true culture of the jungle tribe, the Amarakaeri. Their way of life, native dialect, and personalities are all reflected in the book, setting it apart from other adventure novels based on research rather than experience.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Jonah Frost, the main character, is in the middle of a jaguar hunt in the depths of the jungle. This is a pivotal moment. Jonah is becoming the man he was meant to be, beginning a new chapter in a story that he thought was already over.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

I’m currently working on my second novel, which follows the story of neglected street kids living in crowded plazas in a city in the Andes mountains.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Jonathan. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you for this opportunity. For reviews, a synopsis, links, and a video trailer, visit www.JungleSunrise.com. The best place to purchase the book is through www.Amazon.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recipe for Writing a Great Romantic Suspense Novel


We have a special guest today. Kerri Nelson, author of of the romantic suspense novel, Cross Check My Heart (Eternal Press), is here to talk about writing a great romantic suspense novel. Visit Kerri at www.kerrinelson.com.

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Writing a Great Romantic Suspense Novel

By Kerri Nelson

When I’m not writing romantic suspense (or reading it), you’ll find me baking delicious sweet treats for my hubby, three kids, other family members, neighbors, or just about anyone who wants them. When it comes to baked goods…my specialties are peach cobbler and bread pudding. But when it comes to writing, my specialty is romantic suspense. So, in order to tell you how to write a great romantic suspense…I’ll give it to you in recipe form.

Here goes….

My Recipe for Writing the Great Romantic Suspense

Ingredients (these basic ingredients are required—may substitute or double as needed):

1 Damsel in Distress

1 Hauntingly Handsome Hero

1 Vicious Villain

1 History of Mystery

1 or 2 Major Obstacles

1 Sexual Scenario

1 Black Moment

1 Turning Point

1 Rejoice Worthy Revelation

1 Happy Ending

Directions:

Take 1 Damsel in Distress with a history of mystery and mix slowly with 1 Hauntingly Handsome Hero. Add 1 Vicious Villain (measure carefully to avoid bitter taste). Toss in 1 or 2 Major Obstacles that will leave you hungry for more!

Sneak in at least 1 Sexual Scenario to spice things up a bit (repeat as needed). Use caution when adding your Black Moment, as it may ruin your dish if not served up properly. Sift in 1 major Turning Point and then top with a generous portion of Rejoice Worthy Revelation. Enjoy your Happy Ending.

Bake 3 to 6 months.

Yields:

1 Highly Entertaining Romantic Suspense Novel which feeds your reader’s soul, teases their imagination, leaves them begging for another taste and brings you many sales and awards!

I’ve written romantic suspense in every sub-genre imaginable. In everything from paranormal to inspirational, I’ve found that this recipe works every time. Any way you slice it, remember that the success of your story will depend on intriguing characters and a solid, fresh concept filled plot.

See you at the bookstore or in the kitchen!

© Kerri Nelson 2010

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 Fun Facts About Romance Novelist Tina Martin


We have a special guest today! Tina Martin, author of Secrets on Lake Drive, is here with us to give us ten fun facts about herself we probably never knew! Enjoy!

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Ten Fun Facts About Tina Martin
by Tina Martin

1. I’m addicted to chicken quesadillas (from Taco Bell), ice cream sandwiches and Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies. There goes my diet.

2. In my senior year of high school, I had made up my mind that I wanted to pursue a career in interior design. Yeah, that worked out…if you count the way I designed Sean’s house in Secrets On Lake Drive.

3. Growing up, I was very heavy into sports and was very much a tomboy. Now, I wear more makeup than news anchors.

4. I’ve only received one speeding ticket (so far) and that was in Missouri. I mean really, who get’s a speeding ticket for going 70 in a 65? Meanwhile, banks are getting robbed…

5. I collect lighthouses and strange pottery. Also, I still have a strange piece of pottery I made in the seventh grade, and considering that I’ve moved six times since then (twice out of state) and it’s still not broken, I must have it for a purpose.

6. I love shopping at thrift shops and yard sales, and pretty soon, I’ll have enough junk to have my own yard sale.

7. Up until I was about twenty, I thought 'brunch' was something that old, rich women did on Sundays just to pass time…or is it?

8. I hate watching scary movies at night and when I’m home alone, but for some reason, I just can’t change the channel.

9. I once saw a guy in Applebees who fit the description of my character Sean (well, with the exception of the green eyes). I just so happened to look up and he was staring at me. Awkward…then I looked away, looked again and he squinted his eyes at me. The whole thing was pretty freaky. Needless to say, I got out of there faster than Wendy Williams can say, “How you doin?”

10. In 1999, I changed my favorite color from green to black. Don’t ask.

You can visit Tina’s website at www.tinamartinbooks.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Interview with Sally Koslow, Author of 'With Friends Like These'




Sally Koslow, the author of With Friends like These, began writing fiction after a long run as the editor-in-chief of major American women’s magazines, including the venerable McCall’s and Lifetime, a start-up she launched for Hearst and Disney. Her second novel, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, is currently Target’s Book Pick. Koslow contributes articles and essays to magazines including Real Simple, More and O the Oprah Magazine, teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and practices as an independent writing coach.

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

Answer: Writing fiction is my second act, following decades as a magazine editor. After the demise of McCall’s, where I’d been the editor-in-chief for years, (it was turned over to the celebrity, Rosie O’Donnell, who transformed it into a short-lived magazine called Rosie, which ended in a lawsuit and nasty public trial) I spoofed these you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up events in my first novel, Little Pink Slips. One book in and I started wondering, why hadn’t I started to write fiction sooner? The Late, Lamented Molly Marx was next and turned into a bestseller in Germany, Ich, Molly Marx, Kurzlich Verstorben, complete with a glossary of Yiddish/Jewish words. Like bagel. My work has been translated into ten languages. It’s a special kick to see your book in Chinese.

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

Answer: With Friends like These takes a hard look at contemporary friendship, especially how loyalties get tested when women marry, have kids and start living lives more complicated than when they were single. Where I think it’s fair to say Little Pink Slips was a bit fluffy—it was about the magazine industry, after all, where success can depend on the holy trinity of good hair, good shoes, good bag—With Friends like These is raw. I loved that Publishers Weekly called it “achingly real” and said it packed “a lot of wit and wisdom.” I tried to create a snapshot of how difficult it is to be a decent friend.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

Answer: With Friends like These features four main characters with chapters in their individual voices. One woman is from Minnesota; another, California; the third, Staten Island and the last, Connecticut. I tried to give each a distinctive speech pattern along with a unique viewpoint. Mostly, I tried to make them not all sound like me.



Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

Answer: On my website visitors can find novel excerpts; reviews; book club discussion guides; essays and articles that I’ve published recently in magazines such as Real Simple, More and O the Oprah Magazine; and get information on how to reach the publicity team at Ballantine as well as me, by email. You can also find out about my teaching. I’m an instructor at The Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College and the New York Writers Resource as well as an independent writing coach/workshop facilitator. My website lists upcoming events and TV/radio programs and has links to podcasts of previous appearances. My favorite is a standoff with Glenn Beck who, I’m proud to say, didn’t wear me down.

Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

Answer: I’ve been on many national and regional TV and radio programs, including “Today” and “Good Morning America” and have made numerous appearances on behalf of my books. My favorite venues are book clubs. Nothing’s better than meeting readers. My kickoff event for With Friends like These is on its publication date, August 10th, when I will have a public reading at Borders Book Store, 7 p.m., at the branch in the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle in Manhattan.

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?

Answer: For all four books I’ve been well-represented by Christy Fletcher.

Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

Answer: In addition to readings and signings, I’m blogging here and there. You can also find me and my books on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Library Things and the Random House Book Club. These days, most “media blitz” is online. You do it in your running shorts.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Answer: I’m very excited about my next book, which is a return to my magazine roots: non-fiction. I just signed to write The Wander Years: A mom’s public display of reflection which focuses on “adultescsents” aged 22-35 and the ways their lives baffle some of their more conventional parents.

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

Answer: My web site is www.sallykoslow.com, which includes links to many resources that sell my novels.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Interview with Kathryn Shay: 'The Perfect Family has been a huge undertaking'

Kathryn Shay is a lifelong writer. At fifteen, she penned her first ‘romance,’ a short story about a female newspaper reporter in New York City and her fight to make a name for herself in a world of male journalists – and with one hardheaded editor in particular. Looking back, Kathryn says she should have known then that writing was in her future. But as so often happens, fate sent her detouring down another path.

Fully intending to pursue her dream of big city lights and success in the literary world, Kathryn took every creative writing class available at the small private women’s college she attended in upstate New York. Instead, other dreams took precedence. She met and subsequently married a wonderful guy who’d attended a neighboring school, then completed her practice teaching, a requirement for the education degree she never intended to use. But says Kathryn, “I fell in love with teaching the first day I was up in front of a class, and knew I was meant to do that.”

Kathryn went on to build a successful career in the New York state school system, thoroughly enjoying her work with adolescents. But by the early 1990s, she’d again made room in her life for writing. It was then that she submitted her first manuscript to publishers and agents. Despite enduring two years of rejections, she persevered. And on a snowy December afternoon in 1994, Kathryn Shay sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance.

Since that first sale, Kathryn has written twenty-five books for Harlequin, nine mainstream contemporary romances for the Berkley Publishing Group, and two online novellas, which Berkley then published in traditional print format. Her first mainstream fiction book will be out from Bold Strokes Books in September, 2010

Kathryn has become known for her powerful characterizations – readers say they feel they know the people in her books – and her heart-wrenching, emotional writing (her favorite comments are that fans cried while reading her books or stayed up late to finish them). In testament to her skill, the author has won five RT BookClub Magazine Reviewers Choice Awards, three Holt Medallions, two Desert Quill Awards, the Golden Leaf Award, and several online accolades.

Even in light of her writing success, that initial love of teaching never wavered for Kathryn. She finished out her teaching career in 2004, retiring from the same school where her career began. These days, she lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children. “My life is very full,” she reports, “but very happy. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to pursue and achieve my dreams.”

You can visit Kathryn’s website at www.kathrynshay.com.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kathryn. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Perfect Family?

I sold my first book in 1994 and this upcoming book, The Perfect Family, is my 37th published novel. I was teaching full time when I sold for publication and continued to teach for ten more years while I wrote two books a year. Then I decided I wanted to write longer, grittier books and pursued another publisher.

What led to writing this book was when my son came out gay, I decided it was time to tell a story around that issue. The Perfect Family is fiction but touches on some of the things my own family went through. I wished then I’d had a book like this to help me understand that a family’s struggle when a teen comes out is okay, but he deserves love and support from them, too. And as I said, I was also a high school teacher for many years and I know teenagers. I know how they react to people who are different from them, how sexual orientation can freak them out and how they can be cruel. But they can also be unbelievably loyal and supportive. I tried to show all this in the book.



Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

The Davidsons consider themselves the “perfect family.” They are loving, supportive and kind to each other. Maggie, the mother, particularly wanted a perfect family because of her dysfunctional childhood. When Jamie, the son, comes out, it shakes the foundation of their lives. Because they struggle so much, they realize they aren’t so perfect after all. When they work through their problems (and they do--the book is uplifting and redeeming in the end) they realize having a perfect family is not only impossible but unnecessary.


Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

I believed this book should be published because it illustrates some important themes. Crises occur in families, not only when a kid comes out but in all kinds of situations. I wanted to show how families can disagree with each other’s viewpoints, work through their conflict over any issue and still maintain a loving, giving relationship.


Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Bold Strokes Books, have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

I’m thrilled with the cover of The Perfect Family. And I had a great deal of input. My publisher sent me several choices for the front cover and I picked one. Then we had to decide to go in blue or black. Then we played around with the fonts. It worked out because this cover is truly gorgeous and captures the essence of the book.


Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

This is the first of the books I’ve written where I’ve done a full-fledged marking campaign. I started early, at least six months before publication date, getting advance review copies to authors and professionals. Then I contacted niche audiences. For my romance and women’s fiction base, we got endorsements from nationally known writers and professionals to use on the book cover. I then set up a virtual book tour with Pump Up You Promo, at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2010/07/12/the-perfect-family-virtual-book-tour-august-september-10/. I’m stopping at over 30 websites online for either a review of the book, an interview with me or to post a guest blog. We’ve done a trailer for the book up at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QtKJr4adnk which beautifully portrays the storyline. Second, I contacted the gay community. National PFLAG wrote a wonderful review of the book, which will be up when it’s released in September. I will be mailing a flyer about the book to PFLAG chapters soon. I also got in touch with the Gay Alliance and there’s already been an article on me in their newspaper in my home town. Several other newspapers and magazines are being contacted, too. Then I targeted librarians. We sent local librarians advance review copies in hopes of them spreading the word; a librarian gave me a wonderful endorsement of the book; I’m attending a local book fair in town that a librarian set up; and at a conference I recently attended, we gave out free books for librarians along with a postcard which read “Seven reasons why librarians should order The Perfect Family for their collections.” Because the book is appropriate for teenagers as well as adults, I had a high school psychologist read and review the book and recommend it for schools and librarians. I then contacted the United Church of Christ, a church featured in the book which unconditionally supports the family. I’ve done promotional flyers for their annual conferences, I may be presenting at one, and I solicited another endorsement from a UCC pastor. We also sent advance review copies to the School Library Journal, the Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Forward Magazine, RT Book Reviews and many more. Finally, I hired someone to help with social media networking.

Needless to say, promotion of The Perfect Family has been a huge undertaking, but I do a little every day. I really want people to read this book!

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

I’ve always felt this book had the same tone and themes as Judith Guest’s Ordinary People. That may sound presumptuous but I taught Guest’s book for years in my high school English class and it influenced me greatly in writing style and content.

The Perfect Family is different from most coming out gay stories because its overall tone is one of redemption and hope. I think the book is special because it’s so real, with raw emotions bubbling to the surface on every page. The novel also shows a family can work through anything if they try hard enough.


Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

I opened to a scene where the Davidson family is returning from vacation in Cancun. Everything’s going well for all of them at this point. While they are in line at the airport, the couple next to them is having a problem. Their little girl is too old to ride the plane free as they’d planned, and they have no money for her ticket to the US to visit her grandparents. In a magnanimous gesture, Mike, the father in the book, offers to pay for the girl’s ticket. I wanted to show what a good guy Mike is because during the story, he’s the one who struggles the most. And lest you doubt the realism of this scene, my own personal hero, my husband, did that once in an airport at Christmastime years ago.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

I don’t plan a sequel to The Perfect Family, but most of my books center around social issues, are controversial and have emotional scenes in them.


Q: Thank you for your interview, Kathy. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

My website, blog and Facebook pages are listed above.

You can buy my book at all brick and mortar stores, at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and at Bold Strokes Books website. And we have a gift for readers from me and my son Ben, on whom the character of Jamie is based. Ben is a singer and a songwriter; he made a CD in high school about “loving a boy” and other adolescent issues. We’re offering a copy of the CD free if you order from the publisher’s website at http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Perfect-Family%2C-The-%252d-by-Kathryn-Shay. The CD will be also be offered on my website while copies last.

If readers are interested in my other books, I’m working on new projects now so check my website for those. I’m also making plans to put nine single title novels up on Kindle and Smashwords by the time The Perfect Family is released.


WATCH THE TRAILER

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Interview with Kerri Nelson, author of CROSS CHECK MY HEART

Kerri Nelson discovered her love of writing when she penned her first poem in the second grade entitled “Black Cat: Dark As Night”. At sixteen, she became a columnist for her local newspaper as the high school correspondent for the weekly "Panther Tales" column. She won the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts. After an education and career in the legal field, Kerri began to pen romantic suspense novels. She is a true southern belle and comes complete with a dashing husband and three adorable children. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her baking homemade goodies!

Check out her newest release Cross Check My Heart and read more about Kerri at her website here: www.kerrinelson.com.

Visit her industry blog and learn more about the craft and win prizes at www.thebookboost.blogspot.com or follow Kerri at Twitter for the latest updates and contests www.twitter.com/kerribookwriter.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kerri. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Cross Check My Heart?

I started writing my first novel while I was a high school student. I actually completed that novel but have hidden it away for fear of eternal embarrassment! After a career in the legal and law enforcement fields, I began to write what I’d learned in the form of a mystery/thriller novel. While that book sadly remains unpublished, over the last fifteen years, I’ve gone on to write and publish twelve novels and novellas in various romance genres including this book which features a hockey romance.


Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

I wanted a title that spoke to fans of both hockey and romance. For those of you who are not familiar with hockey terminology, a “cross check” is a type of penalty in hockey wherein one player hits an opponent with their stick when it is held with two hands and no longer touching the ice.

A very brutal move indeed and just like in real life—love can be just as brutal.


Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

You never fully believe that anyone else will want to read your book until someone tells you that they WANT to read your book! I hoped that the publisher would love the story and characters as much as I do.

Since the book’s release in February of 2010, I’ve received many wonderful fan comments on it and that has made the effort all the more worthwhile.


Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Eternal Press have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

With this wonderful publisher, they provide you with a detailed cover art form that allows you to submit all your ideas for the cover as well as character descriptions, and suggestions for images. This form goes to the cover artist (who is chosen by the publisher) and she creates the cover art for your review. Ultimately, the publisher has the final “say so” in the final cover but I’ve found the artists extremely helpful in their pursuit to make the author and the publisher happy with a cover that will sell books!

I was absolutely thrilled with this cover and it is my favorite cover of all my books thus far. I simply couldn’t have chosen a better result for my book. My favorite part is that the words “cross check” are written inside hockey sticks.


Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

I have done 90% of the marketing myself. I did pay for a few marketing services initially but found that my effort to seek out new readers and spread news about my books via “word of mouth” was the best promotion on the market.

In addition to that, I create custom designed book video ads (trailers) for both myself and other authors. I think these commercials for books are a fabulous marketing concept.


Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Really the only books I can think of that would be at all similar are the hockey romance books by author Deirdre Martin. I’m a big fan of her work. However, I think my book is special because it features a strong mystery/suspense element and has a fast paced action and thriller feel to it that is lacking from most traditional romances.


Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

I love this question.

In this scene, Danny is preparing dinner for Jana. I mean…really…is there anything sexier than a man who knows how to cook?


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Absolutely. I have four books in progress right now. One is a paranormal suspense set in New Orleans and another is a historical romance set in ancient Ireland and there are many others in various stages of development and crafting.

I love writing and if I only had more hours in the day (or a full time nanny) I could get all the ideas out of my head and down on the page.


Q: Thank you for your interview, Kerri Nelson. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

The best place for information about me is to visit my website at www.kerrinelson.com . All my books are available directly from the individual publisher’s website and many other online providers including Amazon.com.

Thank you very much for this opportunity!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Special Guest: Sharon Donovan, author of MASK OF THE BETRAYER

We have a special guest today! Sharon Donovan is here with us to talk about her latest book, Mask of the Betrayer! Enjoy!

Special Note: Sharon, unfortunately, won't be here with us today because she had a heart attack and is being hospitalized until she can go home. If everyone would please keep her in your prayers, we would greatly appreciate it. We at The Writer's Life wish her a speedy recovery!

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What would you do if you realized you had just married a serial killer? Margot Montgomery faces this dilemma in Mask of the Betrayer, book one in the sequel series.

When the whispers in the night, the whispers of her lover, are the whispers of a killer, will Margot escape before she becomes the next victim?

Deep in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon, a serial killer stalks. He leaves his signature—a skull mask on the corpse. But when the homicide cop realizes the crimes are the reenactment of a case never solved ten years ago--all fingers point to Michael DeVeccio. And when Margot realizes she is married to the killer, her life becomes a living nightmare.

MASK OF THE BETRAYER opens with MICHAEL DEVECCIO (The Hunter) killing his uncle when he learns he is guilty of committing the ultimate crime. As sole beneficiary to the billion dollar empire, Michael fancies himself king of the world. Determined the dynasty will thrive for generations, he sets out to find the perfect woman to produce the heir to his kingdom. Fiercely determined to rule the world with absolute power, he will demolish anyone who gets in his way, beginning with his fiance. And when Michael meets his dream woman, he decides she is the perfect woman worthy enough to produce his heir.

Chicago art curator MARGOT MONTGOMERY is a business savvy woman with strawberry-blonde hair, bewitching green eyes and high moral standards. She has no time for a serious relationship. But when she meets Michael DeVeccio, 180 pounds of raw, sexual energy, brilliant blue eyes that could melt an iceberg and the face of a fallen angel, she becomes totally enraptured and totally his. But when she learns Michael is the prime suspect in his fiancĂ©’s murder, a woman she knew nothing about, she fears she is his alibi. And when she learns Michael was also the prime suspect in his uncle’s death ten years ago, her trust in Michael wavers. Throwing herself into her upcoming exhibit, she ignores Michael’s attempts to win back her trust. But when police find nothing incriminating, Margot tosses caution to the wind and accepts his marriage proposal. But when his ex-wife is murdered at a masquerade, Margot is inclined to believe the hot looking detective with the “Don’t mess with me attitude.”

ENTER DETECTIVE DIEGO SANTIAGO

Part Spanish and part Navajo Indian, Santiago has long mahogany hair that he wears in a ponytail, brooding brown eyes that sear straight to the soul, and a sixth sense that makes him see things other cops miss. With the slick moves of a night predator, he vows to prove DeVeccio is the killer. Frustrated that Margot married Michael, he tells himself his concern for her safety isn’t personal, but when he admits his attraction, he berates himself and draws a hard line between duty and desire.

While in Tuscany on their honeymoon, Michael’s home until the age of twelve when his parents’ car went off a cliff, he shares bitter-sweet memories with his bride. Margot discovers inner demons haunt her new husband.

Back from their honeymoon, Margot’s happiness is short-lived when her husband demands she produce a son immediately or face the consequences. Shocked at his chauvinistic attitude, she is enraged and wants out of the marriage. Obsessed with his new bride, Michael refuses to grant her a divorce and places threats on her and family members unless she does as she is told.

Meanwhile, Michael methodically plans further executions of those who have betrayed him. When more bodies are discovered, corpses shrouded with the death mask, Margot is convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt she is married to the serial killer and turns to Santiago. And while working in close contact to trap a killer, Margot and Santiago fall in love and realize they are soulmates, destined to meet. Michael gives her an ultimatum -- produce his son in one month or die.

Will Margot meet her bizarre deadline? Will Santiago prove that Michael DeVeccio is the demented psychopath stalking the foothills of Red Rock Canyon? And most of all, will Santiago rescue his sweet Margarita from the manipulative hands of a madman?

I hope you have enjoyed this little teaser of Mask of the Betrayer. I truly enjoyed writing it and am hard at work on the sequel. Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your comments!

Sharon Donovan lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she was a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. Painting was her passion. When she could no longer paint, she began attending creative writing classes and memoir workshops. After a long and winding road, a new dream arose. Today, instead of painting her pictures on canvas, Sharon paints her pictures with words. Sharon writes stories of inspiration and suspense. She has certificates in business and medical transcription. She is a published author with The Wild Rose Press, White Rose Publishing, Whimsical Publications and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Echo of a Raven received a CTRR award for outstanding writing, and The Claddagh Ring is a 2009 CAPA nominee. To read excerpts and reviews of Sharon’s books and to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website at www.sharonadonovan.com.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why I Love Chick Lit by Maya Jax


We have a special guest today! Maya Jax, author of Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me, is here with us to talk about why she loves chick lit. Enjoy!

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Why I Love Chick Lit

by Maya Jax


I read The Devil Wears Prada over a year after it was released and it was the first chick lit book I ever read. Before that I’d only read John Grisham and spy novels , so TDWP blew my mind. It was instant love with chick lit and it’s been going strong ever since. And these are the reasons why I love it so very much:

A little bit of me in each character

Bridget Jones. My god I love this woman. How genius to have such an imperfect character trying to make her own life better and getting it wrong almost every time. She’s totally human! And she’s so lovable because we can see parts of ourselves in her. I know I am far from perfect and I love that chick lit reminds me that we’re all in the same imperfect boat.

Happy endings – the Disney kind

It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still love happily ever after. Literature is great. I’m a huge Shakespeare fan, but when it comes down to it, life has enough ups and downs. When I invest time in a story, I want to know that the character I’ve grown to love is going to be okay when I finish the last page. I love that chick lit ties everything together in a big girly bow.

I would lend her my favorite shoes

After I finished Confessions of a Shopaholic, I felt like I’d just read about a friend. I want Becky Bloomwood to do well in life. I want her marriage to work, and her job to make her happy. I hope her children are healthy and that they aren’t too hard on her when they’re in their teens. I wish for her the same things I wish for my best friend. I can’t think of any other genre where I consistently want to add the main character to my inner circle of friends.

Chick lit takes the best parts of being a girl – the fun, the friends, ups, downs, imperfections we can’t get over – and brings it into a hilarious little escape from reality. It makes us laugh, cringe and feel human. That’s the beauty of chick lit.

Loving spy and mystery novels, Maya Jax entertained the idea of being a secret agent and started working at an embassy overseas while doing her master’s in international relations. During this time, she finished her first screenplay, an action/thriller about spies and nuclear weapons. She pitched it to a friend in Hollywood, who told her she had talent, but to never – ever – show anyone the script again. Realizing her love for writing was stronger than her desire to spy and fight crime, she attempted a second screenplay focusing on what she knew best — trying to make it as a writer. The screenplay turned into a manuscript and the result was chick lit novel Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me. You can read more about Maya at www.mayajax.com.

Friday, August 13, 2010

How to Write a Great Historical Fiction Novel by Soren Paul Petrek


We have a special guest today! Soren Paul Petrek, author of Cold Lonely Courage, is here with us to talk about how to write a great historical fiction novel. Enjoy!
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How to Write a Great Historical Fiction Novel

by Soren Paul Petrek

Writers of great historical fiction all have a passion for the study of history. Often times a specific period in history will captivate a writer’s imagination and lead them to write a story immersed in that time frame. It becomes an overwhelming need to ‘participate’, if only tangentially, in the events of the time, whether monumental or commonplace.

The story must be true to the time and accurately chronicle the major events of the period. One shouldn’t ‘rewrite’ the important historical events; rather work with them to coordinate the action as the novel develops. As history has a known outcome, the characters and action must fit in smoothly within the parameters of historical fact. Great historical fiction is the ‘story’ within the ‘story’. Every piece of important history is comprised of countless perspectives, participants and individual factors that an entire novel should only revolve around one or two pieces of the puzzle. Trying to do too much and include vast amounts of information will detract from what the writer is trying to accomplish. The task of fiction writers is to entertain and in the context of an historical novel to educate the reader on some scale about the people and events of the time. Those of us who love historical fiction find the ‘educational component’ one of the main draws of the genre.

A writer must decide whether to allow the events of the period to carry the story or the characters and plot line the writers creates. Focusing on the historical facts may well distract the reader and cause them to lose the story in a myriad of details. I believe that an entertaining historical novel serves to pique the reader’s interest in the time period and lead them to further study. We have so many incredible resources for the study of history at our fingertips that a reader can delve into them at whatever level they choose. A writer should leave the fine detail to those resources and stick with the story their passion requires them to tell.

You can visit Soren’s blog at http://coldlonelycourage.blogspot.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paula Deen's Savannah Style makes it easy to bring gracious Southern living to your home

With its lush gardens, stately town houses, and sprawling plantations, Savannah is the epitome of old Southern style, and who better to give you the grand tour than Paula Deen, the city’s most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine?

In this gorgeous, richly illustrated book, Paula Deen shares a full year of Southern living.

Whether it’s time to put out your best china and make a real fuss, or you’re just gathering for some sweet tea on the porch at dusk, Savannah style is about making folks feel welcome in your home. With the help of decorator and stylist Brandon Branch, you’ll learn how to bring a bit of Southern charm into homes from Minnesota to Mississippi. For each season, there are tips on decorating and entertaining. In the spring, you’ll learn how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, spruce up your porch, and make your garden inviting. In the summer, things get more casual with a dock party. Sleeping spaces, including, of course, the sleeping porch, are the focal point of this chapter. In the fall, cooler weather brings a return to more formal entertaining in the dining room, and in the winter, attention returns to the hearth, as Paula and her neighbors put out their best silver and show you how they celebrate the holidays.

Paula loves getting a peek at her neighbors’ parlors, so she’s included photographs of some of Savannah’s grandest homes. From the vast grounds of Lebanon Plantation to the whimsically restored cottages on Tybee Island, you’ll see the unique blend of old-world elegance and laid-back hospitality that charmed Paula the moment she arrived from Albany, Georgia, with nothing but two hundred dollars and a pair of mouths to feed. And she isn’t shy about giving you a window into her own world, either. From her farmhouse kitchen to her luxurious powder room, you’ll see how Paula lives when she’s not in front of the camera.

Packed with advice and nostalgia, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style makes it easy to bring gracious Southern living to homes north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Paula Deen is the quintessential American success story, a best-selling author and a television show host, a tastemaker to the stars and to the everyday housewife and family. She is Paula Deen, a down-home, strong willed mom who overcame personal tragedy, long odds, financial and physical challenges to carve one of the most effective and wide ranging entertainment brands that exists today. A brand that is idyllic, inspiring, fun and very much American.

For all her success, the Albany, Georgia native has remained very grounded, in part due to her down home Southern upbringing. She married her high school sweetheart, became a young mom to two sons, and appeared to be living the life she desired, before a series of tragedies, from the death of her parents and the failure of her marriage to a prolonged battle with agoraphobia changed the course of her life forever.

However out of those changes came the success that laid the foundation for the Paula Deen of today, someone who inspires millions through her regular appearances on Oprah, cooks for world leaders, is a best-selling author, and is seen concurrently on three shows running on The Food Network.

The one constant in Deen’s life has always been cooking. It was a staple of her young upbringing, and when times became difficult it was what she knew and could turn back to. In June of 1989, with a $200 budget and the help of sons Jamie and Bobby, she became “The Bag Lady,” creating a home-based meal delivery service in Savannah, Georgia that started the rise. From there, Deen moved to preparing meals at a Savannah Best Western, and followed that five years later by opening her first restaurant, The Lady and Sons, in Savannah.

The popularity of the restaurant led Deen into publishing. Her 1997 cookbook, The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook, gave her growing fan base the opportunity to try Deen’s recipes at home for the first time, and led to her first appearance on QVC, which took the brand from regional to national and began a stretch of consecutive New York Times best selling cookbooks. The growth continued unabated, and in 1999 USA Today food critic Jerry Shriver named The Lady and Sons International Meal of the year.

Deen’s success in publishing, where she has sold over eight million books, then translated into the magazine world, and Cooking with Paula Deen, her bi-monthly title, launched shortly thereafter, growing to a circulation of over one million.

Not to be outdone with print and restaurant success, the Deen brand then moved to television. “Paula’s Home Cooking” premiered on The Food Network in November of 2002, to huge audience success, and spawned her second show, “Paula’s Party” in 2006. Today Deen has four shows running concurrently on the Food Network, including the latest, “Paula’s Best Dishes“, which launched in 2008.

The next evolution of the brand took place in March of 2008, when Meyer Corp launched the line of Paula Deen signature cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools and accessories both online and at retail, continuing the immersion experience for the brand with consumers.

In 2009, the Deen brand underwent further expansion with an added group of quality strategic partners. Wal-mart launched a new, exclusive line of affordable baked goods, while Smithfield, Kaleen, Nitches, Meyer, Universal, B. Lloyd’s, GOBO, Harrah’s, Quality foods, International Greeting and Cooking.com also began new or expanded partnerships in a host of categories. A compete digital relaunch, the expansion of special edition publications featuring both herself and her brand partners also came into play, making sure the Paula Deen name stayed fresh, relevant, and timely with a growing and more diverse consumer.

Even with the continued expansion, and more planned on a global level in 2010, Paula Deen has remained true to her fans, viewers and readers that look to her name for style, taste and inspiration in the kitchen and the home, all reflective of a climate where quality does not have to be sacrificed due to a challenging economy.

Her latest book is Paula Deen’s Savannah Style.

Visit her website at www.pauladeen.com.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Inspiration Behind YA Ficton 'Crossed Out' by Kim Baccellia

We have a great guest post today from young adult fiction author Kim Baccellia. Kim is the author of several books including Earrings of Ixtumea and her latest, Crossed Out. She is here today to tell us the inspiration behind Crossed Out. Enjoy!

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The Inspiration Behind Crossed Out
by Kim Baccellia

The inspiration behind my story Crossed Out came after a full day of attending writing workshops at the Maui Writer’s Conference back in 2004. At that time I was pitching my YA multicultural fantasy Earrings of Ixtumea to a couple agents and editors. I was also writing an edgier YA based on the craziness of my teen life growing up with a violent bipolar father. So writing a paranormal was the last thing on my mind.

My husband told me he had an idea for another story. Curious, I asked what it was. Using the ‘what if’ scenario, he asked what would happen if it was someone’s job to make those crosses you see on the side of the road. That person not only made crosses but helped the dead cross over to the other side.

I couldn’t help but think of my own sister, Colette that had been murdered by her ex boyfriend back in 1993. That event totally changed my whole family who never in a bazillion years thought someone we loved would be killed in this matter. No matter what anyone says, you never really get over a tragedy like that.

I decided to use a personal experience I had right after the death of Colette. What would happen if those who’d been killed in a violent matter didn’t know that they were in fact dead? The main job of the ‘rescuer’ would be to decorate a cross with something that reflected the life of the recently deceased. This would help the dead cross over.

Only later did I find there are people who are in charge of making those wooden crosses for MADD. One of these gentlemen even joked telling me he didn’t know that he had another responsibility with making those crosses!

Another thing that weighed heavily on my mind is why just settle with crosses? Not all people believe in them. My brother-in-law is Muslim so I asked for some input on having a Muslim crossing.

I also wanted to show a teen that struggles with her gift. I have a hard time believing that all people with paranormal abilities embrace them. And this feeling was reinforced with the recent TV show Psychic Kids.

I hope to continue Stephanie’s story in a sequel to Crossed Out. I’m currently working on that. Also I have Dylan’s POV and maybe will revisit him too.

Visit Kim on the web at www.kimbaccellia.com.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Interview with Maya Jax, author of 'Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me'

Loving spy and mystery novels, Maya Jax entertained the idea of being a secret agent and started working at an embassy overseas while doing her master’s in international relations. During this time, she finished her first screenplay, an action/thriller about spies and nuclear weapons. She pitched it to a friend in Hollywood, who told her she had talent, but to never - ever - show anyone the script again. Realizing her love for writing was stronger than her desire to spy and fight crime, she attempted a second screenplay focusing on what she knew best -- trying to make it as a writer. The screenplay turned into a manuscript and the result was chick lit novel Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Maya. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me?

Escapades is my first time being published, so I’ve only been writing professionally since December, but the story line was inspired by my failed attempts at selling screenplays in Hollywood. I had always wanted to be a spy. James Bond, Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne, these are all people that I wanted as colleagues. My path started to go along that route, but on the way I wrote a screenplay about spies and nuclear weapons, then showed it to a friend in Hollywood. He hated the script, but encouraged me to keep writing. Soon after, I had an incident with a crazed The Devil Wears Prada fan that tuned me into chick lit. I’d never read anything in the genre before, but as soon as I finished Weisberger’s novel, I realized the voice in my head was more Becky Bloomwood than Batman. It inspired me to try writing chick lit and what came out eventually turned into Escapades.


Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

The title was the hardest part. It was very last minute. I wanted it to be playful, which is where Escapades came from, and touch on Lelaina’s weak points, so romantically challenged seemed to fit, but it took quite awhile to get there. For a long time the working title was The Diary of Lelaina Zane, but I thought that was too close to Bridget Jones.


Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

I love chick lit, but most of the main characters have some kind of glamour in their life, when usually the struggle to become what you want is anything but glamorous. Escapades has the humor and style of a chick lit novel, but centers around life’s struggle to balance hope and expectations -- glamour-free.

Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Lipstick Ninja Press have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

I designed the cover myself. I saw the image of those cartoon legs and they made me think of Lelaina, cute but unsure, so it went from there. I’m really happy with how it turned out.


Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

I’ve handled most of the marketing on my own. We started with a field marketing campaign on launch day. Lelaina dresses as Catwoman in chapter one to get the attention of a Hollywood agent, so we had women dressed as super heroes handing out emery boards imprinted with the book’s info in Chicago, LA and New York. It was a great campaign, but since my book is available exclusively through online bookstores, I’m now concentrating only on virtual marketing.


Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Lelaina makes me think of a little sister to Bridget Jones. Both Bridget and Lelaina try really hard to make things work, usually ending in a comedy of disasters. But while Bridget is about self-improvement, Lelaina is about knowing when to give up on an unsuccessful career path if an easier road appears.


Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Lelaina wants to prove that someone has been illegally evicted from their apartment, so she’s climbing onto a dumpster in an alley to take pictures through a window for evidence.


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, I want to do a sequel and start right where Lelaina finishes in Escapades.


Q: Thank you for your interview, Maya. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you! My website is www.mayajax.com and Escapades is available at major online book retailers, like Amazon and Kobo.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Interview with Historical Romance Writer Leonora Pruner, Author of Close to His Heart



A love of reading became a love of writing when Leonora Borge Pruner moved from Iowa with her parents to her maternal grandparents in Pasadena, California, in the middle of the Second World War. A friend’s correspondence based the paper doll stories they used to play evolved into working on her grandfathers ancient typewriter creating stories and plays, none finished. She married after graduating from Westmont College, raised two children and became a writing homemaker. She worked for Rayne and Raytheon Corporations, took an MBA degree from Pepperdine College and became the operations manager for World Christian Magazine. Spurred by a writing project she went to Maldives in the middle of the Indian Ocean and remained for 10 years where she wrote the first drafts of her recent book. She now has 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

You can find out more about Close to His Heart by visiting the publisher's website at http://nordskogpublishing.com/book-close-to-his-heart.shtml

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Leonora. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Close to His Heart?

A: My enjoyment in the writing process began in junior high and evolved through various unfinished projects and Adult Education courses until, in the 1960s, I set aside my mornings to write after the children departed for elementary school. I became fascinated with a character in the Wonderful World of Disney’s series titled The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. What if Dr. Syn was a different sort of parson? There were similarities between him and my very favorite character The Scarlet Pimpernel. Dr. Syn led me into five years of research and note taking as I immersed myself in everything I could find regarding 18th century southern England. Wherever the family went, my husband and children would go shopping while I went to the library. For several years my perfect manuscript was returned from publishers. I happened upon a book rack in a grocery store. I noticed the imprint on one book and thought if they liked that one, they might like mine. I took it off the closet shelf and submitted it. They liked it! Finally, my first novel was published in 1981, over five years after I typed The End.

One cannot waste all that research on a single book, so I wrote another, not a sequel, but about neighbors, which was published in 1987. By then I was living in Maldives with a Maldivian family collecting folk tales. Again characters came to life in my imagination, and I wrote based on what I recalled of my research. Four books were born during my decade there. Close to His Heart was one of them.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

A: Actually, my original title was Times Out of Mind referring to an accident resulting in amnesia. As the story continued to grow and refine, I changed my working title to Love is…, thinking of exploring the many kinds of love we experience. After reading the manuscript, the publisher’s wife came up with the present title. She picked it up from Lord Buryhill’s use of a brooch made of Grace’s hair (popular in those days) symbolizing their relationship.



Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

A: Of course, I found the characters and events fascinating. The storyline involves two people who meet, marry, have serious problems and learn to resolve them, growing through that experience. I believe it is vital for people to learn to forgive each other and avoid leaping to obvious conclusions which might actually be incorrect. Love is too precious to be crushed when a romantic ideal fails to materialize. It takes nurturing work and commitment for a relationship to grow into a deep, mature love in which the focus shifts from self-pleasing to being other centered, what we think of as mature or agape love.

Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Nordskog Publishing, Inc. have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

A: Of course the ideas for the illustration went through a number of ideas. I worked with the person Nordskog assigned to develop the cover, mainly trying to make the design appropriate to the era and the story. It came out very well, don’t you think, incorporating the main characters, a horse, and Haley’s comet?

Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

A: I am a writer, lacking the necessary marketing connections, except for a few locally. Fortunately, Nordskog has connected with a publicity firm which arranged some interviews for me and a virtual book tour during the month of August.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

A: I am not aware of a comparable book. Using the intriguing background of 18th century England, I sought to illuminate some of the injuries arising in many marriages such as damaging misunderstandings needing to be worked through and forgiven. And, I also highlighted the impact of a person’s spiritual life or lack of it affecting the relationship. This have a powerful healing effect in the lives of people and adds a deeper dimension to the story. I enjoyed Georgette Heyer’s books of the Georgian and Regent periods

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

A: On the first page we meet Grace Carstares attempting to slip quietly out of her room and elope with one of her father’s footmen, stepping into an endless life of happiness. However, a man lying across the doorway prevents her. Before trying to step over him, she inspects him by candlelight wondering who he is and why he is there. He opens his eyes suddenly and immediately she is breathlessly in her room braced against her door. Several more unsuccessful attempts leave her frustrated and despairing. Later that morning, her father introduces her to Lord Buryhill, the son of a business associate, the very man aborting her escape. She is horrified to learn her father has granted him permission to court her. Not likely she’ll accept him – or will she, in time?

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes. Nordskog plans to publish another book, In The Aerie of the Wolf in the coming months. It is set in Yorkshire during the same era. And there are two other incomplete manuscripts hiding on my computer. I am working on one of them now.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Leonora. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Thank you for your kind interest. Close to His Heart is available through Amazon.com along with my first two books now out of print. Your readers might also try to order it through their local bookstore saving the postage charge. Sorry to say, I do not have a website, twitter, and so forth – yet.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Interview with Tina Martin, author of 'Secrets on Lake Drive'

Tina Martin was born in Ahoskie, North Carolina and developed a love for writing in high school. She pursued creative writing courses in college and in 2007, self-published her first poetry book, Love Like Yours. She now uses her prolific style of writing to pen fiction novels, the latest being, Secrets On Lake Drive (Xpress Yourself Publishing) available now.

You can read more about Tina at her website at www.tinamartinbooks.com.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Tina. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Secrets On Lake Drive?

Tina: I’ve been writing professionally for about 5 years now. Secrets On Lake Drive came along just when I thought I would quit writing, but there was just something about this story that I had to get out of my head and on paper to share with the world.


Q: I love your title! Can you tell us why you chose it?

Tina: The novel takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Drive, the stretch of road that borders the beautiful Lake Michigan. One of the main characters, Sean, lives in a mansion on Lake Drive and he’s the guy with all the secrets.


Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Tina: Because I wrote it so well, and it’s so emotional. It will engage and entertain my readers.


Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing, have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

Tina: Well, I pretty much told the publisher what I was looking for in a book cover and they came through with this well chosen cover that I am so happy with. Plus, I get a lot of ladies asking me who that hot guy is on the cover of my book.

Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

Tina: I’m doing must of the marketing myself via email, word of mouth, flyers, book tours etc. I will probably have someone take over the marketing soon. I want to spend my time writing.


Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Tina: Hmm…not really sure what book it can compare to since my work is so original. It’s different and unique because I take time to develop my characters so readers can identify with them, either love them or hate them.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Tina: In this scene, Monica runs into Sean and his son at Summerfest. She’s intrigued by Sean’s looks – his blue, sleeveless hoodie, fresh white shoes and Gucci shades. Since they still had tension between them from the words they exchanged at the parent-teacher conference, she doesn’t quite know what to say to him so she walks away after briefly speaking.


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Tina: I’m not going to write a follow up novel to Secrets On Lake Drive. It’s pretty much one-novel book. I am, however, working on other novels. I think readers will find my novel, Another Man’s Treasure, due to be released this winter very intriguing.


Q: Thank you for your interview, Tina. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Tina: Please visit my website to get the latest news on me and other upcoming book releases: www.tinamartinbooks.com. You can also look me up on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tinamartinbooks and visit my fun blog: www.authortinamartin.blogspot.com.


Secrets On Lake Drive is available now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Interview with Harry J. Saranchak, author of 'Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence

Dr. Harry J. Saranchak earned a B.A. degree cum laude from Georgetown and followed it with an M.D. from University of Connecticut School of Medicine. For 30 years he was a vascular and general surgeon in three Connecticut hospitals, and for 25 of those he was also educator and mentor to medical students, residents and colleagues—while receiving eight Golden Scalpel awards for teaching excellence. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Saranchak co-authored seven medical journal articles from 1974 to 1984. After retiring from his private practice at Grove Hill Medical Center in New Britain, CT, he wrote Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence.

You can visit his website at http://www.harryjsaranchak.com.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Harry. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence?

Harry: After over 35 years as a surgeon I have seen much suffering. When I retired, I knew I needed to write a fictional story about the search for a cure, the cause and effect of disease, and mans inhumanity to man.


Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

Harry: Hippocrates is the father of medicine. Fathers are supposed to protect their children. When this oath is betrayed, the event becomes a medical thriller.


Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Harry: I like to teach, so I thought that the reader could walk away with a new perspective on the real healthcare issue , Who profits when you get sick? And why? How? Why not profit from your own life for as long as you can?


Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Xlibris, have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

Harry: Kristina Oliver is the artist who designed the cover. Many people do not see the figure within the lush forest and vegetation. I believe that each of us is an artist of some sort, so I let Kristina design the cover as the novel to her.


Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

Harry: Marketing is a huge part of exposing this novel to potential readers. I tried to market it on my own, but then got help.


Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Harry: I have not come across another medical thriller quite like Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes against Innocence. As humans we can become very venerable especially when our lives are at stake.

Who does decide who lives and who dies?


Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Harry: I am on page 83-84. I am in a cave watching and being watched. ……generations are being lost to experimentation” I cried. I am in animated horror.


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Harry: Yes. I am working on a novel about a magician. Some of the action takes place in the Magic Castle in L.A. I dabbled in magic for many years and enjoyed helping several local charities by performing.


Q: Thank you for your interview, Harry. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Harry: Barnes and Noble .com Xlibris.com Amazon.com or a Google search will bring up independent book sellers.