Posts Tagged ‘Indie author’

Workspace Wednesday welcomes Wendy Ely

Today I welcome a new-to-me author, Wendy Ely, whom I met on some of my Internet travels. Wendy has a new book coming out, so this appearance is timely!

Take it away, Wendy!

 

WENDY ELI:  Norah, thank you so much for letting me be part of Workplace Wednesday! I’m so excited to share this private part of my life.

 

 

Here is where the words magically flow from my fingertips… or I bang my head on the desk. HA! My actual work area. I’m so proud of that computer. Pink is my favorite color and my honey picked this laptop out for me because the keys glow in whatever color I choose. Also in this picture is my work bulletin board that is half whiteboard (and I always find loving or silly notes added from my family). I use the other board for inspiration. We’ve recently moved and most of my inspirational items fell off. Right now I have a picture of me with my siblings. I won that board and the animal print pencil container from my local RWA chapter. My desk has an extra pullout shelf for a keyboard. I use a laptop so this extra part of my desk provides extra space to work… usually when I put pen to paper.

 

 

This little table sits next to my desk and adds extra storage to my workspace. My kids bought me that clock many years ago. The drawing (that really needs to be framed) hanging on the wall was done for me from a friend. On this table you’ll also notice some essentials such as: Bath and Body Works body spray (Paris), EOS lip balm, and my Post-it note holder. I also keep two books that I always use: The Writer’s Thesaurus and The Emotion Thesaurus. The shelf holds extra copies of my books and my cat often sleeps here. What you don’t see is the double doors near the bottom. I keep stacks of notebooks here.

 

 

I have been reduced to 1 bookshelf at this house. Sigh. As you can see, I need a few more. My “to be read” books are here, but I keep my writing resource books and autographed books separate. You’ll also see a black and white photo of my kids when they were younger.

 

 

Here is the top of my shelf. My books that are in print are on display here. I also have a little figurine that a former daycare child gave me for my birthday. See that vase of roses? My RWA chapter gives a rose for every book published. I’m so proud of these.

 

 

Here is my shelf of autographed books and important things. I love having books autographed by the authors and I’ll keep these books forever. You’ll also notice a hat sitting on top. A dear friend gave this to me. The back reads, “Thomas.” The white container holds my paperclips (usually glitter pretty clips!) and the rest of the figurines were given to me by friends. Can you tell I love fairies?

 

 

But the best part of my office is my assistant. Kujo follows me everywhere and often lounges in my office while I work. Here she is sprawled out on my chair.  Good thing I looked down before I sat, huh? She used to sleep on my desk, but she doesn’t fit anymore.

 

Thank you for stopping by my workplace! In honor of my post, I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of my brand new release Dangerous Flames.

 

Dangerous Flames

Sometimes heroes are taught to do really bad things…

Mikolas Russo is one hit away from becoming part of the Medini crime family. But is this what he really wants?  Killing people for money is what he has been trained to do even though he’d give anything to trade the nightmares for sweet dreams of the forbidden Gabrielle. Thinking he has the chance to reveal his feelings to her, he arrives at her house to find her brandishing a loaded gun, ready to take control.

During Gabrielle’s teen years, she attended a private school in Italy. This is where she learns the meaning of Mafia but believed crime families no longer existed. Now back in Las Vegas and demanding answers to the hard questions, she quickly learns that the Mafia still has a hand in controlling society and her father is the Don of the largest mob in the area.

The Mafia doesn’t seem so glamorous any more after a hit is taken out on her father, especially when Gabrielle has reason to believe that her secret love’s safety is in jeopardy too.

Will the truth fulfill her desires, or will Mikolas be the one to shatter everything?

 

You can find Wendy Ely on the Internet in these places:

Amazon (check out her current releases).

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Email Wendy: authorwendyely@gmail.com

 

Thank you for that lovely tour, Wendy! And LOL – I keep my authographed books and special keepers on a different shelf too. They deserve it. ,-)

Okay, my lovelies, you know the drill — comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of Wendy’s new release, Dangerous Flames.

 

 

Workspace Wednesday welcomes

I am so pleased to welcome Cynthia Woolf for today’s edition of Workspace Wednesday. In my view, Cynthia epitomizes the talented, hard-working indie author, and she is always producing new material. She’s an active blogger who has done a ton to try to help other indie authors achieve some profile. I’m happy to have the chance to try to do the same for her. Please welcome Cynthia Woolf.

 

CYNTHIA WOOLF:  Thanks for having me on Workspace Wednesday.  I think it’s a fun idea but I was hesitant to show pictures of my workspace.  I’m a bit of a pack rat and so my desk and wall is cluttered.  My husband has the other half of the office and his workspace is worse than mine.

We turned the smallest of our three bedrooms into an office.  Me on one side of it and him on the other.  It usually works out pretty well.  Sometimes we’ll knock each others’ chairs when we both try to get up at the same time but that doesn’t happen too often.

 

 

The frames on the wall are of awards and my rankings for my last three books.  They reached up to #1 in Books-Western on Amazon and I wanted to commemorate it.  I’m actually a #1 bestselling author.  In Western’s anyway.  Someday I hope to be number one over all.  Which is exactly what we all hope for.

I don’t have a view from my workspace, I face the wall, but if I did look out the window it would just be at the neighbor’s house so we keep the curtains closed all the time.  What I’d like to do, eventually, is move my office into the breakfast nook.  The view from there is great.  It’s of Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  For me, having grown up in the mountains, being able to see one as unique as Long’s Peak, everyday from my desk would be heaven.

If you look hard at the picture of the wall you’ll see the cover for my WIP, Fiery Bride.  I think the cover is beautiful.  Of course, I love all my covers.  Currently, my husband is printing them all out and we are going to frame them and then hang them around the top of the walls just below the ceiling.  When that gets full (notice I say when and not if) then we’ll start on the second row.

I’ve got my latest release, Heiress Bride, in a frame but not on the wall yet, otherwise I’d have it prominently in the picture.  You can see part of it on my monitor, which I just bought.  My vision is bad and even with new glasses I wasn’t able to see the stuff on the monitor clearly.  So we went and got me a new monitor.  A 27” monitor.  It’s huge and I can see everything.  It would probably be too big for most people but for me, it’s perfect.

 

 

Thanks again for having me.  Hope everyone has a wonderful day.  Oh, I almost forgot.  I’m giving away two prizes today.  One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Heiress Bride, my latest release and another commenter will receive a $5 Starbucks card.  Be sure and leave a comment and put your email address in the comment to be entered into the drawing for the prizes.

 

Heiress Ella Davenport survived a carriage accident that killed her father. Her life saved in exchange for savage scars marring her beautiful face. Her friends, socialites, showed their true colors, casting Ella aside like damaged goods and leaving her a social pariah. Even her wealth can’t buy her the kind of marriage she wants. Desperate to find a husband who can accept her despite her scars and, without knowing about her money, she seeks to become a mail order bride. Matchmaker & Co. is her one chance to start over and leave the pain and betrayal far behind her.

Nathan Ravenclaw was run out of town by the father of the girl he was courting once he discovered Nathan’s Arapaho heritage. It didn’t matter that Nathan was a successful rancher, businessman, and a positive member of society. The white community suddenly saw only a half-breed. Even his money couldn’t buy him a wife. That was ten years ago. He moved and rebuilt everything that cold rancher once took from him. He has it all…except a wife. Matchmaker & Company promises to send him a woman willing to start a new life with him. But Nathan’s battered heart lacks the ability to trust. He longs for children, not romance. His new bride, scarred and cast aside like himself, promises to be perfect for him. Until he meets his mail order bride. Fierce desire and an even more dangerous hope roar back to life within him. Two things he swore never to indulge in again.

And love? For these two battered souls, that’s the biggest risk of all

 

 

Thank you, Cynthia! And OMG, i can’t imagine working in such close quarters with my DH. Our workstations aren’t even on the same floor! LOL. But I love that monitor. I find I need really good lighting these days. I have a giant sun-strength light on my desk, but maybe a better idea would be a giant monitor…

Before I turn it over to comments to win Cynthia’s fabulous prizes, here is some contact info for her:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Okay, let’s get to it! Comment for a chance to win Cynthia’s latest book or the coveted $5 Starbucks card.

 

Workspace Wednesday welcomes Aithne Jaretta

 

Today I’m pleased to have Aithne Jaretta as my guest, sharing her workspace. I met Aithne through Indie Romance Ink, a terrific Yahoo Groups information exchange loop for indie authors. In a group of over 1200 people, it can be easy to be invisible, but Aithne has the kind of quirkiness I gravitate to.

 

BIO:  Once upon a time Aithne Jarretta tripped upon a ley line. Actually it had happened before, but she didn’t realize the ramifications until later. She brushed the incident aside and climbed into her car. Real life was the important factor at the moment. However, those RL moments wove into meeting new friends–the kind most people never see and definitely don’t chat much about. Those friends came with persistent voices. Eventually Aithne brought them out of the closet and politely called them Muses. They became her virtual traveling companions and still journey with her today.

 

 

Take it away, Aithne.

 

AITHNE: Thank you, Norah for inviting me to post on your blog about my writing workspace. ;)

 

First, I should mention that when I moved into this room last spring everything remained bare minimum for several months. That’s because I wanted to grow into my new workspace and let it evolve around me.

 

In the beginning I was comfortable with that. ;) The more time that I spent here made the space mine and finally one day I brought my first extra item in and placed it on my desk.

 

 

 

 

 

The picture of my youthful mother (small frame on left) has always fascinated my heart because it was taken before her children were born. I’m the youngest of five so it was a long time after that picture was taken before I came into this world.

 

Another reason that particular picture made it here is my avid interest in the lives of mothers and daughters. You could say that my mother is a ‘plot bunny’ because I’ve used the unspoken life experiences between m & d as part of my story building.

 

If you move attention slightly to your right and notice the books under my monitor, you’ll discover two very old dictionaries and a history book by Dr. Arnold Toynbee. Perhaps all that wisdom and knowledge will seep into my computer? Lol … I can only hope. I do wonder what Dr. Toynbee, a noted historian, 1889-1975, would think about being a pedestal for a modern day computer monitor. (Less strain on the neck having it so high = better brain flow… here I come, Toynbee!)

 

Next, is the boss at my desk. My grandson Chace inspires my heart with his gentle face and sweet smile. I live far away from him and only see him once a year. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve surrounded myself with family items.

 

The pencil holder was my mom’s. I inherited it in 1998 and like to think it’s a one of a kind artifact. (Someday it’ll work its way into a story line.)

 

Although I’ve had these items for years, the computer monitor and my whole set up comes from my son Jeremy. It’s only recently that I learned to make a folder of my book covers, store them on Dropbox, and attach them to my monitor so that I have a slideshow of my work. It’s a cool element for those times I sit and write story ideas and lines longhand. Inspiration swishing by. (That’s my latest release on the monitor.)

 

Last but not least you can see the small paperweight on the right. It’s a heart shaped goldstone. It’s there next to my keyboard and mouse because in my current wip it plays an important magical role.

 

Speaking of magical roles…

 

 

The picture Midsummer Eve (Edward Robert Hughes) has always inspired me with its faeries and youthful redheaded girl. If this workspace was meant for an author focusing on magical and paranormal elements this image had to be added. So, I took it down from the dining room and brought it in. lol There’s still a bare wall in the other room.

 

The other gold frame is another important bit of family history. On the left is a faded picture of my Great Granny Goode and her daughter, Granny S. (Another mother & daughter connection.)

 

Somewhere in here we needed a father and daughter. Naturally, that’s my dad and I Christmas 1983.

 

The great pumpkin grins with delight. My oldest son Bryan and his wife Amanda made the pumpkin last year. Do I need to admit that it doesn’t live in storage the rest of the year? I didn’t think so.

 

I’ve saved the sewing machine for last because it’s a prime example of using what we have and writing what you know. This sewing machine (the one doing an imitation of a console table in the picture above) made an important story element come to life in Enchanted Ravensong: Charmed Evermore. When the plot line called for a special security combination several personal items came into play and the pedal that makes the machine run was the key. It was so much fun to write!

 

Having little bits of my family around me while I work gives my workspace a feeling of comfort that feeds the imagination. Since writers spend so much time in front of their computers, we should each focus on our individual things we believe are important.

 

Thank you again, Norah. Hope you have a magical week!

 

That was very cool, Aithne! Thank you!

 

If you want to learn more about Aithne, you can check her out here:

Aithne Jarretta Website

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

 

Okay, after looking at all those lovely heirlooms Aithne surrounds herself with, our contest question presented itself. Tell us what your favorite family heirloom is and you’ll be entered for a chance to win Aithne’s Enchanted Ravensong. But everyone’s a winner today, because Aithne has also made Pearl Luster, a short story in her Touch Time & Soar mini-series, free on Amazon.com for the day.

 

So let the commenting begin! What is your favorite family heirloom?

 

Meet the very cool Shéa MacLeod

I’m very excited to have urban fantasy author Shéa MacLeod with me today. Why am I so excited? Because as you’ll soon see, she is made of sheer awesomeness.

Thanks, Norah!  I’ve always wanted to be made of sheer awesomeness. ;-)

 

Okay, Shéa, since I know you’re a bit of a sci-fi nerd, if you were a character in any sci-fi show, who would you be?

Aeryn Rand from Farscape.  She was such a strong character, full of depth.  She went from this tough warrior woman, blindly following orders and seemingly immune to emotion, to someone who loved deeply and protected those she loved.  Not only did that girl kick some serious ass, she also got to snog the delicious John Crichton.  And who wouldn’t want to do that? 

Who indeed! What got you started writing?

Reading.  My mom started reading to me pretty much in the womb.  Some of my earliest memories involve books and reading and trips to the library.  I loved the wonderful worlds that existed between the pages of books and longed to create my own.  I was always a story teller, even before I could write.  And I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I didn’t want to write novels.  It just took me awhile to believe I could actually do it.

You’ve got a brand new book out, right? Tell us about it.

Yes!  It’s an urban fantasy: Kissed by Darkness, Book One of the Sunwalker Saga.

I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and thought it would be cool to have a more adult story that involved a private detective agency that investigated the paranormal.  That sort of rattled around in my brain for years before morphing into something resembling an actual story.  And with the morphing Morgan Bailey was born.

Morgan isn’t the kind of character to sit quietly on a shelf, so her story came a bit fast and furious.  It’s the story of a woman who once had a normal life, but now must face her demons.  Literally.  And she does it with a grin and a snarky comment.  Or two.

A girl after my own heart! How many other books do you have planned in the Sunwalker Saga?

There are six total books in the series (book 2 is finished and I’m writing 3 as we speak).  Each one is key both to Morgan’s continuing development as a person, as well as the progression of the overall story arch which involves dragons, djinn, the sidhe and a lot more magic and mayhem. 

Okay, I’m always fascinated to know how authors view their own characters. So let’s say someone is making a movie from Kissed by Darkness and you get to cast it. Who would you cast as your kick-ass heroine? Other main roles? And would a casting couch be required? 

Oh, a casting couch is most DEFINITELY required!

There are four main characters in Kissed by Darkness who remain integral throughout the series.  First is our MC, Morgan Bailey.  Played by me. 

Kidding!  She’s actually the toughest one because I’ve never really come across an actress I thought would suit her to a “T”.  Maybe Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood, but she’d have to put on about 20 pounds. :) 

I’ve always seen Morgan’s best friend, Kabita Jones played by Claudia Black (the aforementioned Aeryn Sun).  Very strong, very striking, a little exotic.  Plus Claudia is a pretty versatile actress.

Inigo Jones was originally inspired by the Kyle Schmid from Blood Ties.  Someone cute, sweet, and just a tad geeky, but underneath pure steel.

Then there’s the Sunwalker, Jackson Keel, 900 year old Templar Knight.  And who else to play such a delectable role than the gorgeous Gerard Butler! (Hence the need for a casting couch.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

Now there’s a movie I want to see! [Hear that, Hollywood? That was Kissed by Darkness.]

If you were to Twitter this book in 140 characters, what would you say?

You’re getting blood on my carpet.  Again.

OMG, I love it! And how perfect.

Any other irons in the fire besides the Sunwalker books?

Yes!  I have two current WIPs.  The first is a post-apocalyptic paranormal romance with dragons.  (Everything is better with dragons.)  The second is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy scifi paranormal romance with a twist of steampunk set in what was once China.  Oh, yeah, there are aliens.  (Everything’s better with aliens.)

Favorite kind of read? Favorite author?

Hooo-boy!  That’s a tough one because I’m pretty eclectic.  I guess my all-time fave is probably apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic stories.  I don’t know what it is about them I like so much.  Maybe the whole idea of starting over fresh, or maybe it’s the struggle for survival and the drive to rebuild.  Think Stephen King’s The Stand, Justin Cronin’s The Passage, Ann Aguirre’s Enclave or Joss Ware’s Envy Chronicles.  Next (and very close) are urban fantasy, paranormal romance, scifi romance, and steampunk romance.  They’re just so much fun!  Think Nalini Singh (any of her books), Ann Aguirre’s Jax series, Gail Carriger.  Of course we mustn’t forget the wonder triplets: zombies, thrillers and mysteries.  For mysteries, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is an auto buy.  An old fave: Agatha Christie.  And my new fave: N.L. Wilson!   For zombies there’s Jack Wallen and Jesse Petersen. Thrillers: James Rollins (I’m a major fangirl.), Chris Kuzneski.

Told ya I was eclectic. 

What was the best piece of writing advice you got along the way?

Probably this quote from Stephen King: 

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.’

What was the last movie you saw?

Believe it or not, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  What can I say?  It was on cable.  But it was kind of a fun movie.  :) 

Cats or dogs?

Dogs.  I like cats, but I’m allergic.  And there’s just something about a dog.  Something so loving and dopey and ridiculously loyal.  We could all learn a lot from a dog. Besides, they can be trained to carry barrels of alcohol around their necks.  How cool is that?

Sam or Dean? (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I may have to pare back the 100% awesomeness tag to maybe 98%.)

Dean.  I mean, HELLO!  There IS no other answer.  (Also, excuse me for a moment.  I need to go wipe the drool off my face.)

A fellow-Dean girl! Okay, you might be 110% awesomeness. Any last words for readers?

I just want to say thanks to all the readers out there.  Reading is such a magical and exciting thing.  Without our readers, there wouldn’t be much point in writing.  Stories are meant to be shared. 

Thank you, Shéa, for that very fun interview!

Now, go buy Shéa’s book! It just as awesome as she is.

Meet Romantic Suspense Author Maureen A. Miller

Today I’m visited by Maureen A. Miller, a talented romantic suspense author who is currently killing it as one of the top 50 highest rated Indie authors on Amazon.com.

Maureen, you and I reconnected this year when we both went Indie, but we’d met before. Would you care to tell our readers how we met?

I ‘met’ the beautiful and talented Norah Wilson when we co-finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart awards many years ago. One thing about being a Golden Heart finalist that not many people know about is the camaraderie that goes on amongst the group.

Tell me what finaling in the Golden Heart meant for you.

It was a status to get your foot in the door.  Silhouette’s Intimate Moments line was courting my book, but it was too long of a word count at the time.

WIDOW’S TALE, your first book, helped you land that awesome rating on Amazon. Do you think there’s a resurgence of interest in contemporary Gothics?

That’s an interesting question. I believe today people associate the Gothic romance as more of a “Twilight”, or vampire-series premise. To me the traditional Gothic was anything with a dark, desperate setting.  If there is resurgence, I surely would like to pioneer it!

Tell me a little bit about your decision to go Indie. What factors influenced your decision? And did you ever dream your books would be so successful?

When WIDOW’S TALE made its rounds of word-chopping to meet the requirements of different publishing lines, it was reduced to about the size of a two-word novella.  I felt that the romance was one that I wanted to share in its entirety so I released the original length on Amazon. To my amazement it started climbing up the ranking ladder and has hovered in and out of the top 100 Romantic Suspense list on Amazon for almost two years now.  I never dreamed it would be successful.  I think I might have first published it so that I had a Christmas present ready for my grandmother. :-)

I see you are also writing for Carina, the epress imprint of romance giant Harlequin. How has that experience compared with your indie publishing efforts?

You can now officially call me a ‘mutt’ because I am both self and traditionally published.  There is a fraternity of self-published authors, where the support system is unlike anything you have experienced. But I was pleasantly surprised to experience the support and enthusiasm of my fellow Carina Press authors as well. One thing I have learned in this industry is that there is a lot of misconception going on. Self-publishing does not mean selfish. It means selfless. Traditional publishing does not mean aristocratic, it means heartening.

Well said, Maureen! Okay, for any fellow-writers in the audience, have you done anything special to get your books (especially the self-published ones) noticed?

I carry around a sign that says, “Will wash your car if you read my book.”

LOL! That should do it! Okay, being serious for a moment, as Indie authors, it’s easy for our books to get lost in the veritable ocean of self-published offerings. Is there another Indie author (or three) you’d like to give a shout-out to, whose books are worth searching for?

That is tough as there are so many talented Indie authors I know and have had the pleasure of reading their books…yourself included!

I enjoy the Red Cross of Gold series from Brendan Carroll.

I am currently reading the suspense novels of Vicky Tyley.

Maria E. Schneider’s mysteries are fun and Debra L. Martin’s science fiction is exciting.

But again, I could go on…

Thank you for being my guest today, Maureen. You’re every bit as charming in cyber-space as you are in … well, I guess I’ve only known you in cyber-space! Maybe we can remedy that in New York next month, at the RWA convention. In the meantime, happy writing!

Thank you, Miss Norah, for having me. You are a gracious hostess!

You can find Maureen on the web at www.maureenamiller.com. Go visit her. And buy her books. They rock.