Friday, October 31, 2014 | By: Cafe
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
- Ernest Hemingway
Thursday, October 30, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Angela Myron

The Write Way Café welcomes author Angela Myron. She's exploring in her books the Eastern concept that love can be a pathway for spiritual development.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     My first thought to write a book—that I remember—was in the second grade. I had a whole publication plan, a co-author/co-illustrator (another second-grader from church), and who today, is an accomplished author-artist, which is interesting, isn’t it? We both followed that dream.
     I’ve never really been one to think of myself as a romance writer. After all, I’m writing middle-grade fantasies at the moment, and there isn’t a lot of romance you can realistically put in the lives of eleven to thirteen year-olds—and rightly so.
     However, I have also been working on a paranormal mystery that has a romantic subplot. And the reasons I chose to include this part of the story—aside from most of my friends being romance writers—was a wish to explore the spiritual side of love. More specifically, the eastern idea that love can be used as a vehicle for spiritual development.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     My path to publishing started back when I was a corporate author-publisher, ie, a senior tech writer. I wrote, designed, published, and disseminated volumes for a couple decades before I mustered the courage to write what I wanted to. When that time came, I found I had little tolerance for the whims of traditional publishing. After all, I’d been publishing my own books for a very long time. So, with a great “harrumph!” I joined the billions of authors who were self-publishing. I attended a few conferences on self-pubbing and informed myself enough to do it properly, and put myself out there.
     Since then, I’ve learned a lot and have joined the wonderful author co-operative Patchwork Press. Self-publishing is like the Wild West, and it isn’t for everyone. At times it’s been thrilling, and at other times I’ve told myself to give it up and go back to civilized society, but overall it’s been a journey for which I’m grateful.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     The world in this series isn’t discussed at length (yet—it is the subject for an upcoming novella) but I chose it to fulfill a desire I’d had for decades—to see our world in the distant future. So many fictional worlds are based in the past, or on another world, or in the somewhat near future, but none seem to place us humans tens of thousands of years from now. What would our world look like after the phase of pillaging the planet ends? Who will we be? What will we look like in 300,000 years, when the time of our evolution has doubled? My story doesn’t go that far, but these are questions that led me to choose a neo-medieval world set approximately 9,000 years from now.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     My current block is the next book in this series. Though the first two books have been middle-grade and fairly light-hearted, the third will follow my heroine into the depths of YA. She’ll be struggling with her identity and darker themes, and to be honest, I don’t know if I’m ready. I had a lot of fun in middle-grade. I’m tempted to leave her there.
     Since this is something I’m struggling with now, I can’t really share how I dealt with it, but here’s my plan. I’m going to let it churn around the back of my head while I finish up my tasks with the current book, the audiobook, the anthology, and the mystery. I’m going to give myself a good three-to-four month break, then I’ll start. I have a feeling that I’ll have to remind myself of my heroine’s over-all arc of development, and the reasons I started writing about her. Then I’ll start with the logline and synopsis, and when I’m happy with those, I’ll plan several comedy scenes, then plot the remainder, then draft the (insert expletive here) in a furious frenzy.
     My secret is this: Chip away at the foundation of that block until the wall is weakened, then take a wrecking ball to it.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about necromancers, magic spells, and stolen artifacts?
     I learned that when writing a fantasy series, the bounty of ideas is wonderful, and paring them down while editing is absolutely essential.
     Also perhaps, while you definitely need to know why you are writing a particular story, you need to express that subtly. That one can be heavy-handed with theme, and no-one likes to be bludgeoned with morals.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     I love the old fantasies of George MacDonald, and those of CS Lewis, and of course Tolkien. Anything that is rich with symbol and metaphor, and makes me read a line and then stare off into space as I contemplate its deeper meanings. Makes for slow reading, but it’s wonderful. I’d love to write like that someday.

What are you working on now?
     Right now, I’m feverishly getting my print edition together while trying to get some last-minute marketing done for my new release! Also working on the final stages of my first audiobook, planning some fancy new trailers for my book and some others for my fellow authors at PWP, and gearing up for an anthology. In a couple months, I hope to return to that paranormal mystery I mentioned and make it saleable.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     I’d love to write some scifi. Because each time my husband and I sit down to a good scifi movie, (which doesn’t seem to happen often enough) he or I always say, “Why isn’t there more good scifi?”
Now I know, there are tons of great scifi books out there—and many, many excellent authors writing scifi today—and I know that it’s a genre that one doesn’t just “dabble” in, but that’s the impulse. I’d like to try scifi. Because not enough good scifi movies.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     Time, for one. I wish I had more time.
     Secondly, social media. This goes back to the time thing. My readers aren’t even on the web for the large part, but I still need to be there so their librarians, teachers, and parents hear about my books. Anyway, I do what I can, and am grateful for all opportunities I have to talk with other authors and readers.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
     I’d have to say my current favorite heroes are Dean Winchester from Supernatural and Sherlock Holmes from the present-day BBC production. Favorite heroine? Mary from Downton Abbey. (I’ve got a sneaking feeling I’m spending too much time watching TV!)


Angela Myron was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1973. She grew up in the piney forests of southern British Columbia, studying tiny blue bells, dodging hidden cacti, and creating fantasy worlds in her back yard.

Angela studied biology and professional writing at the University of Victoria in Canada and San Francisco State University. She wrote grant proposals for nonprofits, technical manuals for software, and freelance journalism before writing fiction.

http://www.angelamyron.com/


Buy Links for Ennara and the Book of Shadows (Ennara Series #2)

Amazon     iBooks     Kobo


Ennara and the Book of Shadows Trailer
Ennara and the Fallen Druid Trailer






Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | By: Cafe

Meet Aspiring Writer Joyce Flinn

The Write Way Café welcomes Aspiring Writer Joyce Flinn, who shares her path from dreaming of writing, through life interruptis, until story creation. 

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I have enjoyed writing since I wrote an original play for Christmas in fifth grade, which I helped direct.  I went on to write short stories and poetry in high school.  The writing bug kept nibbling at me throughout college, but I had to study something that pays, so I took up education and history.  Then, life interruptis happened along with a husband and kids, but that bug kept nibbling at me.  I have read romance novels since my Grandmother would share her Regencies with me.  So, my first manuscript was a Regency, which I finished about five years ago.  I struggled with the tone of the book and decided to hold off writing for a while longer, but kept reading.  Then, my daughters and niece got me hooked on paranormal romances – both Teen and Adult.  So, I felt I finally found my true calling and that darn old bug went into overdrive.

What are you working on right now?
I am writing a paranormal based in contemporary times.  The paranormal elements are the Greek Gods and Goddesses along with other pantheons mixed in.

How do you do research?
I do a lot of researching online and found a lot of wonderful sites on the Greek mythos.  I also have acquired quite a few books on mythology as well as demonology and Christianity.  A fellow author recommended YouTube to research how Greek people speak and that has been so helpful.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I dream and day dream a lot.  Ideas pop up and then won’t let go.  I have a young adult novel that keeps yelling at me from time to time not to forget about it.  I will say, it wasn’t from the movies, although there have been so many movies lately on the Greek Gods and heroes.  It makes me a bit nervous that the genre has been overloaded.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
The story starts in DC with the sighting of a demon.  I thought this was ironic.  There are some scenes set on an island near Greece, but the rest of the scenes are in my own back-yard in rural Garrett County, Maryland.  I want to make the setting a true character of the story line, so I wrote what I know best.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
They do have basis in real people, but not me (I hope).  I have three daughters who are inspirational and I used some of their positive and some of their irritating characteristics although magnified a bit.  I am certain they would say “I am not like that”.  The hero and male characters were a bit more difficult.  As with most authors, I used some parts of my spouse or other role models in creating them.

What do you consider your greatest writing strengths? What gets in your way of writing?
This is a very difficult question.  The insecure author in me thinks I have no strengths.  I think what I really try to capture is the transition or metamorphosis of the characters throughout the book.  I believe we grow and change constantly as life hammers away.   What gets in the way of my writing? The rest of my life.  The girls are all in college or graduated, so I hope to have more time to write.  I also was diagnosed recently with fibromyalgia, which can make writing difficult on some days.

Do you have a favorite playlist for when you write? Classic, rock, pop, none of the above?
This really depends on what I am writing.  If it is a tender, sexy or love scene, I may listen to Country or Classical music.  If it is a fast paced area, definitely hard rock.  There are times when the old 90’s pop rock gets me moving, too.

What is your likely choice for publication, a publisher or self-pubbed?
I would prefer a publisher, but am not ruling out self-pubbed.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I finally have a nice writing space where the kids used to keep their dolls and play kitchen.  I have a desk, a couch, book shelves everywhere, and quiet.  It works great, except when hubby suffers from empty-nest syndrome and needs some company.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
There are so many, as the shelves and my Nook attest.  I love paranormal romance but I also enjoy erotica, BDSM, and Young Adult.  I recently re-read Janet Chapman’s series about the Scottish warriors who were time-jumped from the 12th century.  The love and support these men give their better halves is inspirational.  They are also funny and I laugh out loud.  Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and Chronicles of Nick are must buys.   I enjoy humor knitted into the dialogue, heroes and heroines who are flawed, and a great deal of sensual heat.  Other favorite authors are JR Ward, Lora Leigh, Lara Adrian, Shayla Black, Lexi Blake, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy, Donna Grant, Sylvia Day, Cassandra Clare, Julie Kagawa, Dianne Duvall, and so many more.

Who is your favorite book boyfriend? Why?
My youngest daughter loved Ash, from the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.  She would ask why guys today couldn’t be like him!  I just laughed.  I could choose Paris, from Gena Showalter’s series as he holds the demon of Promiscuity .  But, I think I would choose Michael McBain from Janet Chapman’s Wedding the Highlander.  He is insightful, a bit of a philosopher, loves his son with his whole heart, and loves Libby despite his determination not to love again.  He surrounds her with comfort, support, and unconditional love.

Who are your greatest support people for writing?
My daughters are so excited about this venture of mine and my husband is very supporting, even attending a recent conference with me.  My sister, Connie, is my only beta reader and pushes me because she wants to read more.   I also have a lot of support from the chapters of RWA (Maryland and Western Pennsylvania) as well as the Savvy Authors.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
Probably a college professor, teaching history.  Or, better yet, I would be an editor!

What line from a book left an impression on you and/or your writing?
“Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right” or “He who lets fear rule him, has fear for a master” by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve done with your character/s?
Hmm…  I am not known for being quirky or snarky.  I really have to get my kids to help with this.   Sophia, my heroine, shot a cross bow at a demon, which is interesting for someone who typically hides in the shadows.   One of the characters threw a bagel at Kiros, the hero.  But, poor Sophia is getting hit on by some of the Gods and the poor woman is standing there with a full bladder, not sure how to tell a God that she had to pee!

Learn more about Joyce at http://joyceflinnauthor.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 24, 2014 | By: Cafe
The very existence of writer’s block is a topic of debate among writers. Some insist that the term is just an excuse for avoiding writing. Then again, the fact that someone is avoiding writing could be construed as a type of block and “just do it” isn’t always the most helpful advice.
- Kathy Kleidermacher

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Jami Gray

The Write Way Café welcomes author Jami Gray, who admits some kind of writer's block makes an appearance while writing her stories, but she takes it in stride.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     Hunted by the Past is the fourth book I’ve written, however it’s the first in a new Paranormal Romantic Suspense series. Unlike my Urban Fantasy series (The Kyn Kronicles), Hunted proved a bit more of a challenge. Although the series centers around ex-military psychics, no demons (real, physical ones), werewolves or other creatures who go bump in the night, exist in this world.  Instead, my characters have to face the demons of their past, the nightmares they’ve survived, and navigate the ravages of life.
     Because of the military background, I knew going in to this series, things had to be right—the lingo, the weapons, the attitude—or my characters would fall short. I love research, tend to get lost in it, if I don’t set some serious boundaries, but I don’t limit myself to what’s in books or online.
     I can also turn research into family time, which I did when the whole gang decided to begin going to the shooting range. Not only did I get an up close and personal experience in handling various guns, but my boys thought it was cool. Not so sure if I suggested a HALO jump, they’d be as enthusiastic, though.
In my circle of loved ones, I had a solid core I could go to with tough questions, questions most who’ve served tend not to talk about. Their courageous answers help lend my characters a depth of validity I couldn’t have gotten otherwise.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     I’ve always been fascinated by the arena of psychic abilities, plus I may have a teeny-tiny bit of a conspiracy theorist residing in a small dark corner.  I also read a great deal outside of fiction, and one particular book, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate by John D. Marks, which follows the history of behavioral science and the CIA, helped sparked the idea. After finishing that book, I moved on to The Psychopath Next Door. Um, yeah, my research library of non-fiction titles would be scary to an outsider.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     As a writer you hear “write what you know” ad nauseam so I tend to pick locations I know well—so far I’ve done Oregon and now Arizona. Not only is Phoenix my home town, but it’s a great starting point for this series. Close enough to Coronado and San Diego and Texas for military reasons, near enough to Vegas or Colorado for others. I love my little wedge of the US and there are some great places out here to use for nefarious purposes. Besides, how do you know something like this isn’t happening here already?

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     I can’t speak for every writer, but many I know have to agree, some small piece of ourselves end up in one form or fashion in our characters. I’m no different. I may not be able to say, “When Cyn’s being a stubborn jackass, that’s me!” but yes, they way my characters react in various situations may (I said may) reflect some personal bias. And there may be an aspect or two of people I run into that pop out of characters, but overall, no—my characters are not based on specific people.
     I do admit to having very detailed backgrounds on each character and what motivates them, because for me, they have to feel multi-dimensional or the story will fall flat.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     I always hit a block when writing. Doesn’t matter if I write by the seat of my pants or plot the bugger out, sooner or later (probably sooner) I hit a point where I think, “For crimney’s sake, can’t we just get along!”. Normally it hits in the first third of the story, probably because the characters and I are trying to get to know each other. Plus, as an avid reader, the stories I enjoy most are the ones I’m  unable to set down, because turning the next page is vitally necessary to find out what’s going on.  To achieve that result sometimes requires rewriting certain scenes until it clicks. Unfortunately it means what you thought would happen, doesn’t. But that’s part and parcel of being a writer.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about botched military missions, keeping secrets, and psychics?
     I love this question because the one thing I learned about military missions—they NEVER go as planned. It’s why any operating group will go in with multiple scenarios. No matter how well planned, or how many alternatives are devised, it will never, ever turn out as expected. The best you can plan for is to be breathing with your fellow brother/sister in arms.  To face that time and time again takes a solid mental strength, one that should be highly admired for it’s endurance.
     And secrets? The best ones are the ones that aren’t secrets. The old, “Hide in plain sight” works really well if you want to be a covert government agency. You really think those who sign off on military funding really read through hundreds of pages of cleverly worded documentation?

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     My list is long, way longer than you have time for, but Urban Fantasy is my first love, Romantic Suspense is right behind it. The ability to tie in the paranormal with heart-pounding action while two characters figure out what the hell is between them—priceless (yep, hearing that credit card commercial in my head now).
     One of my all time favorite authors is Patricia Briggs of the Mercy Thompson series. I so want to be her when I grow up. Her characters are so heart-breakingly real, I don’t ever want her stories to end. Same goes with Ilona Andrews and her Kate Daniels series, even Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin. Anne Bishop and Catherine Feehan’s stuff are always a must have. I have a crush on Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) and Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid Chronicles). Yet, Cynthia Eden, Kaylea Cross, Stephanie Tyler, Natasza Waters, and Rebecca Zanetti are also a group I’d love to be associated with. Not to mention Iris Johansen and Lisa Jackson.
     All of these authors, their characters are real and linger long after I put a book down, enough so I re-read until all that’s left is tattered pages.

What are you working on now?
     I’m starting the second book in the PSY-IV Teams for a 2015 release. I just finished the fourth book in my Kyn Kronicles for a Jan. 2015 release (Shadow's Curse).  Life has taken a rather sharp left turn lately, so I’m a bit behind, but never fear, I’m still on schedule to release two titles a year.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     I actually want to do a post-apocalyptic trilogy with another fabulous writer, but we’re still in the planning stages.  We’ll have to see if I can squeeze that in between the Kyn and PSY-IV.  Something about delving into characters who can survive the end of the world, oh that’s an idea that has me rubbing my hands together in glee.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     Some of the more emotional scenes are difficult, only because to do justice to why a character reacts they way they do, without providing an easy emotional out, is tricky business. Anger’s a great emotion, but can be overused. Fear, even in the strongest person, can be the most corrosive. Love can cut both ways on the good/evil spectrum. But emotions are the core of who we are, and they are the core of my characters. And scraping through those emotions isn't just painful for my character, they’re painful to write.


About Jami:  Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams.  Her release, Shadow's Moon (5/14) was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, Hunted by the Past, hit shelves in August 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

You can find Jami at:

Black Opal Books   

Muse It Up Publishing

Website  

Facebook

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Goodreads

Google+ 

Amazon Author Page

Newsletter


Pinterest




You can find all the buy links for both The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams, in all formats at:

http://jamigray.com/kynkronicles/

http://jamigray.com/psyivteams/





Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | By: Cafe

Spotlight on Morgan O'Neill


The Write Way Café Spotlight:  Morgan O'Neill

Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance - with a time travel twist. They are the award-winning authors of the medieval Italian time travel duo, The Other Side of Heaven, and its sequel, Time Enough for Love, and the forthcoming Elizabethan time travel series, which will debut with The Thornless Rose, from Entangled Publishing, LLC, in November, 2014. They are also the authors of the Roman time travel series, which will be re-released in 2015.   http://www.morganoneill.com/


The Italian Series

The Other Side of Heaven, Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series
Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time. At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide. Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?
Amazon


Time Enough for Love, Book Two of the Italian Time Travel Series
Through dark magic, Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn has been swept back in time to medieval Italy. There, she finds herself in the midst of a war between Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide, and those who have kidnapped her and seek to usurp her crown. Risking her life, Gwen elects to play a pivotal role in the planned rescue. In the midst of the chaos, she is drawn to the queen’s champion, Lord Alberto Uzzo, who battles not only their military foes, but also his personal demons. Tested to the limit when he discovers Gwen’s true identity as a time traveler, Alberto nevertheless fights through his doubt and the whirl of superstition that surrounds this intriguing and strong-willed woman. Time is of the essence as the lovers seek to overcome the evil forces rallying against the queen they’ve vowed to save. Will Gwen and Alberto be able to overcome the groundswell of danger to find time enough for love?
Amazon


Review Quotes:
“What an amazing adventure... These two books will have a very treasured place on my bookshelf.” ~ Review by Hitherandthee of Night Owl Reviews. Both novels were given Top Picks, 4.5 stars for The Other Side of Heaven, 5 stars for Time Enough for Love.

“Alberto and Gwen's relationship was one of the most touching and heartfelt romances, that I've read in a long time.” ~ Review by Angela Searles, Satin Sheets Romance Reviews.

Morgan O'Neill would love to hear what you think about the new series!




Friday, October 17, 2014 | By: Cafe
I have always imagined that paradise will be some kind of a library.
- Jorge Luis Borges