Friday, September 19, 2014 | By: Cafe
Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending. 
- Carl Bard
Thursday, September 18, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Rebekah Ganiere

The Write Way Café welcomes author Rebekah R. Ganiere, whose creative thinking takes her into the world of fairy tales, where she turns the classics into new gems.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
For the Fairelle series I originally had the idea of self publishing and then I tried very limitedly sending it out to see if I could get a publisher. But in my heart I knew I wanted to self publish it because this was going to be a big series I wanted to be able to release on my own schedule. So I got the other series I am writing under contracts with publishing houses and then went with my gut to self publish this one. As far as research, I did a lot of research on Medieval Earth and then tweaked and toned it the way I wanted it to make it my own fairytale world.

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
Well this entire series is twisted fairytales so I started with the fairytales I really liked and went from there. Red the Were Hunter was the first book in the series. The idea for that one came because I had seen the movie Red Riding Hood and just felt it lacked something and I wanted to do it my own way. Snow the Vampire Slayer came about because I thought, well, if she has seven brothers what could they all do? They could be vampire slayers! And what if she falls for a vampire? And it grew from there.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I wanted something totally imaginary and my own. Several years ago there was a TV miniseries called Tenth Kingdom which had a bunch of fairytale characters in one world and then I heard Into the Woods and thought both were so cool that I wanted to make my own Fairytale world that all my characters lived in.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Uhm... both I guess. The hero, Sage, is kind of modeled after Tom Hiddleston, but it's my interpretation of him as a hero Loki character. And Snow is like me in some ways and in some ways she is like what I wish I was. 

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
In this one I didn't. The book flowed so nicely. It was awesome! Sage and Snow just talked me through their entire story! My characters aren't always that nice though. I have a couple right now who are being down right stubborn! I find that happens usually when I have characters that I try to write one way and they are actually totally different. They don't like being forced into models I create. So I find I will go back and tweak them and let them go their own directions and before I know it, they are talking me through their stories again :)

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I think the biggest surprise was that I've had so many people tell me how much they love the relationships between Snow and her brothers. I had no idea people would love them so much! Which is why each brother is getting his own novella now. People just love them and want to see them each get an HEA. 

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about brothers, vampire slayers, and creating your fantasy world?
Well Snow the Vampire Slayer is the second book in my Fairelle Series and not the first book I've written, but one thing I learned was how to make characters stand out and be different from each other. For instance, Snow has 7 brothers. All of them needed to be unique in his own way so that you could tell them apart. I also learned how my relationship with my wonderful brothers was able to help me write the relationships between Snow and her brother. 

What are you working on now?
Right now I'm working the first Novella in the Fairelle Series which is releasing in December. It's about Snow's brother Jamen. I'm also working on the third book in the series that is releasing in early 2015. It is called Zelle and the Tower and is about Rapunzelle and Snow's brother Flint. And I'm working on the second book in my series The Society, which is under contract with Kensington Lyrical and the first book in that series will be out on Nov. 17th.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I already have my dream job! I went to college for theater and I love theater but I gave it up to be a mom and now I think I'm too shy to get up in front of that many people. So if I wasn't a writer I would be a mom. I love being a mom. It is totally my dream job!

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Plotting.  I hate it. I'm bad at it. And I don't like to be boxed in. I am a plotzer. I took a plotting class by Cherry Adair and LOVED it. But found I felt too confined by plotting everything out in detail so now I plot major chapter points and that's all. Then I let my characters do what they need to. 

Rebekah R. Ganiere is an Award Winning Bestselling Author. Her novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, released in May. The second book Snow the Vampire Slayer will be releasing in September 22, 2014. And her trilogy The Society will be released Nov. 17th 2014 by Kensington's Lyrical Press.

Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local Los Angeles and Orange County chapters. In her spare time when she isn't writing you can find her moderating on or hanging out with her husband, four children and her English Bulldog, rabbit, two tortoises, and two bearded dragons. The escaped snake has yet to be found.

Buy Snow The Vampire Slayer

Rebekah R. Ganiere - Books with a Bite
Dead Awakenings & Red the Were Hunter
Snow the Vampire Slayer Coming Sept. 22
Reign of the Vampire Coming Nov. 17 by Lyrical Kensington
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | By: Cafe

Making Time

I write for a living. I also edit for a living. I love my work and am grateful to have it. But it keeps me busy and it is hard to carve out much time for my romance writing. I have to contribute regular income to my household and there is only so much time in a day, week, month. Only so much physical and emotional energy within me to put out. However, there is nothing like getting a book contract for renewing my commitment to my stories.

I Got, Got, Got, Got No Time
I’m weary of talking about not having enough time. I'm kind of bored but not surprised with myself that I’m writing about it again. I wrote a post about it last summer and discussed how those of us writers who also work jobs and take care of families need to be creative, something we're good at, in finding time to write. And here I am again, reiterating the topic.

I'm open to suggestions for how to put time on my side. Here's a thought from Hope Clark in one of her Funds for Writers newsletter and website. She suggests taking a hard look at life's demands.

"We have to give up something else to make writing happen. We have selected a crazy hobby/career path/dream that is one of the most time-consuming interests on the
planet. It starts as a whim, then a dream, then an urge that grows. You have to do this. You NEED to do this . . . this . . . writing. … So, for every new hour of writing, what other hour of something else will you sacrifice? Give it a name. Cleaning? Jogging? Sleeping? Gardening? Lunch?" she writes.

The P Word
Clark makes a good point, because there really is only so much time to work with. It's a likely conclusion that I have to set my Priorities to, well, Prioritize working on my books. It seems that even though, as Clark points out, we as writers often glow when we talk about what it means to us, we don't do it. And according to Jennifer Blanchard on Better Writing Habits, being too busy to write, another way of saying not having enough time, is the number one reason writers give for not being productive with the thing they love. She, too, attributes this situation to not Prioritizing.

"Most likely you’re making time for non-productive things, like watching TV or surfing the Web. That means you actually do have time to write, you’re just not making it a priority to write," she writes.

It seems a good, stiff shaking of myself is in order. As Clark, author of Lowcountry Bribe and The Shy Writer, noted and what we all know, we can't do everything. We may have to stop doing something we feel has greater importance than our writing. She's found this out by becoming more successful with her writing.

"As my writing grew, as I had to promote a novel I never had to before, the demand for my other hours grew ravenous for my attention. How could I find more time? There went some of my gardening . . . I saw my chickens less. The house is definitely not as clean. I stopped going to the gym."

It seems obvious but nonetheless mindboggling—I have to pick what I'm going to spend time on. And if I seldom pick writing fiction, I'll not produce books. I have already cut back on housecleaning, so what can I cull? I'll have to figure it out. It's time.

Any suggestions?

*This post has been adapted from its original version posted on The Write Way Cafe in October 2012.

Friday, September 12, 2014 | By: Cafe
Dreams are the seedlings of realities. 
- James Allen

Thursday, September 11, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Alexis Morgan

The Write Way Café welcomes author Alexis Morgan, who explains why writing is like walking through fog.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?

I met my first published writer, Janice Kay Johnson, about twenty-five years ago and became fascinated by what she was doing. She introduced me to the wonderful world of romance novels of all kinds. Eventually, because of my intense interest, she encouraged me to try my own hand at writing a romance and mentored me through the whole process. Most people can’t point to the one person who dramatically changed their lives, but Janice did that for me. We still brainstorm ideas and support each other in our writing.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy romance trilogy, and when this idea started to come together for me, I had several long talks with my agent and with my friend Janice to flesh out the concept and how the trilogy should be structured. Once I had that figured out, I researched a bunch of different topics.  I started off by reading a lot about life in medieval castles and towns. Then I studied the clothing of different eras to decide how my people would dress. I read up on scrying and on swords. I studied pictures of gargoyles and read about Irish wolfhounds. I also spent hours looking at pictures of horses, deciding which kind of horse would choose each of the five warriors. As the most chivalrous of the warriors, Duncan was chosen by a lovely, well-mannered mare. On the other hand, Kane’s horse, like him, wasn’t classically beautiful, but Rogue is strong, loyal, and fierce in battle. By the way, the book I liked best on horses was called The Beautiful Horse by Bob Langrish & Nicola Jane Swinney. It has the most amazing photographs of horses.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I was watching the Lord of the Rings movies and became intrigued by the warriors Frodo saw sleeping in the waters of the swamp. I kept wondering what circumstances would have brought them there and what, if anything, would ever bring them back to life. That’s when I first imagined my own set of five warriors who have been resting for centuries beneath the river as they waited to be called forth by their gods to defend their world.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I’m a huge fan of fantasy stories with fierce warriors and strong women banding together to fight evil. There’s something so compelling about knights on horses and mages who wield powerful magic of different kinds. I also love including animals in my books, and this kind of world allowed me to have magical horses that choose their own riders. I also had great fun picking out the animal avatars for each of the warriors. Only Lord Kane would have a pet gargoyle!

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
Although I always know who the hero and heroine are when I sit down to begin a new book, it’s often the secondary characters who manage to surprise me. Sometimes they are people I planned to include in the story, but often others sneak “on stage” and demand my attention. In this series, Sigil was originally just one of the Duke Keirthan’s captains, and I meant for him to die in the first book. However, Sigil refused to play that part and instead developed into a complex character who was so much more than a spear carrier for the villain. The other character who surprised me was Sarra, the young girl whose parents were killed by the duke. I expected her to be just another victim of Keirthan’s hunger for power. As it turns out, Sarra has her own powerful magical gifts, ones that play an important role in the stories. I love it when a book is unexpectedly enriched by characters that take on a life of their own!

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
My office is a bit cluttered, and I share it with two parakeets, who keep me company as I write.  I listen to music as I write, so it’s a good thing Nimbus and Jubal share my taste in music. As far as I can tell, their favorite song is Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler, which is only appropriate for a romance writer’s boon companions. It probably comes as no surprise that I have shelves stuffed full of books, both fiction and nonfiction. I’m also surrounded by stuffed dragons, hedgehogs, a dinosaur or two, and my collection of gargoyles. I like having my favorite books close at hand, and the critters (both real and not) make me feel as if I’m in my own little world when I sit down to write.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard will always be a favorite because the hero, Grant Sullivan, pretty much defined for me the kind of hero I love in a book. It came out just as I got really interested in writing, and I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about heroes with a powerful sense of honor and fought to protect those who couldn’t defend themselves.

Most recently, I read The Haunting of Maddy Claire by Simone St. James and really loved it. It’s set in England right after World War I. Her choices in language and description were really amazing and really brought that world to life for me. I’ve read all three of her published books now and loved them all for the same reasons.

What are you working on now?
I’m writing a paranormal novella and polishing the synopses for three more contemporary stories.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Plotting in any great detail before I actually write the book can be troublesome for me. I usually have a good idea of where the book is going to start and where it needs to end up, but the middle is pretty hazy until I actually write it. Someone once said writing a book is like walking through the fog. You can’t see very far behind you, and you can’t see very far ahead. The only place that is really clear is the page you’re writing at the moment. I’ve had to learn to trust my process and know that once I take that first step into the fog that I will reach “The End” safely.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
Ooooh, there are so many!  As I already mentioned, Grant Sullivan has been a favorite for a long time. Zsadist in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series about broke my heart. I also love Curran, the Beast Lord in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel’s series.  Lord Ian Mackenzie in Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is an amazingly complex hero.

I love a really strong heroine, too. Mercy Thompson in Patricia Briggs’ series comes to mind, and Kate Daniels is the perfect match for Curran in the world Ilona Andrews has created.  And in Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series, I love how Kim Fraser fights to defend not just her client, but all of the shifters.

About Alexis: USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always loved reading and now spends her days imagining worlds filled with strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. She is the author of more than thirty books, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; and most recently, contemporary romance. Alexis has been nominated for numerous industry awards, including the RITA© from the Romance Writers of America, the top award in the romance genre.      Twitter: @Alexis_Morgan      Facebook

Buy links for Honor's Price:  Amazon          B & N  

Alexis is giving away a signed copy of Honor's Price and a custom designed book thong for the Warriors of the Mist series. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | By: HiDee

The Culture of Instant Gratification

I have a love/hate relationship with technology.

I embrace the computer, but don’t have a smart phone – mainly because I refuse to pay the price.  In my area, one month of a smart phone costs approximately three times what I currently pay for one month of internet access.  I’m not denying there are times a smart phone would be convenient, but I’ve also seen how addictive it can be.  I enjoy having downtime from electronics, and I don’t want to be attached at the hip, or hand, or ear.

I like my Kindle, but I love the feel of a paperback book in my hands.  My Kindle is great for having untold numbers of books readily accessible, as long as I have battery life.  It’s taken the place of a smart phone when I’ve spent hours sitting in hospital waiting rooms, or waited in the van for soccer practices to end.  But there’s a different connection with a paperback book in my hands.  The texture of the paper, the motion of turning the page... it’s just so easy to get lost in a book!
The internet makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends far away, which I love, but I hate how people sometimes hide behind the relative anonymity it offers.  That’s a hypocritical statement, because sometimes I crave the anonymity as well.

But my biggest issue with technology today is the culture of instant gratification it has created.  Many people can’t function without checking their email or social media sites constantly.  Instead of face-to-face conversations, they communicate in short bursts via texting, Facebook or Twitter.  Companies exploit their clients to generate more sales by promising products that are faster than their rivals, and consumers buy into it because they crave even more immediacy.

“The unmistakable message people receive in both the workplace and marketplace is that faster is better,” writes Ronald Alsop, a freelance journalist and book author as well as longtime reporter and editor for The Wall Street Journal.  His article, Instant Gratification & Its Dark Side, explores the effect of technology on the millennial generation (those born during the 1980s and 1990s).

Unfortunately, in the quest for instant gratification, it is easy to forget that there are real people on the other end.  Being compelled to comment or post something NOW causes people to simply react with words, rather than considering the effect their words may have on others.  That’s when we run into trouble.

I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to craving instant gratification, even without a smart phone.  I’m a social person so I like knowing what is going on, even though I don’t really need to know all the time.  There are times when my kids are more likely to converse through texts than they are in person, so I take advantage of that.  And yes, I enjoy some aspects of social media - it’s darned addicting!

That being said, when I participate in social media, I try to abide by some basic guidelines that I hope I have instilled in my own millenials:
– Don’t be rude.
– Think about your words.  How would they affect YOU if you were the intended recipient?
– Remember that what happens online stays online...forever.  It might come back to bite you.
– Sometimes you have to be the bigger person and just let things go.

Sometimes instant gratification is not all it’s cracked up to be!

How do you feel about technology and instant gratification?  Do you love it, or hate it?  Please share.

Friday, September 5, 2014 | By: Cafe
A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling.
-Robert McKee