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
Thursday, October 16, 2014 | By: Cafe

Character Interview with Mary Catherine of Confederado do Norte

The Write Way Café welcomes author Linda Pennell, who shares a Character Interview with Mary Catherine, a character in Confederado do Norte.

Linda: Would you introduce yourself and tell us where you were born?

MC: My name is Mary Catherine MacDonald Dias Oliveira Atwell and I was born January 1, 1857 in Washington County, Georgia on a farm overlooking the Oconee River.

Linda:  We know that you left Georgia in 1866 because your father didn’t want to live under Reconstruction. You must have been quite small when the Civil War began. Do you have any memories of life before the war?

MC: It’s sometimes difficult to recall that there was ever a time before the war or that  anything existed prior to our world’s being reduced to ashes. That period for me is really only impressions and shadows because they are my very earliest memories, those of a child of less than five years.

Linda:  Would you mind sharing what you do remember?

MC: I suspect my memories are, as is the custom with very young children’s recollections, somewhat mixed up and jumbled together. Nevertheless, I will do my best to explain how it once was and then how it became.
  During my earliest years I was happy and I had no fear of the future, for young children are blessedly unaware that terrible things can happen in their small, secure worlds. My parents and I lived in a comfortable home and enjoyed the company of neighbors and family within its safe walls. We were kin, in one way or another, to most of the people in the county and Papa was catered to by all of our female relatives, especially his old maid sisters, for you see, ours was a supremely patriarchal society.

Linda: You have mentioned your home. What do you remember of it?

MC: When I picture “home”, I see an unpainted dogtrot farmhouse that wouldn’t have been terribly grand by most people’s lights. It exists now only in shadowy visions: cotton fields stretching from the edge of a deep porch down to the river, flashes of a sunbeam dancing on the lemon oiled surface of Mama’s best table, tall windows and high ceilings. It’s all really rather vague, but I do have a clear memory of Mama’s garden. It is of her favorite rose bush to which I did some considerable damage one spring by picking off all the buds before they even broke color and for which I was spanked rather severely.

Linda: As a Southern farmer, did your father own slaves?

MC: It should be understood that my home was a farm rather than a large plantation. Nonetheless, it did include a few colored slaves, most of whom worked in the fields. Of their faces, it is only Bess’s that has stayed with me into old age. My Bess, who lived in the house, and who took care of me, and whom I loved as much as I did my parents. As was the custom, I was reared more by Bess than by Mama and Papa. It was simply the way of things.

Linda: I see. What do you remember of your parents?

MC: My clearest memories of my parents are that Papa spent his days with the field hands and that Mama loved music. She was an accomplished pianist. Beautiful music filled the house when she played her pianoforte in the parlor. Sometimes when Bess brought me in to say goodnight, Papa would be sitting beside Mama, kissing her neck as she played and she would be smiling at him in the special way that she reserved only for him. I think they must have been very happy. They laughed a lot in those days. Then, the war came.

Linda:  Forgive me for asking what may be a painful question, but what do you remember of the war?

MC: It is till painful after all this time, but I will try to answer as best I can. This was how time was marked with our people: before the war and then after.
     Most of my memories from the war are those of a young child and are thankfully not all that clear. It may also be that I have deliberately locked them away in my mind’s deepest recesses. It was a dreadful time. I do remember Mama crying a lot and staring at the small tintype of Papa in his uniform. She read and reread his treasured, but infrequent letters. I know that I often cried myself to sleep at night because I missed my adored papa so much. Toward the end we were hungry all the time because there simply wasn’t anything left to eat. Mama became so thin that Bess fumed and declared that someone would be made to pay for visiting all this trouble upon us, but how this was to be accomplished was unclear since we were just females left to fend for ourselves.
     The extent of our defenselessness was resoundingly brought home to us in late November 1864. Although my war memories may be sketchy in some ways, frightening clarity surrounds the arrival of Sherman’s soldiers on their relentless March to the Sea. Even now their shouts and snarling faces haunt my dreams. Some nights I’m disturbed with nightmares of choking on the acrid smoke from our burning home, trying not to reveal our position with coughing, and of the milk cow’s terrified bawling as she was consumed in the barn’s inferno. Mama, Bess, and I hid in the woods down by the river while those men stole everything that wasn’t nailed down and set fire to what they couldn’t carry off.

Linda: It must have been a very difficult time. With your home burned, where did you find shelter?

MC: After the ashes cooled, Bess found a few pieces of tin and repaired the damaged roof over the kitchen, the only building not completely destroyed. We stayed there and made do as best we could. Bess begged Mama to move into town where Papa’s spinster sisters had a small house, but Mama insisted that we couldn’t leave the farm because Papa would expect to find us there.

Linda:  What was it like after the war ended, before you all left Georgia?

MC: Some six or seven months after Sherman’s March, the war ended and Papa came home. It was the summer of 1865 and I was just a child, but even then I knew that life as we had known it was over forever.
This is where the fabric of my life increases in its complexity. The texture becomes richer and the pattern becomes more intricate. In unraveling the threads, perhaps they can be rewoven into a firmer, more solid whole – one without the holes and ragged edges that marred it. After all, this was my purpose in writing Confederado do Norte.
  At first, I wasn’t sure that it was my papa who had returned to us. It wasn’t just the difference between my five-year-old memories of him and the perceptions of a more grown up girl of eight. He’d become someone I simply couldn’t recognize. His uniform, in which he had once taken such pride, was tattered and filthy. His skin seemed to fold loosely over his tall frame and his eyes were so sunken that his once handsome face had taken on the appearance of a death mask. But the thing that frightened me most was that he didn’t speak to us, not even when Mama cried and begged him to tell her how she could help. By day, he spent most of his time alone simply walking the fields that had once been so productive. He wept at night when I suppose he thought no one could hear him, but why he thought he couldn’t be heard is beyond me, for all of us slept in the same cramped space. And sometimes he cried out in his sleep as though he was still off fighting.
  There came a time when he drifted into a phase of almost complete inertia, and for a while, we feared for his sanity. He refused to be roused from his bed despite all of our efforts. He would just stare at Mama and get a strange look in his eyes when she pleaded with him. I wasn’t supposed to know that Mama and Bess thought he might completely lose his mind, but it didn’t take medical training or age to see the vacant stares and hear him in the night.
  Gradually, to everyone’s relief, he got a grip on himself, which was worse in many ways because of the rage that replaced the vacant expression in his eyes. I remember avoiding my father, whom I had always adored, but around whom I became cautious. His mercurial nature was confusing and frightening, not unlike the political environment in which we found ourselves living.

Linda: Can you describe that environment?

MC: The Confederacy had lost the war and wherever her people gathered, they discussed the only topic on anyone’s mind – the horrors of armed occupation. A former enemy in charge of the local and state governments was simply something that no one had ever conceived possible.

Linda: What do you think ultimately persuaded your father to desert Georgia?

MC: During times of turmoil, some people cling to anything familiar because it provides a feeling of normalcy, however tenuous. Others seek a different path. Papa and my mother’s eldest brother Nathan, the only men left alive on either side of our family, decided that there was only one response to the unendurable. Like a small number of people from across the region, they ignored the pleas of our former leaders like General Robert E. Lee, and turned their eyes south. Toward a very distant south.

Linda:  And how did you feel about this?

MC: I didn’t care who was in charge of the government or how ruined everything was. Georgia was home. It was where my family came from as far back as the American Revolution. But most important, it was where my beloved Bess was. I never got over being separated from the woman who had been the rock in my life since birth. I loved my parents, but they were wrong both before and after the war. Ultimately, the South’s defeat was the best thing that could have happened for all concerned.

Linda:  Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We wish you well and hope that writing has provided the solace you sought.

The fictional memoir, Confederado do Norte, can be found on Amazon.









Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Jennifer Fulford







The Write Way Café welcomes author Jennifer Fulford, who understands that the life of a writer is a testament to sheer stubbornness and the love of writing.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
A good vacation spurred the idea for my first book. My husband and I had traveled to see Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Falling Water near Cleveland, and on the drive, I had the chance to let my mind wander. Not about architecture, but about a character who had been bugging me for a long time. I had loved "The Three Musketeers," and one of the men, Athos, needed more backstory. My favorite Musketeer, Athos was a real loner whose history was vaguely patched together by Alexandre Dumas. I wanted to flesh out his character. Just so happens, my story involves a woman.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
First, I reread Dumas's novel and annotated it for language, plot, and setting. I drafted some early chapters and kept writing while I also studied the craft. One book I picked up, "Don't Sabotage Your Submission," was my bible for a while because it describes all the mistakes new fiction writers make. And, I wasn't immune. In fact, I could only read the book a few pages at a time because I'd have to go through my manuscript and correct all my mistakes. It was frustrating but a good process to work through. For historical questions, I tried to learn about the time period in general, but I also looked for answers to very specific questions rather than read volume after volume of history books. One question I researched was how peasants lived in 17th Century France. I found good books, picked out relevant details, and dropped them in for context. Once I had the draft finished, I knew I had to find a few gentle Beta readers. Luckily, my readers were encouraging, but it took another couple years of revisions before it was really ready for publication. When I started to get nice rejection letters, I knew I needed a little more patience to find an agent or publisher. Almost four years from the day I started writing the novel, a small publisher said YES. That was a glorious afternoon.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I give all credit for my story to Alexandre Dumas, who wrote "The Three Musketeers " in 1844, and to Oliver Reed, the British actor who played Athos in two movies circa 1980. Those two men were the inspiration for this story, which picks up the plot where Dumas ends. Most readers may be unaware that Dumas also wrote several other books with the Musketeers as re-occurring characters. The next book in the d'Artagnan Romances is "Twenty Years After," but there's a big block of time that isn't covered in the characters' lives. Athos changes so much from "The Three Musketeers" to "Twenty Years After," I had to fill in the blanks. By the way, readers don't need to read either of these books to enjoy the one I've written.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I've loved learning that Dumas's novel still has a significant readership and fan base. It's an enduring tale of adventure, not just for adolescent boys, which are definitely not my target audience. I give Athos a well-rounded characterization, which includes his sexuality. TV has picked up on this trend, too. The Musketeers are now the subjects of a sexy new BBC TV series and an independent web series. Also, a scholar in Britain has been in touch with me about his study of this romantic period in literature and why it still endures. Fun stuff for a Musketeer groupie!

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world?
I have learned so much it could fill several books. I try to keep track of my journey on my blog, but to say I've subjected myself to a thorough education in the arts is an understatement. I have realized that the life of a writer is a testament to sheer stubbornness and the love of writing. Traditionally publishing a novel is a rocky, sometimes harrowing, experience. There were many times I just wanted to run the manuscript through a damn shredder. But I always gave myself a cool-down period (usually three days) after a bout of bad news -- whether it was the 50th rejection, a bad critique, or a person who just didn't "get' why I kept at it. You do it because you love writing, and the story prods you to tell it.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
I am fond of Nicholson Baker's work. He wrote "The Anthologist" and "Vox." He crosses genres, which is unusual, and he's a wonderful spinner of good literary prose. Plus, he's just a damn nice guy. Recently, I also discovered the work of British writer Glen Duncan, and I may obsessively read everything he's written from now until Christmas. It's sexy and literary.

What are you working on now?
I just finished a short memoir, and don't know what to do with it. Maybe nothing. That's another advantage to being a writer, you can write just for yourself, or if you think you've written just for yourself, you can decide to publish it later. There are so many choices for publishing; it isn't the obstacle it once was. I also have revisions on my plate for the second Musketeer book, which is a prequel to "The Three Musketeers," about how Athos meets his nemesis, Milady. They originally had been married. I also have a novella in progress. It is a book about false intimacies and interweaves two storylines. I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
I'm game for anything. In fact, I may also write a thriller. And a screenplay. Who knows? If something doesn't stick, I'll try a new idea. It's fun to experiment.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
No question -- making myself work on a schedule. I tend to work when my brain is finished mulling over a detail or two, which sometimes doesn't equate into a daily practice. Today I finished a project after I'd given myself a few days to think through certain details. I like my drafts to be solid, and if I go half-committed in one direction, I feel like I've wasted my own time. But I generally work a little every single day, even if it's just a page in longhand.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
My desk is a messy work in progress. I clean it maybe once a month, only to sort the stacks, but if I'm writing regularly, I usually abandon the desk for the bedroom and my laptop. There's no clutter on my bed, and everything is soft, a good environment to think. Plus, I'm a notorious scribbler. I write notes to myself at the grocery, the bank, the car line at my kids' schools. I've started keeping index cards and pens around the house so I can remember a good line as soon as it comes.


For more info about Jennifer and her book, "Blood, Love and Steel," see her website, www.TheMusketeerSeries.com, or visit her blog, www.LivingOnInk.com. She's also a frequent tweeter, @jmfwriter. On Facebook, follow her at The Musketeer Series, https://www.facebook.com/TheMusketeerSeries?ref=hl

To buy "Blood, Love and Steel: A Musketeer's Tale" find it on Amazon.
Or from Powell's City of Books.


About Jennifer:  A long-time journalist for print and radio, Jennifer Fulford began writing fiction as a hobby. She's found the freedom from journalistic conventions to be so gratifying that she decided to write a trilogy based on her favorite book, "The Three Musketeers." She also writes poems, loves to hike, drinks gin, and isn't shy of a game of Crazy Eights with either of her two daughters. She lives in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina with her children, her black cat Ollie and Golden Retriever Lady.

Friday, October 10, 2014 | By: Cafe
I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head.
- John Updike
Thursday, October 9, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Samanthya Wyatt

The Write Way Café welcomes author Samanthya Wyatt, who draws on personal experience to craft believable scenes and brandishes a mean collection of organizational tools. 

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance? 
Ever since I can remember, I have loved curling up with a book. When I was young I wrote poems and short stories. When I graduated, my life changed. I married a military man, traveled across the US and abroad, settled in the Shenandoah Valley and had a family. Then I found romance novels. I fell in love with the characters and needed to know their happy ending.

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
One day I was playing around to get my mind off edits and I wrote a scene with two women bantering back and forth. I had so much fun and the words seemed to flow. So I ended up writing my first contemporary Something More. Modern day women have more freedom, and my wit seems to come out more with contemporary. I have started several stories including a hunky fireman series. Station Eight. Can’t wait to get those published.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I’ve taken every workshop I could to improve my writing. I’ve entered many contests. I joined RWA and joined several chapters. Savvy Authors offered a pitch contest with several editors, agents and publishers. Coming up with a pitch—25 words or less—is extremely difficult when you’re in a group with thousands of other authors. But I got the attention of 3 editors and two different publishing companies. My dream paid off. I signed my first contract with Soul Mate Publishing.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
The setting is New York. The beautiful Brooklyn Bridge is on my cover. New York is a magnet, exuding power, and encases a very active life style. So I created two strong characters with such a régime.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
My characters are fictitious. I have taken real life experiences to achieve the emotion on paper for my characters. I’m currently working on a series, The Firemen of Station #8. The stories will be mine, but I interviewed some real fireman for the research and background information to be as accurate as it can be. For my historicals, I do a lot of research for the time period, studying the lingo / slang and culture. With appropriate details, hopefully I put the reader in the setting.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
I find that I get a lot more accomplished if I just sit at the computer and write. As long as I write something, I just keep going. Later I can delete or gather tidbits together. And I have deleted whole chapters. But if I want my story to go somewhere and be a good MS, there has to be GMC. I learned this from many workshops. I learned how to do character sketches, GMC charts, plots—everything one needs to bring a story together.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I have my own office, my desk, and everything in it is just for my writing. I have a cabinet with lots of binders—GMC—POV—Edits—Research—Characters—ideas …. I am organized, keep a main calendar, and a blog calendar of authors who host me or I give space in my Newsletter. Lots of notes, lots of books, and I juggle my pens. I color code everything.

What are you working on now?
In my first historical, Katherine’s brother is missing. Find out what happened to Kat’s brother in the thrilling sequel in the One and Only series.

Book 2, Stephen’s story - The True One  to be released in December.
     His ship in splinters and his men captured, Stephen is a broken man. Yet the torture he received by his enemies is nothing compared to the torment he bears from an angel with lavender eyes.
     Jennifer left England full of a young girl’s fantasies of romance and adventure. When she cares for a near death captain, memories emerge of the family she left behind. Will the passion they share be enough? He must choose – her or revenge.

After that, Book 3, Giles story - The Only One

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
Who has not been inspired by Kathleen Woodiwiss!! I would have liked to live in the Regency time period. Dashing Lords and pirates seem so romantic. Even though historical romance is my first love, the regency requires a lot of research and effort with language of the time period. But I learn a lot of history while I’m looking. So many amazing details which makes a good foundation for any MS. I find the more I research, the more I write down, the deeper my thoughts and the more my characters come alive.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Getting Started. Seems like I procrastinate a bit. Takes me forever to get settled in. I check my emails and get so involved with other authors and blogs, hours go by before I know it. And research takes hours of my time.


A determined man, a headstrong woman, and a battle of wills.

     On his way to an important meeting, a light flirtation turns into more than Matthew expects. The alluring beauty does not need his money, and makes it clear she does not need him. 
     Carrie trusts no man. Until a pair of mischievous eyes melts her defenses, and has her second guessing her convictions.
     Infatuation and excitement spark a journey of passion and forbidden emotion where two people must overcome their earlier convictions to find an everlasting love.


Enjoy an excerpt 
     Matthew just got a jolt to his solar plexus. His eyes darted to her mouth. His breathing slowed at the thought of his tongue sliding across and through those daring, full lips. Why was he even considering the idea?
     He’d seen her in the airport. A striking female who had his pulses leaping with excited interest. He was a leg man, and she had killer legs. He thought a light flirtation might be just the thing he needed to recover from a frenzied airport. He’d grabbed a last minute flight, got stuck in coach, and had to survive the aircraft from hell. Screaming, undisciplined children only made matters worse with the headache from an already bad day. When he’d seen her dash for the taxi, he immediately decided to take full advantage of the opportunity.
     One of the sexiest women he’d ever seen sat mere inches away. True, her long blond hair might be plastered against her lovely head and shoulders, but heat came off her like an inferno. Her shoulders squared like a warrior preparing for battle. Blue-eyed, bottle-blondes were too available, too anxious to be the next one in his bed. This poised creature was about as far from a Barbie doll as one could be. She didn’t need to flaunt her beauty like other self-centered females. In only a few moments, she’d shown self-assurance and a strength many men lacked.
     She had blue eyes the color of the bluest sky on any summer day. They sparked fire, yet generated warmth. Her intense scrutiny gave a good kick to his already skipping pulse. The magnetism pulled him in like a fish on a reel that wanted to be caught. At the same time, her look cautioned—don’t be too sure of yourself, for I may throw you back.
     It had been a long while since he’d seriously craved a woman. Matthew boldly studied her profile. His creative mind already imagined the possibilities. A kiss on her round little nose. A lingering caress over her smooth cheeks. A nibble on her stubborn chin. His gaze traveled lower to find the clinging wet material molded to her body exposed every curve and valley of sinful bliss.
     Jesus!
     Air hissed between his teeth as he recalled her beaded nipples poking the front of her soaked blouse. His blood thickened and so did another part of him. He shifted hoping to give the impression he was uncomfortable from sodden clothes.
     A soft rush of air brushed his damp face causing his gaze to focus on hers. He’d been caught staring—again. Long brown lashes fanned out around her spearing gaze. Her eyes brightened. Sensuous lips promising delight curled into an evocative smile, parted as if awaiting his kiss, and then she laughed. The throaty sound sent electric shocks of awareness drumming through his system.
     His body responded to her in a way it had not stirred in a long time, and he relished the moment. His thoughts clouded as his pulse surged. He needed to explore why this creature enflamed his senses and fueled his desire. Thank God, she had a sense of humor.
     “I believe in being a gentleman, no matter what you may have deemed from my actions earlier.” Matthew reluctantly released her hand. “Please forgive me.”
     He remembered his sister’s puppy, and how sad little eyes had secured her devotion. Matthew tried for the most pitiful look he could manage, hoping to warrant Carrie’s empathy. “Am I forgiven?” A delicious smile formed on her mouth wrenching his groin. Her intoxicating scent made him long to lean closer. The idea of tasting those sumptuous lips led to other delightful fantasies.
     “What kind of female would I be if I left a poor unfortunate man out in the cold, pouring rain without a care to his distress?”
     If she only knew.
     "Surely you’re not suggesting the kind of female as those during the bra burning era? The ones who refuse to allow a man a simple act such as opening the door for them. That type of female would lock the door at the butcher shop and dangle the steak in front of a starving man looking in the window.” He leaned toward her. “But certainly not you. You, dear lady, have been most kind.”
     “Kind that I didn’t throw you out after you manhandled me into this vehicle?”
     Mathew gave his most disarming grin. “You must take into account I’m not responsible for my actions. I’d just survived irrational people and belligerent children. I landed in bedlam instead of an airport. Disorderly people turned into an angry mob. Then I was distracted by a most beautiful woman. How can I be blamed for my quick thinking?”
     The twinkle in her eyes warmed his sense of humor. His gaze dropped to her mouth. The instinct to kiss her rose-colored lips made him wonder what she would taste like. Cherries? Sweet caramel? He concentrated on their fullness instead of the words coming from her mouth. Her voice exposed confidence and control. Forcing his gaze from temptation, he met her stare. Her eyes sent the message—I will chew you up and spit you out if I want to.
     A challenge?
     How often was it he actually met someone sexy who didn’t immediately try to seduce him? How long since he’d met a woman smart and entertaining. Not only had she captured his attention, she’d seized his curiosity. And nothing got his adrenaline flowing faster than a hardy challenge.

Buy links:          Something More          The Right One



Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | By: Cafe

Blueberries, Sex, and Writing: The life of an author


The Write Way Café welcomes author Charmaine Gordon who shares some interesting thoughts on her life as a writer.

     While on a beach vacation with my daughter and 6+ year old granddaughter last summer, two young women stopped by our beach chairs for a friendly chat. One of them asked my age and when I told her I was born when dinosaurs roamed the earth, she said, “What’s your secret? How do you stay looking so young?”
     Never shy, I answered, “Blueberries and sex.”
     “Mom,” my daughter cried, giving the word at least two syllables, “you don’t have sex.”
     I smiled my secret smile and said, “How do you know?”
     You see, kids don’t believe parents have sex. Ever. They forget that after all, in some mystical way, egg and sperm mate and form a child or two. Sometimes more. But not their parents.
     When our last child went off to school, I’m talking about kindergarten, sex was the first thing we thought of when the door closed. Alone at last. My latest release Housebroken deals with this. I call it empty nest syndrome.
     I reveal this because in many ways it ties to each of my Romance/Suspense books. Take the ingredients and stir well: a woman, a man, a spark of heat, conflict, seesaw of emotion, and eventually an HEA.
     To Be Continued was my first book published with Vanilla Heart; followed by Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission, The Catch and then the mature adult series under the umbrella title The Beginning. . .Not The End. Sixteen books and I’m not running out of steam, still having fun. I didn’t realize at the time I wrote different stories with a theme of Survive and Thrive running through each one. The stories are not about me. I do know it’s sink or swim in life and to be successful you must put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. We run our own Marathon of Life and we don’t want to run out of time. So don’t think “I’ll write tomorrow,” not if there’s a story inside you waiting to be told.
     A little bit about series. When I wrote The End to Reconstructing Charlie, I cried. A few days later, a couple of the secondary characters came to me. Yes, they did! “How about us?” And Sin of Omission began utilizing some of the characters in RC. A similar event took place a month later and I wrote The Catch. Three stand alone books yet the three are also a series.
     My romance writing is not erotic, no gratuitous sex. There is passion and sometimes even when a loved one has gone to a better world, he returns. . .especially when the conflict is unresolved and they can’t let go.
     My advice to new writers is never give up. Keep writing your stories and submitting them to find a good home. For the day a publisher or agent says, “I want your book,” is a day worth celebrating. Yes. Someone loves your baby.

I’m offering a copy of Housebroken to one commenter who shares a tidbit of an empty nest experience.


Sally and Steve Atwood must make a big adjustment – a fair number of them, actually – when after thirty-five years, three grown children, and a lifetime of memories, they are alone, together, at last... And, then they found River’s Edge, a small town with big heart, stories to tell that will warm your heart, make you smile, and turn a dreary day into a day of hope for the Kindness of Strangers.

Excerpt:
     Steve and Sally Atwood held their respective breaths and prayed nothing would upset the get-away. Two children out and now, at last, the youngest is married and going, going, gone. They waved and watched Johnny and his bride drive down the road and turn the corner in their new Toyota.
     “Alone at last.” Steve hugged his wife of thirty five years. “Let our honeymoon begin.” And to his surprise when he lifted her chin for a kiss, he discovered tears running down her cheeks. “What’s this, honey? I thought you’d be happy.”
     She sniffled and blotted tears on his shirt.  “I am happy but now, “ Sally raised her arms and walked through the hall into the kitchen and through the dining and living rooms, “the house is empty. Once it was filled with children, sweet babies laughing and crawling. . .”
     “And crying all night and teenagers asking for the keys to the car and thinking they knew more than we do.” He pulled her to him. “Sweetheart, you’ve forgotten the effort we’ve put in to raising three kids to be good people and now it’s our turn at last. How about champagne to celebrate alone at last and I bought your favorite chocolate covered strawberries? I’ll fill the hot tub and we’ll relax.”
     Sally kissed her husband, knew he was right and he’d pushed all the right buttons with decadent drinks and chocolate in the afternoon. She pulled the scrunchy from her curly blond hair to fluff up as she climbed the stairs, sucked in her belly, glad she’d done a zillion sit-ups to strengthen her muscles and kept up her shape. The allure of sweets called to her. She resisted so far.
     Steve waited ‘til she entered the bathroom before popping the cork to pour champagne. Sally did a coy strip tease and carefully stepped in the tub to sit and soak in hot bubbly water. They clinked crystal flutes, made a toast “To us” and breathed in the moment fragrant with lavender.  Steve fed strawberries to his wife; they shared each one and when dessert ended, they had no doubt about the pleasure ahead.

About Charmaine:  I kissed my acting career goodbye, leaving on a high note with the lead in an Off Broadway play, “The Fourth Commandment” by author Rich Knipe.  “It was great fun and time to move on since my voice was gone, kaput, bye, bye,” Before that, I had a full schedule working on movies like “Working Girl”, “Road to Wellsville” and having the pleasure of Anthony Hopkins’ company at lunch.  I worked with Mike Nichols in “Regarding Henry” and sang outside with Harrison Ford during “Working Girl”, cried with Gene Wilder over loss on another set, and sang ‘It Had to be You’ with the whole cast of  “When Harry Met Sally”.  There were lots of fond memories; “Especially my first job as a stand-in leg model for Geraldine Ferraro in a Diet Pepsi commercial with Secret Service men guarding Ms. Ferraro and her daughters.  Eleven years on One Life to Live, a few years on All My Children, and Another World kept my calendar full.”

BUY LINKS
Smashwords          allromanceebooks          Amazon

Housebroken Sneak Peek Video




Friday, October 3, 2014 | By: Cafe
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. 
- Cyril Connolly

Thursday, October 2, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Caroline Clemmons


The Write Way Café welcomes author Caroline Clemmons. Caroline writes from the heart and people and experiences in her life may show up in her stories.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I always enjoyed making up adventures but hadn’t written them down until my mother-in-law suggested I write a book. Since she never really approved of me, I was surprised. My husband also encouraged me and still does. The first book I wrote was pretty lame. Until I joined RWA and attended a local chapter, I didn’t understand sexual tension, character arc, and all the other components of a good story.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
Gabe Kincaid required unique research because it involves a traveling circus—not one like P. T. Barnum but a small, less exotic show. The nineteenth-century circus was a bit different from those we see today. That’s especially true of those that relied on horse-drawn wagons rather than railroad cars.  As for publishing, I’ve been with a traditional New York publisher, a small press, and self-published. I am only self-publishing now. The control and rapid process empowers an author. Of course, I still have an editor check my book before I publish. Kim Killion did the cover for the Kincaid books and I really love them. 

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
I wanted Gabe to be the hero, but he was far too serious a young man. To liven up his life, he needed a heroine who could incite all his emotions. She initially appears in her home, and we next meet her in Kincaid Springs. For a hero who takes life much too seriously, what could be better than a circus fortune teller as his heroine? Of course, she is only masquerading in the circus to escape the two men determined to kill her, but Gabe doesn’t know that when he meets her and is assigned to represent her after a brawl at the circus.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
The town of Kincaid Springs was established in the first of the Kincaid series, so I only had to bring the characters together there. As I mentioned above, the circus was just to mix up Gabe. Kincaid Springs is fictitious, but supposedly thirty miles from Austin, Texas in the central hill country. The first book in the series was set in 1878 but now we’re up to 1887 and more books are planned for this series.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
My family say we are each the sum of all our experiences. I believe all my characters are a reflection of myself and people I’ve known or read about throughout my life. However, each is entirely fictional and in general, no character represents an actual person. The possible exception is that the first Kincaid novel, The Most Unsuitable Wife, was based on a brief anecdote my grandmother shared with me about a girl from her tiny Tennessee hometown. She didn’t know what happened to the girl, so I decided she deserved a happy ending. In addition, I named a character in Save Your Heart For Me after my mom, but the character is really not like her. Two characters sort of patterned after my mom and her sister are the aunts, Maggie Jo and Lizzie Mae, in the Stone Mountain series. When they were together, my mom and aunt could be such fun. Either one would have done anything for her children. Even though they are secondary characters,  those two are among my favorites.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I do have a laptop, but prefer to use my desktop PC. My office is small, but I love my “pink cave” and enjoy writing there. The space includes a wall of book cases, my corner computer desk with shelves, a large desk for my printer and my cat, and glassed-door shelves over the desk for my mementos. My desk chair is comfy, and I can happily spend most of each day sitting there. The rest of the walls are covered with prints, family photos, and other objects that give me pleasure.

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m completing a Christmas novella titled Stone Mountain Christmas, which will be released in a few weeks. The Stone Mountain series is set earlier than the Kincaid books. The Christmas novella is set in North Central Texas in 1874 in the Palo Pinto Mountains. Although geologically they’re mountains, for the most part  they resemble large hills.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why? 
I’ve dabbled with contemporary romance and mysteries and have a women’s fiction plotted. The problem (although it’s hardly a problem) is that I enjoy writing western historical romance more than anything else. For now, why change? We do have to keep stretching and growing, though, and I’ve recently been involved writing one of a linked duet with Jaquie Rogers titled Mail-Order Tangle. That was a fun project and we are pleased with the way our books turned out. Mine is first and set in Texas (where I set all my books), Mail-Order Promise.  Her Mail-Order Ruckus is set in Owyhee County, Idaho and takes up where mine stopped—and we think she does so seamlessly. The heroes of the two books are cousins and the heroines are sisters.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I can’t imagine not writing, but I suppose an antique dealer. My youngest daughter and I used to have antique booths in a couple of malls and enjoyed ourselves even though we weren’t the best at it.  We wanted to keep all the neat stuff we found instead of selling the items. ☺  She’s still in the business in addition to her job as a school librarian, but I concentrate on writing.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Social media and marketing. I just want to write, but the aforementioned is time consuming. Basically, I’m introverted and not great on social media, appearances, etc. They’re a part of the business, though.

About Caroline:  Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is Gabe Kincaid, book four of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
     Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Romance Writers chapters of Yellow Rose, From The Heart, and Hearts Through History. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series:  Brazos Bride, High Stakes Bride, and Bluebonnet Bride and the audio books of Brazos Bride and High Stakes Bride.
     Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and—for a short and fun time—an  antique dealer. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with family and friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.



Gabe Kincaid buy links:

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