Friday, June 23, 2017 | By: Cafe
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 
– Albert Einstein
Thursday, June 22, 2017 | By: Cafe

A Lost World Revealed by Loretta Moore

The Write Way Café welcomes Loretta Moore, the talented author who reveals a different sort of fascinating lost world.

Tell us a little about Bottom Tales and Others
Imagine a community where neighbors all know and assist each other, where they never have to lock their doors. This once-vibrant African American community existed as part of Philadelphia, PA. It is through Bottom Tales and Others that this vanished community again lives. Like raising Lazarus from the dead, I tried to bring this once-thriving community back to life for readers. Other stories in Bottom Tales and Others about other places are just as fascinating.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book? 
I think it’s geared to readers who enjoy short story collections. I think they’ll enjoy all of the stories in the collection.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book? 
The title Bottom Tales and Others covers what the book is about. It’s about a section in Philadelphia called, ‘The Bottom,’ and the collection is on other places representing, ‘Others’.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why? 
I would have to say that in one of the stories entitled The Simple and the Good, Reverend Elijah Wilson is a favorite of mine. I enjoyed the relationship he and a young girl Shoney in the community had. The two interesting, odd people were keepers, preservers of everything within the poor, working class community.

How about your least favorite character? 
A dog in the story Billy the Boxer was my least favorite because the hundred-pound mongrel was really mean.  

What makes them less appealing to you? 
Unprovoked, he’d go after anyone he spotted.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. 
The cover represents the way Philadelphia might have looked during the period I was writing about. 

Who designed it? 
Marina S. Buryak designed the cover. 

Why did you go with that particular image/artwork? 
I concurred with the designer’s representation. I thought it was good.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
There are many but Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy stand above them.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies? 
Music is a big part of me-singing, playing the piano, enjoying music in all forms.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published? 
Just keep sending out your work. And take cues from editors so you’ll know what publishers require from a writer.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? 
Pass on the message about it. Express how much you enjoyed it.

What can we expect from you in the future? 
I’ve signed a contract for another novel, entitled The Way of Love. Plus, I’m hopeful I’ll receive contracts for two other books.

A LOST WORLD REVEALED: THE BOTTOM, AN AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY THAT ONCE EXISTED IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

Imagine a community where neighbors all know and assist each other, where they never have to lock their doors. A myth, a pleasant dream? No, this once-vibrant African American community existed as part of Philadelphia. The Bottom, also known as Black Bottom, was located roughly between 33rd and 40th streets east and west and to Lancaster and University Boulevard in what Philadelphia city planners called Area 3. It was a place that transcended the physical infrastructure of the city. This community existed from the early 1900s until the mid-to-late 1950s before state and federal urban renewal displaced its residents. It was in 1984 that the first reunion of former Bottom residents was held, and later this lost community was honored by the City of Philadelphia. In 1999, the city declared the last Sunday in August as “Black Bottom Day,” as a tribute to the legacy and the history of this lost community. It is through Bottom Tales and Others that this vanished community of over 5000 residents again lives. Like raising Lazarus from the dead, author Loretta Moore brings this once-thriving community back to life for you to experience, along with the edifying journeys the Bottom inspires.


Leo Publishing       Amazon         Barnes & Noble




About Loretta:  I’m an African American female multi-published writer, residing in Dover, Delaware. Published works include: THE COLOR OF MURDER under contract with Black Opal Books, BOTTOM TALES AND OTHERS with Leo Publishing, THE LIGHT OF DAY and THE WAY OF LOVE both with Extasy Books. Other published works include poetry and essays, plus several plays published. Many of my ‘Plays’ have been stage productions-I’ve enjoyed a long-time association with the theatre. Ghostwriting is another area in which I work. I’ve also been published in several journals and magazines, and contribute to a church newsletter. I have a college degree in English, I have received literary and theatrical recognition, I belong to an honor society and other laudable organizations, and I volunteer in my community and my church. I frequently speak at venues doing readings of my work. I have LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social contacts as well. My next writing project keeps me busy.

Email me: vlmprod@aol.com

LinkedIn: lorettamoore
Facebook: wwwlorettamoorefacebook.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MooViney




Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | By: Cafe

Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart: Four Cat-Shifter Romances
by Four Authors
Releases June 19


It’s a feline frenzy with this sexy shifter bundle of paranormal romances. Watch out—these heroes and heroines have claws! Four purrfectly passionate matches are made for the ages in this were-cat collection.
The Cougar’s Pawn: Ellery Colvard escapes her perfectly organized life for a camping trip with her friends, hoping for a tiny thrill. Instead, she gets carried away—literally—by alpha were-cougar Mason Foye, who needs a mate to avoid his fate. But Ellery has some witchy ways, too, and she isn’t buying into his life story. The clock is ticking as Mason struggles to keep his son, his family, and the woman for whom he’s already fallen head over heels.
Secrets: Casey Mitchell has always kept his identity as a were-lynx secret. But he’s drawn to Michelle Slade, and when he begins to help investigate the circumstances surrounding a mysterious disappearance, the situation soon spins out of control. Their survival depends on trusting each other with secrets better left unspoken. Will these two lonely souls triumph and find true love … or lose everything?
Dragon Heart: In her haste to establish her own boundaries, leopardess Shay Barclay may have entrusted her heart to the wrong man—former Navy SEAL Drake O’Connor, a dragon shifter too dangerous to resist. Drake swore to protect his buddy’s daughter to the death, so when his explosive chemistry with Shay finally boils over and they end up in bed, her family’s political enemies are the least of their problems.
Secrets of the Jaguar: Hiding out in a small island town, Michelle guards her secret closely: she may look like the girl next door, but she’s a were-jaguar. When vampire Duncan comes to town after eight years of loneliness, he thinks Michelle’s a gift, not a freak. Together, they venture to Mexico where the ancient Mayan past holds the key to her elusive origins. However, when Duncan realizes an Aztec army of vampires needs Michelle’s blood to perform an ancient ritual, he’ll stop at nothing to protect her. But falling in love could be the most dangerous game.
Buy Links:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Ways to Use Pinterest as an Author by Regan Walker


When people first started telling me about Pinterest, I confess I knew fear. How could I resist spending all day on such great eye candy? But then it occurred to me I could harness this eye candy and use it to help me write. Instead of saving hundreds of pictures in folders on my desktop, I realized I could load them onto Pinterest!

I began using Pinterest as a writing took six books ago. Initially, it was just for me as I’m very visual and I write from pictures, whether actual pictures or pictures in my mind. I want to “see” the places and characters as I tell the story. But as I loaded my first board, I realized I could provide some eye candy for my readers, too. Now, I cannot imagine writing my stories without Pinterest.

1. As I do my historical research, I begin to build a new Pinterest storyboard, capturing the “foundation” for my story.

When I first create a storyboard, I leave it “Secret” (an option for Pinterest users) until I’ve added some basic pins on setting, the main characters and my initial research. The storyboards for my books include the covers of the books I consulted, loads of maps, clothing of the period, food, birds, dwelling places, even pets.

I also pull enticing quotes from my stories and using Quozio and other free tools, I make a pretty visual and post it. Fro example, on the board for Echo in the Wind, there is a picture of the silver cup the hero Jean Donet gives his new godson. I found a picture of the cup I wanted and added the text that Donet has the silversmith engrave on it (“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.” ~ Sir Francis Drake)


I should probably tell you that I do not plot. When I begin to write, I have done my basic historical research to know the events that occurred during the time of my story; I have a general idea of the main characters, where the story begins and where it is likely to end. All the rest is magic.

Once the board is settled in my mind (that is to say, I’m pretty sure where the story is headed), I post it on Facebook in the Regan Walker’s Readers group. I might Tweet about it. And I invite my readers to “follow” the board to see how the story develops. Those who are anxious for my next release tell me this builds their excitement for the coming novel.

2. I write from my Pinterest storyboard for my work in progress.

Each morning when I begin to write, I pull up Pinterest along with the OED (Oxford English Dictionary for constant word checks to avoid modern words) and run them in my browser. Throughout the day, as I’m describing a place, a gown or even a person, I consult my board.

I also add to the board from my continuing online research. For example, I was writing a scene at Versailles and realized I had no idea what Marie Antoinette’s servants wore in the way of livery, which led me off on a small rabbit trail to find out. (Turns out it was the reverse of the king’s colors; it’s in the story.)

Sometimes I might pin from a search on Pinterest itself, but that is rare for me. I need historical images free of modern effects (I try to avoid cars, modern dress, buildings that weren’t there at the time, electric lights, etc.). As a result, you will often see period art on my boards that captures more accurately the culture of the time. This is particularly true of the boards for my Medieval Warriors series. Finding scenery uncluttered by telephone wires can be a challenge!

Take a look at the board for Echo in the Wind, my new Georgian romance, and you’ll see what I mean. The full board is HERE:
https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/echo-in-the-wind-by-regan-walker/

Since my stories include both real historical figures and fictional characters, you will note pictures of real people with their actual names and other characters with fictional names. My readers tell me I weave the two kinds of characters seamlessly so they cannot tell who is “real” and who is “fictional” unless they know the history, look it up, or, they read my Author’s Note, which will describe in more detail some bits from my research. That is just how I want it. Why not live and love inside of the real historical events?



3. I include the link for my Pinterest board for the story in the “back of the book” material and in my promotion.


I include links to my Pinterest storyboard in the book itself. I also use the Pinterest storyboard in my promotion and on my website. Readers tell me they like this as it makes the story live on. As I tell them, “It’s my research in pictures!”

If you have never used Pinterest, it’s not difficult and there are helps on Pinterest itself with videos. See: https://help.pinterest.com/en/guide/all-about-pinterest

And happy pinning!


ECHO IN THE WIND

“Walker sweeps you away to a time and place you'll NEVER want to leave!”
                  ~ NY Times Bestselling author Danelle Harmon

England and France 1784

Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.

As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.

Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious comte de Saintonge.

Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?

***

Regan Walker is an award-winning, Amazon #1 bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. A lawyer turned full-time writer, she has six times been featured on USA TODAY’s HEA blog and nominated six times for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize won Best Historical Novel for 2015 in the Medieval category). Her novel The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland won the Gold Medal in the Illumination Awards in 2017.

Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government have given Regan a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for special assignments. Each of her novels features real history and real historical figures. And, of course, adventure and love.

Keep in touch with Regan on Facebook,  and do join Regan Walker’s Readers.

You can sign up for her newsletter on her website.

Echo in the Wind on Amazon:   U.S.        U.K.       CANADA

You can also find Regan on Goodreads, Regan's Amazon Author Page, and Regan's Pinterest boards.




Friday, June 16, 2017 | By: Cafe
Where there is love there is life. 
– Mahatma Gandhi
Thursday, June 15, 2017 | By: Cafe

Readers Before Wallet by W. J. Howard

The Write Way Café welcomes W.J. Howard, who shares thoughts about pricing to enhance readership.


Lately, I’ve gotten myself into trouble with author friends. It’s because I don’t agree we shouldn’t give our work away for free or price it dirt cheap.

As intelligent beings, we are natural storytellers. It all started around the campfire as a way to express our evolving creativity, as well as to fulfill our social, educational, and spiritual needs. These events were free for all to attend, and it makes sense that something so essential to life became a part of commerce in the form of for-profit publishing.

Fast forward to today’s ever changing world and the brilliant minds who invented the Internet as a means of sharing information at lightning fast speed. Since the Internet went public in 1981, it has done amazing things for amateur storytellers, expanding the fire pit to reach billions of people worldwide. Who could have predicted the impact this form of communication has had on the publishing industries, but here we are, well into the most amazing advancements in sharing our thoughts and creations.

While paper books and magazines won’t disappear anytime soon, there’s no denying that the way we read will continue to evolve. Up to now, I’ve been a proponent for every available method to deliver stories to readers, and I’ve been an active member of websites such as Booksie, Writers Café, and WattPad, to name a few. Back in 2009 I even won a writing contest on Textnovel, a site that shares stories via text messages, and I released a novel on Twitter. In essence, these sites have brought back the tradition of telling stories around a campfire. Visitors not only read, they interact with other readers and passages within a story. More notably, authors can talk to readers, making these sites some of my favorite places to hang out as a writer.

I primarily write for young and new adults, and there’s no denying that this age group have their own opinions about paying standard industry prices for literature and music. During a recent discussion with my twenty-three-year-old son, he made it clear he doesn’t mind paying for books and music, but the writer or artist, “better damn well prove their worth before I’m willing to put out the bucks.” This is one reason why I give away my stories to anyone willing to read via Instafreebie and NoiseTrade. While these sites provide another method to get free books in the hands of readers who are willing to give a writer a chance, they also offer a valuable non-monetary payment in return, an email address. 

Another connection to readers.

Earlier this year, I gave up on selling the first book in my series at that indie sweet spot of $2.99-$3.99, in addition to exclusive sales contracts with bookstores that are more of a mouse trap. Today the book continues to hover at the bottom of the horror comedy category in paid bookstores, but playing with the price has taught me that sales trickle best at $.99, so why would I increase the price if that’s what readers want to pay.

Do I care I’m being ignored in bookstores? No. Why? I started to look at acquiring readers like any sales position. In order to succeed, a salesperson must have a bottomless list of leads. In the long run, it makes no sense to exclusively lock sales into bookstores at a high price. Bookstores do not provide leads. They keep authors segregated from readers, while sharing sites are a means of building exponential relationships with real live people.

If my author friends need more convincing, consider that Steven King and Janet Evanovich have worked their butts off, paid their dues, and continue to sell stacks of books. Authors at their level have earned it. How do you compare to them? Now consider that Anne Rice has recently released a book at $.99 to gather attention. For me it’s a given: readers before wallet. Catch you around the campfire.


W. J. (Wendy) Howard writes a mix of horror, sci fi, and comedy. Her main focus is creating action-packed stories for readers looking for books as fast paced as video games. Her stories feature unique and memorable characters that are both outrageous and easy to relate to. She has watched countless horror movies since the age of six, and has become a bit addicted to any form of media that aims to scare. In her spare time, she hangs out with her husband and two cunning beagles while drinking lots of wine.



Check out The Courier Series by W. J. Howard, a satirical tale about a guy down on his luck who is finding that choosing between good and evil is not always as easy as it seems.

“My name is Barry, although it might as well be Loser. Satan owns my soul, and my demon boss tortures me with her magical cigarettes every chance she gets. I should be flicking butts at her. She tricked me into signing a contract that compels me to help open the Gates of Hell. I’m desperate for freedom. At the same time, I’ll do anything to stop damned souls from spilling onto Earth. My odds of saving mankind are uncertain. But I still have to try.”

Get it on NoiseTrade at https://goo.gl/uVE828

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | By: Cafe

Pressure to Produce? by @lcrandallwriter

I’ve mentioned to anyone nearby that I expect to finish my WIP this week. It feels like it is taking forever to write. It’s the book that will never end. But I also know that I’m purposely writing with more deliberation. I am taking the time it takes to go deep into the characters and the plot. The “problem” is not actually a problem.

There is a lot of pressure in today’s publishing world to produce, and to produce quickly. It makes sense when one considers the steady flow of books entering the market, and that independent authors seem to have the ability to write fast. To be competitive, it feels important to publish often and many. So how long should it take to write a 60,000-word novel, for instance? 


I’ve had eight books published, including an anthology, over the past few years. I wrote several of them in about 12 to 16 weeks. It was challenging to complete them in that time frame because of my freelance writing and editing, as well as the rest of my life needing attention. It was wonderful to have the books release relatively close together. I’m happy with those books. Producing fast and furiously is not a bad thing.

So when I began researching and writing for my present WIP, I read things that promised to teach me to produce quickly. I read How to Write A Novel in 30 Days and How to Write A Novel in 7 Days. Others have done it, why couldn’t I?

Well, I don’t think I could have written that fast and write the book I’m trying to write now. For me, the question – how long does it take to write a novel – can be answered with, as long as it takes. I am fully aware that writing is a business. I prioritize writing and write, even when I feel blocked or busy. After writing a number of books, I might expect writing to be getting easier. For me, it’s not. Not yet, anyway. With this book, writing has been harder. I’m pushing myself to develop my skills, and that takes time. I sit at my computer and sink into the situation and setting my character is in and let my sense of it inform my writing. Each character has a way of relating and dealing with his or her environment and their problems or joys. I’ve always done this, but this time I’m digging deeper, giving my brain more time to sit with possibilities and find the words that best put the reader into the scene and help them experience the story, not just read it. I’m enjoying the writing of this book no more or less than previous books, but it has been slower and harder. Still, I’m proud of myself for taking the time I need and for expanding my skills until they are second nature.

Speed may be the result of becoming more proficient in the way I want to write my books, but for now, more depth is the goal.

I'd love to know what you think about authors producing fast and furiously. It's fun to not have to wait to have books out steadily from favorite authors, but are there any down sides? As an author, do you struggle to fit in enough writing time with your every day life to be able to produce steadily?


Photo Credit: &copy; &copy; Paffy1969 | Dreamstime.com - <a href="https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-whispering-secret-image21174927#res4771332">Whispering a secret</a>

Cosmin - Constantin Sava | Dreamstime.com - <a href="https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-add-event-image14125923#res4771332">Add an event</a>




Friday, June 9, 2017 | By: Cafe
Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve! 
– Andrew Carnegie
Thursday, June 8, 2017 | By: Cafe

Charlie's Family Secrets with Charmaine Gordon

The Write Way Café welcomes author Charmaine Gordon, who shares the winding road of her career.

Hi Gang,

I'm revealing a secret after all this time. I never learned how to write a book. . .ever. After living as an Air Force Wife for many years, having way too many children, my pilot husband became a civilian and life changed. We moved back to Chicago and proceeded to move from state to state with my first love making a living while I became mother of the year--every year. It became a habit. Finally, after acting in community playhouses all over, a friend suggested I move on to NYC and get a real job. My hubs drew a little map of the trip and off I went, alone for the first time.

Daytime dramas welcomed this fifty four year old actor and suddenly I was working! Movies came next and that was so much fun plus an Off Broadway play for a few years until I lost my lovely voice. That ended my acting career.

A friend suggested I write a book. I said that I had no idea how and then a story came to me and I wrote and wrote until The End. What a kick. Soon a publisher offered a contract and boom, just like that, I became a writer.

My latest is an omnibus of three books in a series titled Charlie's Family Secret. And oh, what a secret!


Reconstructing Charlie
Charlie Costigan has a secret. Home life gone from bad to the worst when she protects her mother from another vicious attack by her drunken father. Midnight. Clothes thrown into an old suitcase, she races for the bus with a letter to an unknown aunt and uncle. “This is my daughter. Embrace her as if she were your own.” Determined, Charlie begins again. Alone with her secret.

Sin of Omission
A twist of fate intervenes when Shelley keeps a secret that threatens to break apart the Costigans and her future. A mysterious client, Deanna Rose, enters Haven, victim of a savage beating under strange circumstances. Shelley investigates and finds Ms. Rose has an unsavory past. With the reputation and safety of Haven at stake, Shelley is at risk to lose everything and everyone she cares about.

The Catch
Tom Donnelly, once known as The Catch – every woman’s dream guy, has fallen down every rung of the ladder he once worked so hard to climb. On New Year’s Day, he realizes just how far he’s fallen, and makes a list of resolutions to change his life. He vows to regain the trust lost from his family, his law firm, and his friends – and maybe even find the right woman this time.


Nook        Kobo        Kindle


About Charmaine: I was an actor for many years on daytime drama, One Life to Live, Another World, All My Children. Movies; my first was Working Girl where I sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith and shared a Hot Dog with Harrison Ford during the break. The Road to Wellness with Sir Anthony Hopkins,"call me Tony" he said and invited me to lunch at the special room for the leads and staff. What fun and delicious filet mignon. The sweet time in my life after caring for a large family in the loving days of momhood. Then my voice failed me and I began writing. How I love this career and my publisher, Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing.


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Loretta Moore with Bottom Tales and Others

Loretta Moore


BOTTOM TALES AND OTHERS
(Collection of short stories)


A LOST WORLD REVEALED: THE BOTTOM, AN AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY THAT ONCE EXISTED IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

Imagine a community where neighbors all know and assist each other, where they never have to lock their doors. A myth, a pleasant dream? No, this once-vibrant African American community existed as part of Philadelphia. The Bottom, also known as Black Bottom, was located roughly between 33rd and 40th streets east and west and to Lancaster and University Boulevard in what Philadelphia city planners called Area 3. It was a place that transcended the physical infrastructure of the city. This community existed from the early 1900s until the mid-to-late 1950s before state and federal urban renewal displaced its residents. It was in 1984 that the first reunion of former Bottom residents was held, and later this lost community was honored by the City of Philadelphia. In 1999, the city declared the last Sunday in August as “Black Bottom Day,” as a tribute to the legacy and the history of this lost community. It is through Bottom Tales and Others that this vanished community of over 5000 residents again lives. Like raising Lazarus from the dead, author Loretta Moore brings this once-thriving community back to life for you to experience, along with the edifying journeys the Bottom inspires.

Leo Publishing       Amazon         Barnes & Noble



About Loretta:  I’m an African American female multi-published writer, residing in Dover, Delaware. Published works include: THE COLOR OF MURDER under contract with Black Opal Books, BOTTOM TALES AND OTHERS with Leo Publishing, THE LIGHT OF DAY and THE WAY OF LOVE both with Extasy Books. Other published works include poetry and essays, plus several plays published. Many of my ‘Plays’ have been stage productions-I’ve enjoyed a long-time association with the theatre. Ghostwriting is another area in which I work. I’ve also been published in several journals and magazines, and contribute to a church newsletter. I have a college degree in English, I have received literary and theatrical recognition, I belong to an honor society and other laudable organizations, and I volunteer in my community and my church. I frequently speak at venues doing readings of my work. I have LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social contacts as well. My next writing project keeps me busy.

Email me: vlmprod@aol.com
LinkedIn: lorettamoore
Facebook: wwwlorettamoorefacebook.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MooViney


Friday, June 2, 2017 | By: Cafe
A word after a word after a word is power.
- Margaret Atwood
Thursday, June 1, 2017 | By: Cafe

Meet Mari-j Carpenter

The Write Way Café welcomes Mari-j Carpenter, who knows that sometimes books come from dreams.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I had first started writing books in the third grade, then gravitated to journal writing in a diary, but it wasn’t until 2009 that a dream led me to writing novels. And just last year I got serious about writing, and I’ve always been naturally drawn to romance. I’m just a romantic at heart.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on my novel called, Crash into Me. It is ready to be submitted to literary agents.

How do you do research?
The research I’ve done has been majority online all from military to fighting styles to psychology. I’ve also gone to restaurants to observe how people interact and even to colleges on campus to observe how they react in settings, people that is.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I was drawn to writing a suspense story after writing a fantasy. I wanted to write a more contemporary. I had a dream about two couples and then I went from there.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I picked the setting After I did the character analysis on each of my protagonists. In Texas, seemed to be the right place.

Are your main characters completely imaginary, or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
The main characters are kind of a combo of imaginary and real people. By this I mean the name, Regan is based on a real person. When I had worked as an auditor. The receptionist name was Regan, and I remember her because she seems so distraught and so beautiful and that struck a chord in me. But the other protagonist is completely imaginary.

What do you consider your greatest writing strengths? What gets in your way of writing?
Wow, this is a loaded question. I would have to say my writing strengths might be the action scenes, and this is, according to my editor, where more my talents lie. But what gets in my way of writing is the distractions that are outside of my control, such as appointments I have outside the home or things that have to deal with my family.

Do you have a favorite playlist for when you write? Classic, rock, pop, none of the above?
Music is my muse while I write. The music I most like to listen to is imagine dragons, but I had to create a playlist for my characters, which are complete opposites. Of all things. I had to use, heavy metal for my main character, Hunter, and then use Sai for my other main character, Regan.

What is your likely choice for publication, a publisher or self-pubbed?
If I can pull love tot his goal, published, that is my choice over self-publishing. Not that there’s anything wrong with self-publishing but it’s all a preference to each writer.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I use a speech to text writing style to do most of my writing, so that I can write wherever and whenever I want, and so I am not confined to one spot.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
The last book I read was Six of Crows by the insistence of my daughter, and then the sequel to it. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. The Graces by Laura Eve was another book I recently just read. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins is another series I liked, and then one of the adult series I liked was the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

Who is your favorite book boyfriend? Why?
Jericho Barons and then Kaz, because they were great and terrible at the same time and very well drawn out in the books.

Who are your greatest support people for writing?
Probably my children, being my son and daughter. Both are avid readers.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I cannot imagine myself not being a writer so I don’t know what other would be a dream job I could have, to be honest.

What line from a book left an impression on you and/or your writing?
When I finished reading The Graces, the last line in the book:
"They think I’m powerful? They haven’t seen a fucking thing yet."
That impressed me, but the whole book did.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve done to your character/s?
Hmm. This was a tough one to answer. The quirkiest thing I did was probably that I did see Regan when she got her heel stuck in a drain. And in the aftermath of getting it unstuck.


Mari-j Carpenter is a member of Romance Writers of America and From The Heart Romance Writers (RWA Chapter 177), and has served as a judge in their contests for several years.  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.