MEET THE AUTHOR OLIVIA JAYMES

  1. Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

Olivia is a dyed in the wool caffeine addict who eats far more dark chocolate than she should.  She’s currently teaching her teenage son to drive so she’s thinking of taking up drinking hard liquor.  When she’s not writing, she likes to take long walks, work on puzzles, and dig into true crime stories.  That’s how she came up with the idea for my book.   

 

2. Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

The book is called Daring Desire and it should be released by the end of August.  (It is on preorder) It’s the sixth in the Cowboy Justice Association: Serials and Stalkers series.  Our hero goes to his high school reunion where his friends convince him to visit the local “haunted house” although someone now owns it.  He gives in, meets the pretty new owner, but minutes later they discover one of his friends dead on the property.

3. What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

Jackson is going through a tough time dealing with his troublesome family.  They’re dysfunctional with a capital D, but he never takes out his frustrations on anyone else.  He deals with his emotions like an adult and isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and talk about the issues with the heroine.

4. Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

That has to be Alexandra!  She’s my heroine’s best friend who has flown into town after finding her fiancé in bed with another woman.  She brings her fluffy chocolate brown teacup poodle and a great sense of humor.  She’s someone that you’d just want to be friends with.

5. How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

I comb true crime television shows, message boards, blogs, books, and subreddits for inspiration.  Many of my stories are influenced by real live cases although I make changes so that they aren’t exactly the same, putting a new twist (Or three!) on it.

6. What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

For me to write and be productive, I have to be a creature of habit.  Every day is pretty much the same.  I get up and feed the dogs.  Then I work out.  Take a shower.  Work for an hour or so.  Skype with an author friend – we hold each other accountable for progress.  Then I eat lunch.  Then back to work until I hit my goal.  Day in and day out.  Most people would scream from boredom.  I love it.  Yes, sometimes my day has to go differently due to appointments, etc but I like my routine.

7. How do you handle writer’s block?

If I get writer’s block, it’s usually because I don’t know my characters well enough.  I go back and really flesh them out.  Likes, dislikes, background, trauma.  Heck, even their favorite ice cream.  It gets me into their heads and it’s never failed to help me break through a block.  Chocolate helps, too.

8. Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

No, unless you count my daily routines.  I guess I do like to have a nice smelling candle next to me when I write.

9. What is your writing snack?

A piece of dark chocolate.  Did I mention that I like chocolate? 

10. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work out most days.  I like to take the dogs on long walks, although in Florida right now it’s too darn hot!  I like to bake when I have the chance, and I love to read.  Mostly biographies.  Hubby and I like to watch mystery movies together. 

11. What is your favorite season and why?

My favorite holiday is Halloween so my favorite time of the year is fall.  Although we don’t get much of it here in the Sunshine State.  We’re usually still sweating in November.  But I do love the colors and the whole apple-cider-scarecrow-pumpkin patch sort of thing.  I do not, however, like Pumpkin Spice flavor. 

12. What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

As mentioned before, I really enjoy biographies.  I think it’s interesting to learn about the lives of others, especially if they are a historical figure. 

13. Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

Hmmmm?  A mission statement?  We had one of those when I was in corporate America.  I don’t think I have one except that I want to write books that will entertain people.  I always try and make the next book better than the last.  I always want to be improving my skills. 

14. What do you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I can’t listen to any music with words while I write.  I usually have “rain sounds” in the background but I did write my first several books while sitting in my living room with Cartoon Network playing loudly in the background.  It was the only way I could get any writing time as my son was quite young back then.  Now I like things much quieter.

AUGUST QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What was your biggest failure that you turned into a success?

I flunked out of college when I was a sophomore.  Not just a little flunking – I flunked.  Big.  There were finals that I didn’t even attend.  I had a myriad of personal issues going on and school just dropped to the lowest priority on my list.  I went and got a job.  And you can imagine the crappy, minimum wage job that I got.  Once I saw the “real world” it sent me right back to college a few years later.  My education helped me in my career in the financial sector where I worked until I quit in 2013 to write full time. 


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MEET THE AUTHOR EVELYN SOLA

  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

Introducing Evelyn Sola, queen of the writers.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

I am working on Takeoff. It’s the third novel in the Take series. The other books are Takeover, Takedown, and Takeoff. I don’t have a release date yet for the last book, but I’m hoping for June. It’s with the editor right now.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I like how the male main character does not take himself too seriously. He’s kind of silly and fun. The heroine doesn’t know how to take him sometimes due to the ridiculous things he says and does.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

Two of my main characters were the main characters in Takeover. Most of the other side characters were in previous books, so I already know them. They were easy to write, but I did introduce the hero’s family in this book, and it’s always fun drafting new people. I think that’s my favorite part of writing, creating characters and giving them a backstory.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

Like I said, they were side characters in Takeover. I didn’t really intend to write their story. I just threw them in. The heroine in this book is the sister to my heroine in Takeover. The main characters in Takeoff met in that book, and they had a lot of chemistry. He was interested right away, and she shut him down. Readers have been asking for their story ever since.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

I never really have much of an outline. I always have my trope and I go from there. My plan for every book is the same. I want to keep the readers turning those pages. I want them to feel something toward the main characters, whether it’s love, anger, or rage. As long as readers are not bored, they will keep reading. I also want to make people laugh, so I do my best to throw in humor where I can.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I take a day or two off from writing. I’ll also read the story again from the beginning and start my self-edits. That usually will give me ideas on how to keep it going.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

No. I just start typing and see what comes out. I can always edit or delete it if it’s not good.

  • What is your writing snack?

No particular thing. It’s whatever is available to me at the moment.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I have a husband and two daughters. I spend as much time with them as possible. I also love to travel, even though Covid has put a stop to that.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Summer. I love the heat, and I love the beach.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I love contemporary romance. Sometimes I take a break from reading it, but I always come back. I love to read about a couple’s journey to their happily ever after, and I love a happy ending.

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

I don’t, but it’s a good idea. My goal is always to entertain.

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I don’t listen to music while I write. I usually have The Office on in the background or the ID channel. Sometimes Dateline.

MAY QUESTION OF THE MONTH

May is full of hope and new beginnings what do you hope spring brings you?

I hope May brings me lots of fresh ideas for books and more hours in the day to write them.


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MEET THE AUTHOR GWEN HERNANDEZ

Gwen Hernandez
  • You have just won a book award at the best hero book awards. Have the hero of your last book in explain your last book and introduce you.

Hi, there. I’m Todd Brennan, former Air Force pararescueman, and current security specialist for Steele Security. In Gwen’s last book, I was tracking a killer in the Montana mountains when I literally bumped into a beautiful woman named Lindsey Garcia. I saved her from a deadly fall, and from the kidnappers on her trail, and planned to get her back to civilization for help. The bad guys had other plans. We ended up sharing a tent in the wilderness and got to know each other better, and she changed my life in the best way possible.

Gwen Hernandez, the author of my book Blind Trust, was a military brat and spouse, so her books often feature military heroes and heroines who must overcome danger to find true love. She was a programmer and manufacturing engineer before she started writing, and now she feeds her inner geek with book research, and by teaching others to use writing software called Scrivener.

She lives in the Los Angeles area, where she and I both recently relocated.

  • Tell us about your last book’s heroine?

Lindsey Garcia is an accountant from Los Angeles. She’s smart and strong and introverted. When she and her best friend are kidnapped, she figures out a way to escape to go for help. Todd saves her and teaches her how to survive in the wilderness, and she learns that she’s tougher and braver than she ever knew. And she falls hard for the handsome redhead.

  • In your last book what was the hardest part write? What was the easiest?

The hardest part for me is usually the very beginning, but this time it was the final showdown. I completely rewrote a big chunk of the second half of the book, but it was worth it.

The easiest part was Todd and Lindsey getting to know each other while on the run. I loved them as a couple, and I enjoyed immersing myself in my travel photos and research of that part of the US. Plus, it was fun picking my outdoorsy son’s brain about camping and backpacking.

  • Did you plan this book at the beginning of the series or not till it was time to write it?

This book wasn’t planned until…ever. It’s just how I work. It’s not the most efficient process or the fastest, but I love the challenge of it.

  • How did you come up with the idea for this book?

I have no idea! I often start with a premise or some vague idea of what I want to write about, usually triggered by a news story, magazine article, conversation, or a TV show. In this case, I was toying with having the heroine be some kind of whistleblower, and maybe having a militia group in the mountains. That latter part is how I ended up choosing Montana as the location. I’d also recently been on vacation there, so the landscape was fresh in my mind.

Once I start writing, I almost always veer from the original “spark,” and this book was no exception. The villains’ and their motives changed, but the setting stayed in Montana, and the opening scene came to me while I was doing a writing exercise to get the creativity flowing.

  • Are you a plotter or a discovery writer? Have you ever tried writing the other way? What happened?

I fall heavily on the discovery writer side of the scale, as you can probably tell by now. I have created plots for quite a few of my books, but it ends up being an exercise to get me started writing before I change almost everything about the story, lol. I usually end up starting the book several times until I land on a story premise that has the tone I’m looking for, and feels like it has enough conflict and potential to sustain a full-length novel. I used to think I lacked ideas, but really I just find it hard to choose one.

  • How do you make time for writing?

I’ve gotten to the point where I actually block out writing time on my calendar now. Most days, it’s the first work thing I do, before checking email or social media or doing other business tasks. That way, no matter what happens later in the day, I’ve worked on my book. I try to write again in the afternoon or evening.

  • Do you have rituals or habits that you follow in order to help you write? What are they?

This is something that I should probably be better at given the way I’m wired. I do have a favorite writing chair, and I often write best listening to music in the background. Figuring that out was a total surprise because I always thought I preferred silence.

But, honestly, once I’m in the flow, it doesn’t matter where I am or whether there’s noise.

  • What is your favorite drink while you write?

Hot mint green tea.

  • How long does it take typically to write a first draft? What types of things make it take longer and what types of things will help it take less time?

For a romance writer, I’m on the slower side. Manuscripts have taken me anywhere from four to 18 months. I think I’m actually getting slower. *cries* The environment of the last few years and losing our family dog, have been especially hard on my creative brain. When we have a lot of travel or visitors, that’s definitely a distraction, but the good kind.

If I knew what made writing go faster, I’d do more of that! Being more consistent about working on the manuscript even when I don’t know what happens next helps. I try to “touch” it every weekday for two to three hours, even if it’s just reviewing the last scene, brainstorming, or doing research.

  • What house hold chore do you love and why?

Love is probably too strong a word for any household chore. 😉 But, there is nothing more satisfying to me than creating a clutter-free space. Disarray and mess stress me out.

  • What was your first non-writing job? Did you like it why or why not?

Unless you count my very first job at Mcdonald’s in high school, my first full-time job out of college was as a programmer for a company that did phone surveys. Coding is a fun mental challenge, and is often an iterative process, much like my writing process. I liked the project-oriented nature of it too, regularly getting something new to work on. More writing parallels! But I didn’t enjoy the tight timelines we were given or the stress of working up to 16-hour days when a deadline loomed.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing that is not a wi-fi dependent activity?

I love to get outdoors. Hiking, biking, and jogging at the beach are some of my favorite activities. I also love to travel or play tourist in my own area. And I’m always in the middle of reading a book.

  • Do you believe in luck?

Absolutely. Though I think it often takes hard work to be in a position to take advantage of it when it comes your way.

MARCH QUESTION OF THE MONTH

WHAT’S AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW?

My own personal pot of gold would be a long life with good health until the very end. And the ability to write a little faster.

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MEET THE AUTHOR REBEKAH R. GANIERE

  • You are at the best book awards and have won for your latest book. Have the protagonist for that book introduce you and that book.

Uh… Hello. I’m Thor Odin’s son and I would like to introduce Lady Rebekah who was wise enough to craft the story of how myself and Lady Elle fell in love.

Thank you.

  • Tell us about the protagonist in your latest book what makes him tick?

Thor is a Norse god who has spent the last thousand years dealing with his demons and keeping to himself. He finds peace in working on motorcycles and taking things apart and putting them back together. As well as taking long rides down the coast on his bike.

  • Without giving us any spoilers give us a rundown of your current work in progress.

My current WIP will be released in the Midnight Magic Anthology. It’s about two werewolves who live amongst vampires and how they are both sworn to protect a powerful vampire couple but while doing that they can’t stay away from each other – even though they can’t stand each other.

  • In your books you have some pretty unique characters and plots what was your inspiration?

Everything. I have dreams. I read other books. I watch movies. I see a news article. You name it. I get inspiration everywhere.

  • In your latest Novel what was the hardest part to write? What was the easiest?

My hardest part was my heroine. She is so sweet and demure and I rarely write women like that. So she was extra difficult. Taking someone like that and showing how they grow into being strong can be tough.


The easiest part to write was all of Thor’s family members. Including his two goats. They were a lot of fun to write.

  • What is your secret and strange writing ritual?

I don’t know that I have anything secret and strange but it can’t be quiet. I have music, the tv, my kids coming in and out. Those are the times when it’s easiest for me to write because I’ve been doing it that way for so long. When it’s dead silent my brain starts to freak out.

  • How do you schedule your writing time?

Well, it’s at a place where I actually have to schedule it now because between homeschooling kids, teaching outside of the house, and everything else I have to do, if I want to get it done I now have to schedule time to write. I usually write for 3-4 one hour blocks a day with a few hours of breaks in between.

  • How do you refill your creative well?

Reading. Listening to audiobooks. Those are the best way for me.

  • How do you handle writers block?

I used to try and wait it out. And then Covid hit and I wrote very little for almost two years. So now my strategy is to just keep writing. Every day. Write. Keep the habit of it. Keep doing it. It can be crap, but pages and pages of crap are better than pages with nothing on them.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a mom and a movie producer and screenwriter. I also have a bunch of pets I take care of. And my kids. And I homeschool and teach writing classes. And I make my book covers. And have a husband who like attention every once in a while. So, I keep pretty busy. I also go to a lot of Comic Cons to speak and cosplay is a huge thing for us so I do make a lot of costumes. Also, I love gaming. So I play a lot of RPG video games.

  • What house hold job do you hate the most and what do you do to get out of it?

Cleaning. No seriously. Cleaning. All cleaning. But I have to do it. I have kids I ask to help me when I don’t want to do something. The girls are pretty good about it. My son… well let’s just say the recyclables haven’t been taken out in a week and I ask him twice a day.

  • Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?

Yes. My husband and I met and it was love at first sight. I knew I wanted to marry him from the day I met him. Fast forward 4 years of us living in different places, dating different people, but keeping in contact. Finally, I sent him a letter that said, I’ve loved you for 4 years. If you feel the same, come see me. He did. We got engaged the next day and married 3 months later. It’s been 24 years J

  • When you were a kid what did you like to pretend?

That I was in love with someone.

  • What’s your most prized possession?

I don’t know that I have one. I have a lot of things I love but nothing prized… Maybe my wedding band because it was my mom’s and my grandmother’s before her. Or the table cloth my great-great-grandmother crocheted. Or the blanket my grandmother made me when I was young.

FEBRUARY QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What’s your favorite on screen kiss?

Oh, man. There are so many good ones! And so many bad one. I love the kiss in The Notebook, but everyone loves that one. There are two I love the most the shower kiss in The Lucky One with Zac Efron and the kiss between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in Crazy Stupid Love. The second one I think edges out the first just because of the reaction of Ryan Gosling. He doesn’t know what’s happening at first but then he wraps his arms around her and it’s almost like you can see him giving up control for the first time with a woman. It’s amazing.

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MEET THE AUTHOR VERIKA SLOANE

  1. You are at the best book awards and have won for your latest book. Have the protagonist for that book introduce you and that book.

In this complex and secret underworld, there is no darker enmity than the one between vampires and shifters. Two different but powerful societies, killing each other in the name of their differences, each terrified of the others’ power. His Dark Embrace is volume one of an intense, forbidden attraction between a vampire and a wolf shifter, with secrets, sacrifices, sex…and a love that could destroy their worlds from the inside out. Verika Sloane adores writing heroes with swagger, agendas, and only one need: the love of one woman. Her heroines can do bad all by themselves, but they are at their best when they do it for true love.

  1. Tell us about the protagonist in your latest book what makes him tick?

In my novel His Dark Embrace, Shain Trevyn is driven to accomplish what no other vampire of his station has accomplished: an alliance with an elite vampire well before most would even consider attempting it. Unlike most vampires of his status, he believes his kind has to evolve with the times, rather than maintain a chokehold on the past. In order to be heard, to really influence others in recognizing how things must change, he needs to be one of the upper echelon of the vampire world whilst having enough money and power to protect his parents and older brother. He’s publicly charming when he needs to be, privately resentful at the political game he has to play, and deeply lonely. His ambition keeps him cold, his cynicism keeps him warm, and only true love could ever throw a man this driven off course.

  1. Without giving us any spoilers give us a rundown of your current work in progress.

I’m working on a new dark paranormal romance series about heroes who were sent to hell for committing all manners of sin, but get another chance at life (and love!) when their twin flames accidentally release them into the world. 😉

  1. In your books you have some pretty unique characters and plots, what was your inspiration?

To me, the ultimate romance is are two strong people who need no one…except the one they are meant for. I’m constantly inspired by songs about angst and longing, poems about lost loves, romantic paintings that evoke desire and wonder. I like to use those inspirations and give them happier endings.

  1. In your latest Novel what was the hardest part to write? What was the easiest?

In my most recent fantasy novel Twelve Nights to Forever, I found writing a particular action scene the most challenging. You want it to be fast-paced, vivid, realistic, yet creative. Trying to describe how two men fight is easy to envision, challenging to choreograph with words. The easiest? The scene in the ice queen’s hall. At one point I have six men taking turns in the dialogue, and I just adore writing those scenes with alpha personalities all trying to dominate the conversation and be right. In the end, the woman–their queen– has the last word. And they love it.

  1. What is your secret and strange writing ritual?

I like sensory experiences on occasion. If I’m writing a story set in Fall, I strike a few matches and blow them out for that distinctive scent of burning leaves. If the heroine drinks a certain tea, cocktail, or sparkling water, so will I. If a song reminds me of a hero, I play it on repeat until he tells me what’s next.

  1. How do you schedule your writing time?

I write at night for at least two hours, even if it’s not until midnight. I’m one of those rare creatures who love it when daylight savings time makes it dark at 5pm. Nighttime is the best time.

  1. How do you refill your creative well?

Walks through antique stores. Ballet performances. People watching on the Vegas Strip. Reading old magazine articles.

  1. How do you handle writers block?

Poorly. LOL When I’m hitting a wall, I do research. I interview people in professions I find fascinating or intriguing. I rent an airbnb that’s unique (like a treehouse or a tiny house!) and check out places on my list. I read a lot. I get busy. I get out.  As soon I do, I’m usually swinging on the wrecking ball through the writer’s block soon enough!

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Watching true crime documentaries (detective wannabe), volunteering for the ballet company, dressing up for brunch, dressing down for tacos. I love throwing a themed party: murder mystery, 1980s, game night, lip sync battles are my favorites. And when I’m not writing, I’m plotting. Muahahaha.

  1. What household job do you hate the most and what do you do to get out of it?

Laundry. I wear everything until I’m literally out of clothes and have 8 loads to do. I have no shame.

  1. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?

Ooh la la, I want to say yes, but I have to say no. You’ll notice in my stories that while lust is at first sight, real love comes after getting to know who someone is (or who they want to be). My favorite type of couple are the types who’d call their partners their best friends as well as their lovers. To me, being equal, having friendship wrapped in lust and tied with love is the ultimate romance.

  1. When you were a kid what did you like to pretend?

That I was a lost member of the Mickey Mouse Club.

  1. What’s your most prized possession?

A vintage brooch of my mother’s.

FEBRUARY QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What’s your favorite on screen kiss?

I’m going to get super specific and go way back to the 90s, but I’ve never forgotten this kiss. Brenda and Sonny on General Hospital. They’re having this angsty scene with the sexual tension in overdrive until he can’t take it anymore. He kisses her passionately until she’s about to melt to the floor, and then he pulls away and says, “The next time we kiss, it’ll be because you came to me.” *dreamy sigh*

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MEET THE AUTHOR N.J. WALTERS

  • Have your favorite character introduce, you what would they say?

I don’t have a favorite character, but I’ll have Etienne Rollins, the hero from my latest book, have the honor. Take it away, Etienne…

“Hello? Anyone out there? Anyway, I’ve known N.J. since I was a kid. My folks know her better. My dad, Gator, has mad respect for her. That means a lot coming from a badass werewolf like him. We had some miscommunication for a while. She was planning on me falling for someone else. I had to put my foot down on that one. It’s Amy for me, or no one. Fortunately for all of us, she listened. If not for her, I wouldn’t have my happily-ever-after. So, FYI, mess with her and I’m coming for you.”

  • How many books have you published?

I think it’s up to 112 books now, and I have 5 more contracted.

  • I know you write  paranormal and erotic romance which is your favorite? Why?

I’ve written paranormal books from the beginning of my career. My first one was actually a vampire novella—Harker’s Journey. It was my second published book. It’s impossible to pick a favorite from all the ones I’ve written. I love all my series, for different reasons. Werewolves, drakons, vampires, immortal assassins, and shapeshifters of every kind—I’ve written it all.

  • In your most recent book can you describe for the relationship between your hero and heroine?

Etienne Rollins and Amy Blanchard from WOLF IN PURSUIT, the second book in the Salvation Pack: The Next Generation series, are actually the children of characters from the Salvation Pack series. Childhood friends, things have recently changed and they’re seeing each other in a new light. I love Etienne’s intensity and Amy’s independent spirit.

  • How long did it take you to write your most recent book?

I honestly don’t know. It varies from book to book. I’d say a couple of months for WOLF IN PURSUIT.

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was in my thirties. I’d always been an avid reader, but it had never occurred to me to write anything beyond poetry and journal entries until then. I was reading a book one day and the thought occurred to me—I can do this. So, I did. Two books, and many rejections later, I gave it up for several years. I took it up again to enter a contest and ended up finishing the manuscript and submitting it. It became my first published book. That was back in 2004. I haven’t stopped writing since.

  • What would you say is your interesting writer quirk?

Every author has their own way of doing things. I’m not very quirky, but I need silence to write. I’m also a linear writer. I start a book at the beginning and write it to the end. I don’t jump around from scene to scene. I don’t plot, so I never actually know what I’m going to write until I start. And I only work on one book at a time.

  • What is your favorite book genre to read? To write?

Romance, of course. There’s such a variety within the genre—contemporary, suspense, paranormal, historical and more!

  • What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I’d never had it until the pandemic hit. It wasn’t a lack of ideas but the will to sit in the chair and write. I had to learn to be patient with myself. After seventeen years of doing this job full-time, I think I just needed some time away from it to recharge. I’m writing again, but not as fast as I used to, but that’s okay. Any writing is good writing.

  •  do you like to do when you are not writing?

It will come as no surprise that I’m an avid reader. I enjoy watching movies, hunting thrift stores and yard sales for “treasure,” and spending time with family.

  • What is your favorite writing snack?

I never eat while I’m writing. (Does that qualify as a quirky trait?) LOL) I always have a glass of water beside me, but that’s it. I’m not one of those writers who does marathon writing sessions. After a couple of hours, I’m done for the day and need to recharge.

  •  What about aliens do you believe in aliens? Why?

If we’re here, there should be other civilizations out there somewhere. I have no idea what they might be like. If they ever visit, they’ll be more technologically advanced than we are. Hopefully, they’ll be peaceful.

  • What’s your favorite household job? Why?

Can’t say I have a favorite, but I do love it after I’ve dusted and vacuumed. The space always feels better.

  • Do you believe in love at first sight?

Absolutely. I’m in the wrong business if I don’t.

February Question of the Month

What is your favorite on screen kiss? why

My favorite movie is The Crow. It’s just tears at my heartstrings every time. The screen time for the hero and heroine (Eric Draven and Shelly Webster) is very short. That makes it even more poignant. Real love is forever.

Meet the author dawn mcgraw

  1. What draws you to dragon shifter romance books?

Magic, sexy abs, alpha males, etc. I’m a huge fantasy fan, but I love my romance. Nothings a bigger threat than a magic dragon who’s sexy as hell in his human form, and absolutely besotted with his fated mate. Triple threat.

2. How many dragon shifter books have you written?

A little over a dozen.

3. In your latest book Claiming his Christmas what was the most fun part to write?

The end. It always is.

4. Tell us about your main character?

What makes him different from the other main characters you’ve written? Vulcan is a bit of a control freak. He’s very particular about his toothpaste for example. Don’t squeeze that tube in the middle, there are instructions on the package for a reason. He tried so hard to go with the flow, but couldn’t get one crazy mediator out of his mind. No matter how many times he blamed his feelings on something else, they snuck up and grabbed him by the throat.

5. What plot points did you particularly enjoy writing?

I had fun with the action scenes. I love when my characters get physical with their environment.

6. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried to write the other way? What was the result?

I hate being told what to do, even by myself. If I plot it, I’ll never write it like that anyway so I use a story structure outline instead. I know each POV character needs to reach certain milestones for a satisfying story. I approach each scene with a goal. For example, now it’s time for a meet-cute, or the antagonist needs to do something heinous here. My stories are often written out of order and the in-between bits are discovered much later. This leads to longer draft times and more revisions, but I enjoy the process of discovering who my characters are.

7. How do you handle writer’s block?

I ignore it. I like to bury my head in the sand, not the best strategy. So, to avoid stressing, I write the next scene I can think of, or have my characters do something really crazy they’d never do. When I’m done with the story, I can use that extra content for my newsletter or a bonus epilogue.

8. What’s your secret writing quirk or superstition?

I don’t plot the book or my interest in the story ends.

9. Tell us about your greatest author win?

I finished my last book. Each one is an accomplishment that at times boggles my mind.

10. What was your first book ever?

In Ruins, a time travel sci-fi mystery.

11. Do you enjoy grocery shopping?

No, I speed shop, racing down the isles and tossing in what I know will work. Food allergies restrict our diet considerably.

12. What do we all do as humans that seems to be ridiculous?

Create treasure piles. If we didn’t get so attached to items we’d all be happier. How did you feel the last time you broke your favorite cup, or your kid got your favorite spoon for his yogurt? Ridiculous.

13. Who would you like to swap places with if you could?

No one. I like my life, crazy as it is. It’s just my size.

14. What’s the strangest thing you ever looked up on Google?

I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. 😉 Honestly, every book has me facepalming over a search result, “can’t believe I Googled that.” Or can’t believe I wasted 10 hours looking for something so mundane.

January Question of the Month

What’s your author New Year’s Resolution?

Write more books.

You can contact Dawn at dawn@dawnmcgraw.com

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Meet the Author Faye Arcand

Faye Arcand is an award-winning author who writes short stories, novels, and is a very active blogger. I love to read her blog targeted at writers. Faye has a knack for saying things that need to be said without sugar coating the realities. But she is very kind. I know this based on her blog about the Canadian treatment of their indigenous people and finding the graves of the children taken from their families and housed by the Catholic church in an attempt to indoctrinate them into the white way of living.

Let’s meet Faye Arcand

First and foremost, let me say a HUGE thank you to Billie for having me guest on her blog. The honor is all mine. 
I love all things writing. I am a writer, author, blogger, presenter, and festival organizer. Anything to get others writing, to teach or inspire, or entertain. I live in British Columbia, Canada —about five hours out of Vancouver.
I come from a large family and I am the proud Auntie of about 50 nieces and nephews. They’re all so awesome, but Auntie always has some suggestions or advice—so I thought I better write it down for them. 

After a full career in the field of Criminal Justice, I now write full-time. 

I have two blogs, the first being Auntie Says, which is Auntie advice to people of all ages and especially for the young. 

My second blog is called My Twisted Writer Brain and deals with all things to do with writing whether it be the craft, the business, the procrastination, or the accolades. My brain is always moving at a fast and furious pace which at times can leave me exhausted, exhilarated, or energized. It truly is a journey. 

  1. What’s your favorite type of writing?

Trying to decide my favorite type of writing is like trying to name my favorite person. 

The reality is that they’re all so different and unique that each has its draw. 

Writing a novel for example means really investing in the development of characters and plot. I tend toward contemporary fiction with dark or suspenseful themes. This allows my imagination to soar while also keeping it ‘real’, so to speak. 

Then there are short stories or flash. These are the most challenging to write because you have to develop scenes and emotion in such in a limited word count. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a challenge? Short stories are a bit of a hobby for me as I like to enter contests. 

And then, of course, there’s Blogging, which has its own little world of wonder and I love it. Blogging, to me, is like freedom. I can write what I want, and in any style I want. People may read it, or they may not. The personal nature of a blog and sharing one’s story is wonderful. 

I’ve been writing for many years and one of my favorite things to do is help new and upcoming writers learn the ropes. 

  1. How do you prepare to write?

While I don’t have any specific rituals or anything, I  do make sure I keep a lot of notes (a writer should never be far from a notebook and pen).  Notes are so important because even though you say you’re going to remember…believe me, you won’t. Just write down. 

When you’re writing it’s imperative to note details… you don’t want to have your main character with blue eyes on page 3 only to then show up with hazel eyes on page 167. Those details are a reflection back on the author so use that notebook.

At my desk, I always ensure I have enough water to drink, a scratch pad, and my golden retriever Piper. 

  1. What’s your strangest writing quirk?

Ha Ha…good question. I don’t know whether this qualifies as a quirk or not, but I detest commas….they are the bane of my existence. Lol

Here’s the thing, I can write a sentence and put a comma in only to then stare at it for ten minutes to decide whether or not it actually should be there… so then I’ll take it out… only to put it back in. Ugh. 

I’m a terrible speller (always was) and grammar—well, I write the way I speak so why do I need to know what a dangling particle  is??? Like who cares? Why do I need to know all those rules? I’m a writer, not a grammar teacher. 

Where this can become a bit of an issue is in the editing process, but there are now so many great sites out there that can assist you with those things. At this time I use ProWriter Aide. 

  1. What writing accomplishment are you most proud of?

Writing is a very unique journey and each is different and worthy. 

I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve secured industry validation in securing an agent for my novels. But, I’m also very proud of my blogs that inspire and educate. I love helping people. 

I have completed three full manuscripts of approximately 85K words each. 

I’m proud of them because it’s easy to say you’re going to do something and another to actually complete it. 

  1. Who inspired you to start writing?

My mentor and inspiration was my eldest sister, Maureen. 

She is 14 years older than me. She used to play “teacher” or “school” in the attic and I was her star pupil. 

She’d point at the words and I’d read them and as a result, I could read before going to school (and she did end up pursuing a career as a teacher). 

Years later she introduced me to creative writing and omg, a whole new world was opened up. Wow…the creative aspect of character development and building tension in stories truly inspired me. 

  1. What’s the favorite piece of furniture you’ve owned?

Ohhhhh…..what an interesting question. 

Years ago I invested in a leather recliner and it was so comfy and lovely. 

That can only be beaten by the bed hubby and I purchased a few years back. It’s one of those beds where you can raise yourself up to sitting. It is so lovely because I can write there and I can also get a good sleep! Doubly useful. 

  1. What odd talent do you have?

I believe my oddest talent is being able to talk about writing all night long. 

I’m terrible at remembering the names of books but I can discuss the contents. Ugh…that’s bad, isn’t it? I really should remember the titles. 

The thing is that with writing there are endless loops of discussions that can be had. Whether it be about inspiration, rules (or how to break them), $20 words, literary vs. commercial… oh man, the list goes on and on.

This type of “odd talent” translated over to My Twisted Writer Brain blog. My brain swirls and creates ALL the time. I see a person at a bus stop and my brain wonders where they’re going, who did they murder, why are they wearing those shoes…. It never stops. 

  1. Where’s the most adventurous place you have ever been?

Well, I’ve done a fair bit of travel but the most adventurous thing I ever did was move to Japan. 

This was in 1990 and I wanted to reinvent myself and start over again. I was in a toxic relationship going nowhere fast so I applied for a job teaching English in Japan (no grammar…more conversational) and I never looked back. 

I traveled all over Japan—fell in love with the country and the people. I go back on a semi-regular basis. 

Also, perhaps a bit adventurous was that I climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. 

This adventure was one that I’ll never forget as I’m terrified of heights. 

  1. What’s expensive but totally worth it?

Investment in yourself is expensive but totally worth it. 

Investing in yourself can feel selfish and narrow-minded but it’s imperative for growth. 

Get yourself to a writing conference when you can. This is a way to learn the craft and the business as well as network and build a community. While the output may seem extraordinary in the beginning, you’ll get out what you put in. Go. Learn. Explore. Become. 

For my writing, I see certain things as investments in my creative endeavors. This includes an excellent computer, phone, and systems like ProWriterAide. 

Chocolate…. ** I also believe it’s important to spend the money and get good quality chocolate. 

  1. What small insignificant decision has made a massive impact on your life?

I think the most significant impact comes from making the choice every day to believe in myself. 

Writers can take a lot of flak. S

Readers don’t always agree with what you’re saying or they agree but want to toss their two cents in or want to completely try and rewrite your narrative. 

The thing is that your writing is your own and you must choose every day to believe in it. 

It’s a piece of you that you share. This isn’t always easy and sometimes daunting, but for me, authenticity is important and warranted. 

Others want to see themselves, their issues, their triumphs, and failures, in other people. Does that make sense? 

It helps in being able to identify with others and feel validated. Believe me when I say, if you have an insecurity or doubt, you’re never alone. 

Make the conscious decision to show up every day. 

November Bonus Question

When do you start listening to Christmas Carols?

I’ll listen to Christmas Carols any time after Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day)… anything Christmas before that date (November 11) feels disrespectful for those who served and continue to serve on the front lines in defense of our freedoms. 

How can we catch up with you?

Hey, I’m easy to find. Go to www.fayeearcand.com for my webpage and blogs. 

Make sure you follow. 

I love to interact with readers so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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