Author Caitlin Hensley joins us today!

021Caitlin Hensley has been telling stories since she learned to hold a pen, and is pretty much obsessed with writing. When not typing frantically on her laptop, she’s usually dancing, catching up on reruns of her favorite TV shows, or getting lost in a great book. She lives in rural Oklahoma with her family and a nutty Chihuahua.

 

Hi Caitlin, welcome! Thanks for joining us today!

Thanks for having me, Trish!

 

So Caitlin, I ask everyone this because it’s a question that has so many answers. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, so I’m not sure what initially set me off. I remember sitting down and filling up notebooks with lines of messy handwriting, then I would call my little sister into the room and read her my stories right there on the spot. What really inspired me to polish up my craft was a combination of a great book on writing that I checked out from the library, and my first ever writing class.

 

Ahhh…the lovely notebook. I have one of those too! 🙂 Can you tell us more about your latest book?

My debut novel is a YA paranormal romance titled Paranormal Legacy that’s due to be released in March of 2013. Here’s the official blurb:

Paranormal Legacy4After moving to a rural Pennsylvania town, cynical teen Haily Long soon discovers that the next- door neighbors are paranormal creatures of darkness. Despite this little quirk, the Knight family seems friendly enough, especially handsome Nathan. Nathan is well-mannered and polite, your typical boy next door . . . except for the fact that he turns into something else once a month. In a matter of days, Haily is drawn deep into a shadowed world of danger and deceit, and learns startling truths about her own past. When sinister strangers come sniffing around town for Nathan, and Haily gets pulled into the resulting chaos, she must discover how to unlock her true heritage if she wants to survive.

 

Sounds great – I can’t wait!! What has been the most difficult scene for you to write?

I always have trouble with endings. I don’t want to make them too cheesy, and most people walk away remembering a book’s ending better than the rest of the book, so I really work to get them just right.

 

Endings sure can be tough. Do you follow a certain writing process with your work?

I used to have these really extensive outlines, but lately I’ve been coming up with an outline that’s looser, and letting my typing fingers guide the way. That seems to work best for me.

 

I can’t do outlines. I’ve tried! So, what is your favorite genre to read, and why?

I love just about any book, as long as it’s well-written. But I usually find myself drawn to YA paranormal, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy. I think it’s because I like the supernatural element that these stories usually have.

 

Yes! I love fantasy because I can get lost in it. LOL If you could choose any Author, living or dead, to shadow for a year, who would you choose and why?

That’s a tough one! I think I’d like to shadow Cassandra Clare. She’s the author of The Mortal Instruments series, and the first book in that series, City of Bones, is one that inspired me to work on my writing and strive for it to become better.

 

I will have to check her out, thanks! What has been the most rewarding part of your writing journey so far?

Writing transports me to different worlds, which is great. Also, I’ve met so many amazing people through our shared enjoyment of writing. I’ve made so many awesome friends. I think that’s been the most rewarding part of my journey.

 

The new friends – it’s such a bonus, isn’t it? Do you have any advice for budding authors looking to publish?

First of all, polish your work. Don’t send it out into the world unedited. And don’t be afraid to take criticism. That was a hard one for me to get over, but it really helps to have a thick skin. And above all, have fun! Writing is supposed to be fun. 😀

 

Great advice!! What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

Paranormal Legacy is part of a series called The Inhuman Chronicles, and I have the next four books already written. I also have a few short stories, a post-apocalyptic novel, and a futuristic sci-fi novel waiting in the wings. So look for those sometime in the near future. You can find out more at my blog or Facebook page.

 

Sounds like a busy year for you – woot!! Just for fun, I have to ask – If you could spend a month secluded in the woods, what books would you bring with you to read?

Probably The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I’ve been meaning to read those books again. And I have several indie authors whose books I need to catch up on, so I’d take those too. I’d have a whole trunk overflowing with books. (Actually, I’ve done that before. Once I took a suitcase full of books with me on vacation, because I didn’t know what I wanted to read next after I finished the book I was reading at the time.)

 

I LOVE THG series – probably my favorite from the last five years! So – It’s time for our Rapid-Fire questions!!

White Chocolate or Dark Chocolate? Dark chocolate

Wine – Red or White? I’m not a fan of wine, but white wine sounds interesting.

Tent or Hotel? Definitely a hotel

Beach or Pool? Beach

Shower or Bath? Shower

eReader or Paperback? Paperback. eReaders just don’t have that new book smell.

Heels or Flats? Flats; I’m already tall enough as it is. lol

Bra or No Bra? Definitely bra

 

 

Fantastic interview! Want to know more about Caitlin? Follow her Blog or Facebook page! Thank you for joining us today, Caitlin! It’s been a pleasure to learn more about you!!

 

Saturday Snippet!

Happy Weekend! The Holiday rush is over, now it’s time to recover and get back into regular blogging. 😉 To kick off, here is this week’s ‘Saturday Snippet’ from my current WIP due out soon – ‘Lost & Found’, book 2 of the Find Me Series. Enjoy!!

____________________________

Drake stopped just before a major intersection, stepping off the cracked sidewalk to lean against the wall of a three story office building. I stood next to him in semi-baggy clothes that didn’t quite fit right, my hair pulled back in a tight pony tail and stared across the street where dozens of medical tents stood, cordoned off from the street by a slew of haphazardly placed military vehicles. Even from hundreds of feet away I could hear the flap of the plastic tents as the breeze moved through them with a lazy kind of lull. A separate area inside the barrier was partially obstructed from my view but the single story tent with a white dome top had a rip down one of its long sides, exposing the contents to the elements.

Stacked on top of each other in tight rows were thousands of white body bags; just iridescent enough that even from beyond the street and across the parking lot I could make out the brunette, blonde and occasional redheaded bodies through their milky-colored plastic wraps. It wasn’t the first time I had seen a medical quarantine zone but the sheer volume of people sickened me. The way each body, no matter the size, was piled neatly on top of the next, meant there was a system in place on how to properly store infected human remains. Someone wrote up a plan, had a title, pointed at a pile and said, ‘That one over there’. It was depressing and sad and made me want to puke.

“Sure is something, isn’t it?” Drake said in a hushed tone. His eyes were glazed over, like he was looking through the death across the street, rather than at it.

I glanced between him with his stoic and faraway gaze, and the parking lot turned military base with a numb feeling. It should hurt to see such a thing. Thousands of dead people – hundreds of dead families. It should hurt every time, like a knife straight into the heart, to see a body bag with a person half my size rotting inside. But it was only that detached and numb feeling. A feeling of ‘been there and seen that’. A shitty feeling.

Drake cleared his throat to bring my attention back to him. “Warehouse is just over there,” he nodded down the street, beyond the vacant office building.

I stared at the side of his head, wondering what the story was behind the closed hole in his right earlobe. A random thought for a fractured mind. Made sense.

“So, when do you want to do this?” I asked, still staring at the tiny hole in his ear where a piercing used to be.

“No time like the present.” He grinned the wide Joker smile that creeped me out.

Sighing, I knelt to the ground in a small patch of brown grass, letting the moisture from the night before soak into the knee of my jeans. Mudding up my pants wasn’t a concern. Being dirty was a normal part of my new life. Besides, the jeans would be easy to replace if needed. Stain your clothes and break a shoelace? Pilfer new ones from the closest mall. Lose your brush and run out of shampoo? Pilfer more from the closest mall. Of course, that philosophy wouldn’t last forever. Eventually even the malls would dry out just like the bones from the bodies under the dome tent.

My pack was full of weapons; handguns and clips, knives of different shapes and sizes. Most of them pulled off the dead men from the day before. My own knife was strapped securely to my leg, just like Drake’s. A gun was tucked into the back of my jeans, loaded and ready for action. The day before, I hadn’t even bothered to take one of the long range rifles. My shoulder wouldn’t tolerate the kickback so Drake was the only one with a rifle draped across his torso like a pageantry ribbon.

All we needed was a little bit of greasy paint to streak our faces and those cool lace-up combat boots and we would fit right in with the thugs we conspired to kill. Well, maybe the camouflage paint was a bit much, but the idea struck me as a funny one and I imagined Drake’s face covered in hunter green, mine in black. The image was so appealing at that moment that I almost dragged my fingers through the mud and rubbed them under my eyes.

Instead I sighed, doing it over and over, filling my lungs with air as rapidly as I could sort of like a swimmer would right before launching their body into the water for a race. When my head felt efficiently light-headed and cleared of all the gunk that lingered around in there like the day old smell of skunk, I tightened my pack straps and nodded at Drake that I was ready. Of course, all he had to do to prepare was hitch his jeans up half an inch or so. Men were easy that way.

“Ready?” he asked, gun in hand, fingers and muscles taut and ready to fire.

“Ready enough,” I said with a smile. If we were going to die in five minutes, I wanted a smile to be the last expression we shared between us.

Author Emily Walker Is Here!!!

 

Meet Emily:

Sometimes I’m Lyra Mcken, sometimes I’m someone else. I like to be just Emily sometimes too. I love to write in every genre and my head is constantly coming up with new story ideas. I run the website http://www.selfpublishordie.com where I strive to get other author’s names out there. My biggest interviewee yet was Jamie McGuire.

I work for GMTA Publishing, and Midnight Hour Publishing. You can tweet me @authorewalker or find me on Facebook. I love social media, and I love to read every opportunity I get. My favorite author is Heinlein, but I also have a weak spot for Jane Austin.

My next Novel due out is The Reluctant Succubus with Midnight Hour Publishing and then a self published release in January, Long Road Full Speed Ahead.

 

 

Hi Emily, welcome! Thanks for joining us today!

Hi, thank you for having me!

What inspired you to become a writer?

I started ghost writing for other well-known authors and helping them with their novels. They got all the credit of course, which is what I was paid for. I started thinking I can do this myself, and then I did.

That’s awesome! What a great resume you must have. 🙂 Can you tell us more about your book?

Vital Signs is a Horror Short about a sadistic killer who has found an easy way to get to his victims. He has stolen an ambulance, and preys on those that need the most help.

I will never look at an ambulance the same way again. In fact, I might run from them. So, what has been the most difficult scene for you to write in ‘Vital Signs’?

I would have to go with the bloody scenes, I never know if I am writing too light and tame, or if I am taking it too far.

Do you follow a certain writing process with your work?

I have no process. I fly by the seat of my pants.

LOL Sometimes the best way! Do you read the same genre that you write? Can you give us some examples of your favorite books?

Yes, I love to read Horror and be completely shocked or scared. Anything by Stephen King is great. At the same time I write Paranormal stories and love to read Southern Vampire Mysteries and lots of indie authors novels; Rebecca Hamilton’s Forever Girl and Michelle Muto’s Don’t Fear the Reaper are just two, there are dozens.

Another King fan – yay! If you could choose any Author, living or dead, to shadow for a year, who would you choose and why?

Robert Heinlein, his head was crazy!

LOL What has been the most rewarding part of your writing journey so far?

When people say my writing made them laugh or cringe. I like to have my intended outcome when they read my writing.

My favorite part as well. 🙂 Do you have any advice for budding authors looking to self-publish?

Don’t give up and write every day. Get a critique partner that will not sugar coat anything. You want the truth about your work, and you should have someone read it that isn’t trying to appease you.

What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

You will see a lot from me in the future. I have two books due to release with Mystic Press on January 5th Long Road, Full Speed Ahead, and The Reluctant Succubus. I also plan to release a novella called The Alien Deal at the end of the year. Zombified my paranormal fiction written under the pen name Lyra Mcken is in rewrites and set to release at the beginning of next year, and I am in several upcoming anthologies including Fairly Freaky Fairy Tales from Midnight Hour.

 

If your book became a movie, who would you cast as your main characters?

I think that Vin Diesel or Jason Statham would make a good psycho…

 

I look forward to seeing all these new titles, especially ‘Zombified’! And yes, Vin and Jason would be awesome! So – it’s time for our Rapid-Fire questions, are you ready? Ok…go!

White Chocolate or Dark Chocolate? Dark Chocolate it’s better for you 😉

Wine – Red or White? White Wine

Tent or Hotel? A hotel, I hate camping!!

Beach or Pool? Beach, I love the ocean

Shower or Bath? A bath though I rarely have time to do anything but shower

eReader or Paperback? It depends. I like an eReader because I can read it on the elliptical, but I love to
read a paperback on the front porch.

Heels or Flats? Heels all the time!

Bra or No Bra? Bra, have to support these puppies.

LOL, that was a fantastic round, Emily! If YOU would like to stalk – I mean – follow, Miss Emily Walker online, here are her links: Facebook, Goodreads, Amazonand Smashwords. You can also follow Emily’s Blog.

 

Vital Signs

A stranger to our country, free from his chains. Money is his goal, and he takes from the living to make his
way. Death doesn’t phase him as it’s just a means to an end. What happens when your rescuer becomes
your worst nightmare?

Get your copy today!

Happy Reading, everyone!

Today’s Author Interview With The Lovely Miss Peggy Bird!

Meet Peggy:

I’ve always been a writer: stories when I was a kid, plays for my cousins to perform, terrible adolescent poetry. For the price of a few cigarettes, I ghosted love letters and “Dear John” letters for classmates in nursing school. During a checkered and wildly varying work life, I wrote speeches for politicians, brochures, fact sheets, press releases and newsletters for anyone who asked me to, and the occasional proposal and/or report for consulting clients. On vacations, I wrote memoir pieces, a number of which ended up being published in anthologies and magazines.

A couple years ago, I began writing fiction–although writing for a politician is considered by some to fall in that category. It all started with characters who obsessed me. I carried on conversations with them, listened to them talk to each other, figured out how they’d dress, what they’d drive. Then I wrote it down, which sounds easier than it is. The obsession has carried over to my computer–I’ve created Pinterest boards for each book and one board just for clothes and hairstyles.

So far, I’ve contracted with Crimson Romance for three books about characters linked together in the way most of Portland, Oregon is–by about two degrees of separation. The first book, “Beginning Again,” was released in June of this year. It began with Liz Fairchild, a character I’d created as a minor actor in another novel. Sorry to have to cut her out of most of the other book, during National Novel Writing Month last November, I decided to gave her thirty days to tell her story. Liz being who is, was more than happy to comply.

This fall, Liz and Collins, the hero and heroine of “Beginning Again,” will be joined by Sam and Amanda, the couple in “Loving Again.” Amanda shares with me a passion for working with glass. Except that she’s a far more talented artist than I am. She shows her work at The Fairchild Gallery in Northwest Portland. I doubt that Liz will ever ask me to show in her gallery but if I can stretch my skills enough, some of Amanda’s work may show up on my glass website this fall when the book is released.

The third book will be released next year and I’m working on numbers four and five. Stay tuned for details!

 

Thanks for joining us, Peggy! It seems you have always wanted to write…can you tell us more about your ‘Dear John’ letters you wrote for classmates when you were younger?

Sitting around our dorm one night, a friend was moaning about not being able to find the words to break up with the boyfriend she wanted to shed but not hurt. I suggested a sentence or two and she bribed me with a pack of cigarettes—I smoked in those days—to write the whole letter. When he didn’t come unglued after he got the letter, she told another friend about how good I was and I was off and running. It only lasted for about six months but it was fun. Maybe I should have figured out then that I was a romance writer.

 

Awww. I hope you saved copies of your ‘Dear John’ letters. 🙂 So, can you tell us more about your latest book?

“Loving Again” combines both my passions—art glass and writing. Amanda St. Claire, the heroine, is a glass artist and through her I get to be a better glass artist than I am and share some of my love for the art form. The hero, Sam Richardson, is a Portland police detective. He’s not exactly the stereotype of a cop— although he lives in jeans and cowboy boots, he has season tickets to the symphony and hangs out at art galleries, which is where he first meets Amanda. They become involved after she’s accused of murdering her boyfriend and Sam has to find the evidence to prove her innocence. Of course the course of any romance can’t be smooth, so I throw in a few curves—a jealous artist, another murder or two, someone from the past returning for revenge.

 

Loving Again sounds interesting! Where does the inspiration behind your writing come from?

In the course of the series I’m writing, Second Chances, I will have covered all the careers I’ve had— medical, political, artistic, literary—as well as many of the places I’ve lived or visited. So, I guess I have to say the inspiration has come from knowing people who find interesting enough to write about, doing things I’ve enjoyed doing in places I love.

 

What a great form on inspiration! Please, tell us about your main characters – are they people you would be friends with in real life?

That’s part of the fun I’ve had writing this series of books—creating people I would love to know in real life. I mean, who wouldn’t want to know hot cops, sexy sculptors and—in book #4—a Cuban-American coffee broker to die for.

 

O_o Sounds good to me! Why did you decide to begin writing fiction?

I’m not sure I decided to write fiction. One day about three years ago, a couple characters started rattling around in my head. I have no idea where they came from. But they arrived fully-grown, already named and ready to rock and roll, not to mention fall in love. No matter what I did to shake them loose so I could work on the outline of a non-fiction book a friend and I were talking about writing, they stubbornly stayed in my head. The only way to get them out was to put them in my computer. So I did.

 

If you had an entire week to read uninterrupted, which books would you pick up and why?

I have 27 unread books on my iPad, ranging from “A History of Wife” and “Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brulee” to eight books by my fellow Crimson Romance authors. I would read as many of them as I could so I could buy some more the week after my indulgence.

 

LOL – nothing like having an endless supply of books! Tell us about your writing process, do you have a daily writing routine?

I haven’t always been this lucky but writing is now my day job. When I’m in the middle of either drafting or revising a book, I write every day for a big chunk of the day. Mostly, as soon as I get up, often while still in pjs. If it’s going well and I don’t have other commitments, I’ll write in the afternoon and evening, too. I’m a big believer that butt-in-the-seat and hands-on-the-keyboard are more important than waiting for a mythical muse who may or may not appear.

 

I agree! So, do you have any advice for budding writers?

Don’t listen to anyone around you or the editor in your head telling you to give up or give in. Writers write. Period. Just write.

 

What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

I’ll finish up the Second Chances series for Crimson Romance with #5 and #6 in the next three or four months and hope my editor likes them well enough to contract for them. Then I have an idea for a couple books that will require a bit of research on women’s history, specifically the early suffragists. They may be young adult books or they may be romances. I’m not sure yet. They will be fiction. Having discovered how much fun it is to create characters, I’m not about to give that up.

 

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Shakespeare, so I can find out if he wrote all that stuff. Amelia Earhart so I can find out what happened to her. Jimmy Hoffa as long as he can tell me where they buried him.

 

Excellent answers, Peggy! Now for our Rapid-Fire round!

Chocolate or Wine?—is chocolate wine a possibility? (YES!)

eReader or Paperback?—this week, eReader

Shower or Bath?—shower. Always.

Bra or No Bra?—bra, as long as it’s lacy

Beach or Pool?—I live in the Northwest. Beach is way too cold. Pool it is.

Shoes or Bare Feet?—Again, Northwest—cold and wet. Shoes, sadly.

Pink or Blue?—Red

Cats or Dogs?—definitely cats.

 

Thanks again for joining us today, Peggy! I look forward to picking up my copy of your book. 🙂 If you’d like to follow Peggy – check out her writer website and glass website or follow her on Facebook.

 

One spring evening, at an art gallery opening, Portland police detective Sam Richardson meets Amanda St. Claire, a talented, young glass artist. He’s immediately attracted to her. Trouble is, they’re introduced by Amanda’s boyfriend, restaurant and club owner Tom Webster.

Then, Webster is murdered and Amanda’s accused of killing him. Amanda and Sam grow closer as they try to clear her name. Strange things begin to happen. Another glass artist publicly accuses her of stealing his ideas. She’s stalked while out running errands. The sensor on the back door to her basement keeps going off, as if someone is trying to get into her house. Her studio is repeatedly broken into.

Then, two more people are killed and the evidence points, again, to Amanda as the killer. And this time, Sam’s life is threatened, too. On her own Amanda comes up with a plan to protect him. A plan that means she will have to shut him out of her life. But she can’t let anything happen to him, not after everything he did for her.

Even if it means losing the only man she’s ever loved.

Grab YOUR copy of the book on Amazon today! Happy Reading!

Meet Amber Garza, Author of ‘Dazzle’!

A little about Amber: Amber Garza lives in California with her amazing husband, and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years. She writes young adult thrillers.

Hi, thanks for joining us today, Amber! Can you tell us more about your latest book?

Dazzle is the first book in the Delaney’s Gift Series. The series is about sixteen-year-old Delaney Scott who lives in the fictional town of Edenly. She has a special gift that she is supposed to use to save her people, however all Delaney wants is to be normal. That’s what attracts her to bad boy Sam Peterson. Only he has secrets that could destroy her.

Dazzle sounds interesting! You have mentioned in your Author bio that your children are your inspiration…can you share a funny story or two about them?

Well, to be honest the older they get they are not as funny anymore. My son is now a teenager so he’s not making me laugh much these days. Ha! But actually, I do have a funny story about my ten-year-old daughter. A couple of weeks ago she was singing, “Aint no rest for the wicked, money don’t grow on jeans.” When I told her that it’s actually trees, she said, “No, I’m pretty sure it’s jeans.” Oo-kay!

LOL! I like that version! 😀 So, can you tell us about your writing process, do you have a daily writing routine?

I wish. I’m too distracted to have anything resembling a routine. But I do make time to write every day. Sometimes I get a good 6 hours in if I’m in a good writing groove, but most days I get in a good 2-3 hours. I write while the kids are in school, on my laptop while listening to music.

Sounds like my schedule, lol. What are your top five favorite books?

That is so hard because I like so many. Yikes…I will pick one from each of my favorite genres:

Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman, The Oath by Frank Peretti, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Oooh – good ones! If you could pick any Author, living or dead, to review your book, who would you choose and why?

Alice Hoffman, because she is my all time favorite author, and if she liked my work that would be so incredible!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes.

So, just for fun – If you woke up rich tomorrow, what would be the first thing you did?

First I’d go to Temple Coffee and get a mocha! Ha! But then I would probably start house hunting. We lost our home a few years ago to foreclosure and we now rent a duplex. We definitely need a bigger place and it’s something we’re saving for.

I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you can expand your living quarters soon! 😀 Do you have any advice for budding authors?

Yes, write what you love. Write daily, and never give up! Also, read a ton.

Yes! All of that! So, Amber – What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

I am about to release my Prowl Trilogy as a one-volume special edition book just in time for the holidays. It will come out November 23 (black Friday). After that, the second book in the Delaney’s Gift Series entitled SHATTER will release spring of 2013. You can find all my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords. All my titles are available in both paperback and ebook.

Thank you! A last question for you before we wrap up the interview…If you could choose any fictional character to spend a day with, who would you choose and why?

That’s so easy! Jace from Mortal Instruments because he’s my book boyfriend!

LOL ‘book boyfriend’ – love it. It is time for our Rapid-Fire round – here we go:

Wine or Chocolate? Wine

Cats or Dogs? Cats

Tent or Hotel? hotel

Beach or Pool? beach

Shoes or Bare Feet? shoes

eReader or Paperback? paperback

A Partner That Does Laundry or a Partner That Gives Massages? massage

Bra or No Bra? bra
Thanks for joining us today, Amber! I wish you the best of luck with Dazzle!! 😀 You can follow Amber Garza on her Blog or Facebook and Twitter!

Dazzle

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Scott possesses a special gift. Ever since she was a child she has known about her calling and the duty she’s expected to fulfill. However, all Delaney wants is to be normal. That’s why she is drawn to Sam. He can offer her the life she’s always desired. Only Sam has secrets of his own. Secrets that are deadly. Secrets that can change everything.

You can pick up your copy of Dazzle on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, today!