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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Too Many Cooks.

Shirley Ann Wilder, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your book, Too Many Cooks.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Buy links:
Boroughs Publishing Group http://BoroughsPublishingGroup.com
Cover artist: Kim Killion
Length: 80,000 words
Heat rating: mildly sensual
Tagline: Bitter news leads a San Diego widow and widower to true
love–and to a scheme to marry off their adult children, a plan that goes deliciously
awry.
Blurb:
Gaetano Lorenzo was the sweetest man that the widowed Estelle
Bennett had ever met. That morning began terribly, with awful news, but now the
owner and head chef of a local San Diego ristorante was offering up Italian delights:
red wine, delicious food, walks on the beach, laughter when she’d never thought
she’d laugh again…. Estelle felt twenty-five. She and Gaetano had found the recipe
for love, and a simple variation might just get their adult children to settle down,
too. A scoop of sugar, two ladlefuls of lust, a pinch of deception and a whole 24
oz.-can of danger– Suddenly, ingredients were coming from everywhere! But kitchens
are crazy places, and variety is the spice of life. And for anything to get cooked,
things have to get hot.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Estelle Bennett is a 50+ widow.
Gaetano Lorenzo is a 50+ widower the owner and head chef of a
popular Italian restaurant. Estelle’s son Alex, 29 year old son, Alex, who traipses
all over the world as a photo-journalist
Gaetano’s 28 year old daughter, Gina, an up-and-coming attorney
who can’t boil water.

Interview with Estelle Bennett

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
I was widowed about a year ago and I miss Marty, but I try to
keep busy. I have one son who travels everywhere so the little time I spend with
him is precious. I helped Marty in his business until we had Alex. Then I was a
stay-at-home mother and active with his school and other projects. I have my Garden
Club now and some friends, but there are times, I admit I get lonely.
What do you think is your strongest point?
I don’t give up. I pride myself on being able to overcome problems.
I had to be strong when Marty was ill–for Alex’s sake. Now, I must be strong again
because I may very well be at the end of my life.
Do you have a weakness? (If so, what do you think it is? What
does your lover think it is? What does your enemy think it is?)
Weakness? Goodness, I never thought about it. I guess if I have
a weakness it would be wanting my son to be happy and maybe a bit more settled in
his life. My lover? Oh, well, oh my, lover? I never placed Gaetano in that role,
but I guess in a way, we are lovers. God knows he’s opened up a part of my life
I thought was gone forever. It’s been quite wonderful; actually, I mean I have something,
someone to look forward to. Gaetano would probably say my weakness was him. He is
persuasive. I’m not sure I have an enemy–unless of course you count this illness.
My doctor says it’s nothing but I heard what he said.
What drives you to do the things you do? What makes you want
to be the “good guy?”
Instinct drives me to do the things I do. I always want to do
what’s right. I’ve always played by the rules.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Oh, I wish you hadn’t asked that question. My guilty pleasure
is Gaetano. I wouldn’t tell everyone this, and especially not my son, but that man
has awakened parts of my body and soul that I forgot I had. He’s so charming and
so handsome and …oh well, I’ve said enough.
If you didn’t know how old you were how old would you be?
While I enjoyed being a young mother, I like being just the age
I am now, but I’m sorry I’m not as healthy as I used to be.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
Love knows no age limits.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
live?
Right where I live now–in the beautiful community of La Jolla,
the suburb of San Diego that is known as the jewel of the ocean.
What song would best describe your life?
Misty — It describes what I feel when I’m with Gaetano.
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
I’d probably be some sort of kitchen tool–maybe a hand mixer
because I do like to stir things up.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Oh, it would have to be a store like Williams Sonoma–you know
the one that features lots of cooking appliances and little items that make a kitchen
special. Items that people can do without but the ones that add just a special touch
and show their personality. Maybe a sterling silver coffee measure, or an imported
honey utensil with a special jar of organic honey.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Lunchtime.
Tell us an embarrassing story that has to do with a pet. If
you have no pets, a story about a significant other will do.
Well, we never had a lot of pets, Marty was so busy and didn’t
think Alex could take the responsibility. However, you know as mother we see things
differently and I knew how much Alex wanted a puppy, so I told a little white fib
and told Marty that we were pet-sitting for the Nelsons’, thinking that he’d get
used to the dog and then we’d tell him it was really our puppy. Unfortunately, we
ran into the Nelsons’ at a social function and Marty asked them when they were picking
up their dog. Obviously, I had to confess but Marty relented and we all loved Snickers
for a long time. He did dig up a few of my prize plants, however.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Oh, my, I never thought about having a warning label. Perhaps
it would be “Handle with care. Excessive shaking could result in an explosion. I
do have red hair and you know what they say about a red-head’s temper.
I love pizza with green bell peppers and pineapple.
I’m always ready for adventure which Gaetano seems to produce
no matter where we go
.
When I’m alone, I usually like to read or catch up on taped
TV shows
.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’ve cheated death.
If I had a halo it would be lopsided.
If I could turn back the clock, I’d say all the things
I meant to say to Marty and never did
.
I can never regret all the mistakes I’ve made because
they have made me a better person.

About the Author

Shirley Ann Wilder
I grew up with a love of books and read before starting school,
which was not always welcomed by my mother. She passed me off as under five so she
didn’t have to pay bus fare for me and then was embarrassed when I read all the
ads on the bus. I fell in love with my husband at first sight, even though I was
just three weeks away from my wedding to my high school sweetheart. Needless to
say, that marriage never took place. I had almost a half-century with my soul mate.
He’s gone now, but remains my hero forever. We raised 3 sons and a daughter and
I now am the proud grandmother of four granddaughters and one grandson. Writing
is my passion and saves me from going crazy when loneliness threatens to creep into
my life. I dream a lot of my plots and when I write, I become each character.
Hmmm, does that mean I have multiple personalities?

Books Coming Soon

“Fly Me” and A Son by Any Name

Find Me Here

 

Highland Healer.
Willa Blair, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Highland Healer.
Genre: Scottish Historical Paranormal
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Buy links:
Cover artist: Tina Lynn Stout
Length: 85,000
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: Scottish Historical Romance with a Paranormal Twist
Blurb:
He needs her for his clan. He wants her for himself. Can he have
both?
Toran Lathan never expected to become Laird, and never expected
to meet a woman like Aileana Shaw. Her healing ability is just what his people need,
but Toran cannot re-sist her beauty. Yet will loving him destroy her ability to
heal?
Aileana Shaw has a healing touch – and a special talent she must
keep secret. Stolen from her home by a marauding army, she’s kidnapped again by
the Highland Laird she heals. Is she a prize of war, or the prize of his heart?
While Toran battles the invading lowland army, he also battles
his desire for Aileana. And Aileana must decide if she can trust her secrets to
this fierce warrior who needs her talent, but wants her love.
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Toran Lathan, Laird of Clan Lathan
Aileana Shaw, Healer
Gar Colbridge, leads the lowlander army

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
When I started, learning about the craft of writing and actually
writing were the most important things for me to do. Now that I’m published, and
now that my book has won an award and is a best-seller on Kindle, networking and
promotion/publicity activities such as writing blog posts are important. And writing
the next book, of course!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Giving my imagination free reign to explore times, places and
situations that would never occur in my everyday life.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Finish the damn book! Like a lot of writers, I spent years starting
several books and pol-ishing the first few chapters over and over again. It took
a decade for me to settle on one and finish it. Typing “the end” was a revelation.
A rite of passage. Proof that I could really do it.
After that, writing a book is not as daunting a task. Yes, it’s
daunting. Just not as daunt-ing. I finished the second book in under a year and
I’m working on the third in the series now. When I want a change of pace, I work
on the outlines of two different contempo-rary novels and a science fiction romance
series I’m developing.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I am most emphatically not a morning person. Afternoons and evenings
are the most productive times for writing. When I’m really deep into the book, I
can spend hours at the keyboard. But when I’m still working on the outline or synopsis,
I’m easily distracted. Social media is a blessing and a curse. And don’t get me
started on the lure of Ama-zon’s rankings, especially for a debut author!
How do you cope with stress as an author?
The same way most of us do – with chocolate! Or a glass of wine.
Sometimes both.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Highland Healer to anyone who enjoys a good story.
It has action, ad-venture, suspense, and romance. One reviewer even said that men
would like the book because of the details of the invading army, the siege, etc.
Another mentioned the pace and the page-turning action, along with the romance.
Willa Blair
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I grew up reading science fiction and some fantasy, so I still
go there when I want a change from what I’m writing, but I also enjoy contemporary
romance, romantic sus-pense and science fiction romance.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
That’s a great question. I don’t claim to have a crystal ball,
but I think the fact that au-thors have so many options right now will force some
changes. I think the Big Six, or Five, or Four, or however they end up, will slowly
adjust to the new realities. Authors can make more money as independents or with
smaller presses. They can choose any combination of publishing methods, including
the (potentially) lower pay but greater prestige of traditional publishers. I think
the big houses will have to woo authors with better royalties and more benefits.
I know multi-published authors who are self-publishing new material at the same
time they’re fulfilling contracts with NY editors for new books at the same time
they’re reclaiming rights to their backlist and e-publishing those books. Options
are good.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts
as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I’ll pack layers, comfy walking shoes, a bathing suit and sunblock
and head for New Zealand to visit
friends there and for a grand tour, then hop over to Australia and revisit places I’ve been
as well as adding some new stops.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Hallowe’en. All that candy! Did I mention I’m addicted to sugar?
My favorite is Brach’s Indian Corn – the candy corn with the chocolate tops.
Then there are the adorable little kids in princess and pirate
costumes – SO cute!
What good book have you read recently?
Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Not your usual romance, but
it will hook you in the first few paragraphs.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Orange – all shades from light and bright to deep and burnt.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with pepperoni and onions.
I’m always ready for lunch or dinner out.
When I’m alone, I read, write or nap.
You’d never be able to tell, but I enjoy city life, at least in small doses.
If I had a halo it would be crooked.
If I could be consistent I’d be dangerous!
Willa Blair
I can never work in an animal shelter because I’d adopt and adopt and become the crazy cat lady.

Find Me Here

Young Ladies of Mystery.

Stacy Juba, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your new release, the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set.
Genre: Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Buy links:
Publisher: Thunder Horse Press
Cover artist: Mark Juba (for the boxed set cover)
Length: 595 pages
Heat rating: Clean romance
Tagline: Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley;
discover the downside of fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak;
and meet teenage psychic Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R.
3 books in one download.
Blurb:
The Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set features Stacy’s
adult mystery/romantic suspense novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim,
and her young adult psychic thriller Dark Before Dawn, in one bargain-priced download.
Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley; discover the downside of
fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak; and meet teenage psychic
Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R. More on the three books
included in the download:
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today – For twenty-five years, Diana
Ferguson’s killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom
editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young
cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does
she fall in love with Diana’s sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the
obituary page herself.
Sink or Swim – How do you change the channel when reality
TV turns to murder? After starring on a hit game show set aboard a Tall Ship, personal
trainer Cassidy Novak discovers that she has attracted a stalker. Can she trust
Zach Gallagher, the gorgeous newspaper photographer assigned to follow her for a
local series? As things heat up with the stalker and with Zach, soon Cassidy will
need to call SOS for real.
Dark Before Dawn – When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets
involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents,
she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends
may be tied to freak “accidents” in town, Dawn has an important choice
to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the
only people who have ever accepted her.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
In Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, Kris Langley is in her mid-twenties
and is a newspaper editorial assistant, obit writer and aspiring reporter. One of
her duties is compiling the 25 Years Ago Today column from the microfilm.
In Sink or Swim, Cassidy Novak is in her mid-twenties and works
as a personal trainer for a health club. She is also a recent reality show contestant
hoping to gain some income through endorsements.
Dawn Christian, the heroine of Dark Before Dawn, is a teenage
psychic who gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
I wrote my first novel, a young adult book called Face-Off, during
high school study halls when I was 16 years old. I entered it in a competition for
teen writers and it won a publishing contract with a major New York publisher. This was an exciting experience
for me, and it gave me the confidence to keep writing and submitting to publishers
and agents.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now,
as compared to when you first started writing?
The publishing industry has changed so much since the early 1990s,
when I was originally published. Now I have a web site and a blog, and am very active
on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as with many author groups.
The opportunity to network with readers and have access to all of this insider information
about the publishing industry has given a big boost to my career. Also, the rise
of e-books has had a tremendous impact on my career. Years ago, I remember thinking
that it wouldn’t even be worth being published if they had electronic books someday,
as I was tied to the concept of holding a printed book in my hand. Boy, was I wrong!
The growth of e-books has allowed me to make a living as an author and I find e-books
very enjoyable to read on an e-book device. It’s like a toy for book lovers. As
a result of this e-book trend, I spend a great deal of my time targeting my marketing
toward e-book consumers via social networking.
If you could change something about your first book, what
would it be?
Luckily, I had the opportunity to change something about my first
published book, my young adult hockey novel Face-Off. It was originally published
in the early 1990s, and I recently brought it back into print and released digital
editions. I deleted the names of some retired hockey players, as well as the names
of music groups and TV shows and movies that today’s kids wouldn’t identify with.
I’m now more careful about what real life details I add into a book, as I’m more
aware that someday it will be out of date.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what
would it be?
It would definitely be to lighten up, go with the flow, laugh
more, and take more time to relax!
What does “balance” mean to you as a writer?
It means balancing family, fiction-writing, marketing my books,
and my freelance clients, while not overextending myself. This is challenging, but
I am learning to take more time to exercise, read, and just “be.”
What are some jobs you’ve done before (or while) you were
a writer?
Since high school, I’ve worked in a drugstore, as a trainer and
lifeguard at a health club, as a college writing tutor, as a newspaper editorial
assistant, newspaper reporter, and as an administrative assistant, publicist and
event organizer. I currently write and edit newsletters for a few freelance clients,
in addition to being a full-time author.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn’t
normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Twenty-Five Years Ago Today as a starting point
for someone who doesn’t normally read mystery or romance novels. I’ve visited a
few book clubs that read literary fiction, and not genre fiction, and they really
enjoyed Twenty-Five Years Ago Today as it has a lot of discussion points for a book
club. However, some of the members said they normally wouldn’t have stumbled across
it as it was in the mystery section and they don’t usually read mystery novels.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your
own writing?
I enjoy reading mystery novels, romantic suspense, sweet romance,
romantic comedy, and occasional young adult novels.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I love Christmas, and the excitement of exchanging presents on
Christmas morning. I also love the carols on the radio and driving by houses with
Christmas lights. It’s a nice time of year.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new
century started?
I was kissing my husband in the living room of our then-apartment
as the ball went down on the television.
What do you like to do when you’re bored?
I love to read, play Just Dance games on Wii, and take walks.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Yellow. I feel like yellow is a happy color, and I have it on
several walls in my house. I also wear bracelets with yellow in it, to give me a
lift.
Which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”
Definitely ten-countries in ten days as I like to be on-the-go
when I’m on vacation, though my goal is to become more laid back and less of a Type
A personality!

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with green peppers and onions.
I’m always ready for a good book.
When I’m alone, I like to blast music very loud.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m very introverted.
If I had a halo it would be yellow
and sparkly
.
If I could win a million dollars I’d go for a massage
every week
.
I can never read enough books because it’s one of my
favorite things to do
.

Previous Books

Adult: Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim
Young adult: Dark Before Dawn; Face-Off
Anthology: 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back
Children’s: The Flag Keeper; Teddy Bear Town Children’s E-book
Bundle
Stacy Juba

Books Coming Soon

Watch for a new romantic comedy in 2013, followed by some fun
short story spin-offs for my books!

Find Me Here

The Auction.

Lyn Austin, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, The Auction.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Buy links:
Boroughs Publishing Group http://BoroughsPublishingGroup.com
Cover artist: Kim Killion
Length: 85,000 words
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: In order to conceive a baby, Kat goes to a bachelor
auction and buys back her ex-husband for a week.
Blurb:
Katherine Blake wants a baby. At thirty-three, she has a home
and an antique business that she loves, but she is running out of time. Kat hasn’t
had a man in her life that she would even consider fathering her child…except
her ex-husband.
Michael Blake is for sale. In support of special-needs children,
he offers himself up for one week as a prize at a New Year’s Eve local celebrity
bachelor auction. The result? His ex-wife buys him to finish the restoration of
the hundred-year-old home they bought shortly after their marriage. Or so he thinks.
Katherine does expect the remodeling to be finished, but the rest of her plan is
more devious. She doesn’t need him to rekindle the one-of-a-kind love that led to
their fairy-tale wedding and he doesn’t have to atone for the mistakes that led
to their divorce, but he does have to…well, deliver.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and
occupations?
Katherine Blake – antique dealer, 33
Michael Blake – Hotelier, mid-thirties
Grandpa Homer – 83

Interview with Grandpa Homer

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
Ornery and still a stud, if I must say so myself.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Sticktoitiviness. I was married for over fifty
years and you got to live through the hills and valleys. Granted–sometimes those
low valleys can be pretty damn deep, but when you’re in one of those valleys you
have to rest, regroup and take a step back, see what part you played in the problem,
and start climin’ the mountain again. You don’t
just give the hell up and walk away.
Do you have a weakness? (If so, what do you think
it is? What does your lover think it is? What does your enemy think it is?)
My Kitty-Kat – my granddaughter. She makes me
call her Kat now, but she’s still my Kitty-Kat and has been since the day she was
born.
What drives you to do the things you do? What
makes you want to be the “good guy?”
Hell, I don’t know if I’ve been so good recently,
as I’ve been working behind the scenes here to get her and Michael back together.
Damn fools. When she told me they were getting a divorce, sayin’ somethin’ about
drifting apart, and separate lives, I said horseshit! You don’t
find what they had but once in a lifetime.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Well now, it’s the same guilty pleasure I had
with my wife for more than fifty years… I might be slower than I’d like, but I’m
still active, if ya know what I mean.
If you didn’t know how old you were how old would
you be?
I’m still eighteen in all things that count!
A biography has been written about you. What
do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Never Too Old
If money were not an object, where would you
most like to live?
I’m happy right where I am, with my Kitty-Kat.
What song would best describe your life?
I Did it My Way
If you were a tool, what would people use you
to do?
I’d be a fulcrum, an instrument for change and
repair.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your
personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Durable goods – all things that last a lifetime,
like solid furniture and well-made tools.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about
school?
Meetin’ all the pretty girls.
Tell us an embarrassing story that has to do
with a pet. If you have no pets, a story about a significant other will do.
I’ve, ah… ahem, been caught in a compromising
situation or two in my day. Can’t say it bothered me as much as it shoulda, but
then again, what is it the kids like to say, “If you got it, flaunt it.”
If you came with a warning label, what would
it say?
Don’t ask if ya don’t
want to hear the answer.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love the ladies like nobody’s business.
I’m always ready for a little nooky.
When I’m alone, I reminisce, but I don’t dwell on the past since
there’s always tomorrow.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m really an up-standing citizen.
If I had a halo it would have a question mark attached to it.
If I could fix Kitty-Kat’s broken marriage, I’d die a happy man.
I can never stand to see my Kitty-Kat unhappy.

About the Author

Lyn Austin
Lyn Austin is an award winning author and a popular guest lecturer
throughout the world. She travels extensively but her favorite place is in her picturesque
riverside home on the Snake River in Idaho,
where she hosts retreats for writers and artists. She has interviewed over 10,000
women worldwide for her non-fiction book Prism of Light; 22 questions that will
help you discover your own endless possibilities. However, Lyn’s real passion is
writing fiction. She believes that the best gift she can give the world is a couple
of hours of sheer enjoyment by escaping into the depths of a good book.

Previous Books

Prism of Light

Coming Soon

The Quiet Storm

Find Me Here

Cassandra by Starlight.

Susan Mac Nicol, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk
about your book, Cassandra by Starlight (The Starlight Trilogy).

Genre: Contemporary Romance Suspense
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Cover artist: Renee Yadaev
Length: 100,000+ words
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: A London
woman is swept off her feet into the glamorous yet surprisingly dangerous world
of an up-and-coming star of stage and screen.
Blurb: Unconventional though she may be, Cassandra Wallace leads
the life of an average Londoner, from blind dates to rush hour traffic. Then, along
comes Bennett Saville. Charming, erudite, the up-and-coming actor is like the hero
of a romantic movie. He sets Cassie afire like he has the stage and screen, and
defies the tragedy that brought them together. From the tips of his Armani loafers
to their scorching hot first kiss, he’s perfect. Only, he’s ten years younger and
from the upper class, and those emerald eyes invite dangerous secrets. The world
is full of hungry leading ladies, and every show must have its villain. Yet a true
romance will always find its happy ending.
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Bennett Saville is the
main male character. He is a London
based actor, star of stage and screen, with his own TV series called ‘Gabriel.’
Bennett is 37 years old.
Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Wallace
is a professional woman, who specializes in project managing process improvement
for companies. She is 47 years old.

Interview

Tell us about your latest
book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
My latest books are a trilogy,
contemporary Romance crossing over into Romantic suspense. The Starlight Series
takes the story of Cassie Wallace and Bennett Saville from their first fateful meeting
after a tragic accident, right up to just after the three years they are together
and are finally tying the knot on an idyllic Fijian island. The incident bringing
the two together is the suicide of Bennett’s younger brother, Eric, who throws himself
off a motorway footbridge. Unfortunately, he lands on Cassie’s car, injuring her
badly. Bennett feels responsible and goes to see Cassie in hospital. He’s intrigued
by her looks, her compassion and her bravery in dealing with the incident. She in
turn is struck by his youth, film star persona, his obvious demons and the fact
that he seems to have no one he can really turn to. The couple strikes up a romance
that transcends the age barrier and they find in each other a way to both appreciate
each other and provide what the other needs.
What is the single most
important part of writing for you?
That would be bringing
the characters into a reader’s living room, writing scenes and dialogue that is
both believable and real and helps the reader to identify with the characters and
the situations they find themselves in. The greatest compliment for an author is
to be told that a reader could really get into the minds of the characters and that
the story line was well paced, i.e. they simply turn the pages as if it was a seamless
read that flowed well and made the reader feel comfortable.
What do you enjoy most
about writing?
Writing for me is not a
hobby, it’s a passion. I’ve been writing for a long time, for my own pleasure, and
it’s only since the Starlight Trilogy and getting my first book published that I’ve
truly come to appreciate the magic that exists in sitting down and creating something
that until then exists only in my imagination. The most incredible thing I can think
of to do is take a name of my own creation and build a character about that until
he or she seems almost real. I love to put them in situations that I’d either love
to be in myself, or create one where I can control it and make the decisions that
get them out of the predicament they find themselves in. It’s the most fun anyone
can have in playing the Creator in your own little universe and knowing that it’s
only fiction and you can make anyone do anything you want to.
I also enjoy the variation
of writing different things and of being given the opportunity to showcase a different
style. As well as writing these three novels, I also wrote a short story for my
publisher’s ‘Lunchbox Romance’ line. These are short, fun stories designed to be
consumed in the lunch hour. This new story, called ‘The Magick of Christmas’, was
a little bit of whimsy created especially for the line and as I myself have a great
interest in Wicca and love Christmas, it made sense to combine the two in a feel
good contemporary Romance story about love and magick at Christmas time.
Where do you start when
writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
I am a fly by the seat
of your pants writer. I literally started out with Cassandra by Starlight using
an Excel spreadsheet with half a dozen names on it, about five lines per character,
defining age, look, what they did and a very brief description of their character.
I had no idea when I started that Bennett’s mother was going to be schizophrenic,
that Cassie had an ex-husband, that Bennett had a crazy stalker who was an former
terrorist, or that he’d have a gay best friend called Dylan who’s quite an irreverent
character. It all simply flew from the tips of my fingers onto the screen as the
characters developed and I thought of the next line.
Research wise – for Cassandra
there was a lot of research required, especially around the world of the theatre
and movie-making, the issues of schizophrenia and stalking and of course, one of
the most controversial topics in my book, the female on male rape scene. The latter
was researched using case histories of people who had actually been subject to rape
and in fact, after the book was published, the gentleman who wrote the original
article that I used as the basis for my scene in the book, James Landrith, got in
touch with me. It was a very moving moment to be able to communicate directly with
the man whose grim experience formed some of the basis for my book.
What did you learn from
writing your first book?
I learned that I knew nothing
about formatting or writing for publication and about the nightmare of point of
view and what not to do and how not to head hop. I’m still learning that one…
I also learned how a good
editor was worth her weight in gold and one who worked with you and guided you,
worth a lot more.
As for social networking
and how to self promote – when I started writing these books in February this year,
the only thing I had was a business LinkedIn account, gathering dust, and a very
meager Facebook page. The mere mention of Twitter and tweets was enough to make
me hiss like a vampire having a necklace of garlic thrust around her neck. But,
as well as writing and doing the editing to make my stories suitable for publication,
I had to get out there and learn everything I could about the art of social networking.
I’m pleased to say I’ve got the knack of it, and I am beavering away valiantly to
build my ‘community’ and draw readers into my books.
How do you balance a life
outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
I work full time in the
city of Cambridge
which is about an hour’s drive from my home. I leave the house at seven in the morning
and am back in around six p.m. I am very fortunate to have a very supportive family
and to be honest, (and bear with me on this train of thought!) my saving grace (in
my view, my mother and family would agree) is that I’m not really a domesticated
animal. I don’t like cooking, I don’t bake and I will run like hell if an iron ever
comes near me. I’ve always been a professional working woman, working long hours
and have gotten used to this way of life. So having a husband and kids who can cook,
and like to cook, to me, is an absolute boon and they are very happy to take up
this mantle, which gives me the time from seven p.m. to midnight and sometimes longer,
to write and retreat into the ‘bear cavern’ so called because my daughter has warned
the family ‘not to poke the bear when she’s writing. She growls.’
What do you hope readers
take with them after reading your work?
My biggest desire for a
reader is to simply enjoy the moment and live in the world I’ve created and feel
comfortable doing so. I want readers to almost feel bereft when they finish my book,
to feel as if they want more. If they think about the characters and the events
after they’ve put down the book, even if it’s just a day or two afterwards, and
I accomplish this, then I think I’ve done what I set out to do.
If money were not an object,
where would you most like to live?
I have always wanted to
live in a country manor where there is a lot of land and a lake and I can simply
spend my days writing in my huge, book-laden study. This could be either here in
England or in France. I’ve never
been to France but one of the
places I would truly love to go is Carcassonne in
the south of France.
I became entranced with this place when reading Kate Mosse’s ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Sepulchre’
and I think a beautiful castle overlooking this area would suit me down to the ground.
If you were a tool, what
would people use you to do?
I would definitely be a
blunt instrument as that describes me so well. I suppose a hammer is the best fit.
Picture yourself as a store.
Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold
there?
Comfortable clothing that
made you feel warm and fuzzy, chocolate of any description, books, anything geeky
like smart phones, tablets, gadgets, time machines, holographic devices, Benedict
Cumberbatches, (an English actor I have a particular passion for), anything to do
with magic or witches, chunky costume jewellery that sparkled in a myriad of colours
and a selection of really sexy men to pander to my every need when the Cumberbatch
is having a well deserved rest.
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
This item is hard wearing
and tough, has a tendency to switch off when in writing zone mode and can prove
extremely fractious when disturbed.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with bacon.
I’m always ready for bedtime.
When I’m alone, I live in my own head.
You’d never be able to tell, but I am actually listening to
you
.
If I had a halo it would be a little tarnished.
If I could time travel I’d go back and catch Jack the
Ripper
.
I can never give up because I’m driven.
Susan MacNicol

Books Coming Soon

Books 2 and 3 in the Starlight
trilogy – tentatively titled ‘Together in Starlight’ and ‘Starlight and Promises.’
‘Saving Alexandria’ – a novel about a flawed woman who finds an unexpected and sexy
saviour who helps her overcome both her fears and the demons from her past.
Currently
working on another Lunchbox Romance short story

Find Me Here

Cassandra by Starlight
Facebook page http://on.fb.me/RQYv3Z
Loving Mick.

Jill Limber, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Loving Mick.

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella
Cover artist: Kim Killion
Length: 42,500
Heat rating: Sexy
Tagline: Jessie wants a fling, but Mick decides he wants forever.
Blurb: Betrayed and abandoned by a cheating husband, Jessie wants
nothing more than a fling with the handsome cop. Mick thinks Jessie’s plan is a
fine idea, until he falls in love and wants forever. Will Mick be able to convince
Jessie to play for keeps?
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Jessie Jones, 29, School Teacher

Mick Landers, Cop, mid-thirties

Interview with Jessica Jones

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
Oh, pretty average I guess. Friends describe me as loyal and
caring, and I find that flattering.
What do you think is your strongest point?
I’m dependable and dedicated. To my family, my friends and
my job.
Do you have a weakness? (If so, what do you think it is?
What does your lover think it is? What does your enemy think it is?)
I’m not very brave, especially when it comes to taking risks
with matters of the heart. Once burned, twice shy is the phrase that comes to mind.
What drives you to do the things you do? What makes you
want to be the “good guy?”
I hate to admit this, but I’d say since my husband deserted
me it’s anger. I’m acting like a bad girl and having a lot of fun!
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Lately? New sexy underwear and an even sexier cop.
If you didn’t know how old you were how old would you be?
Lately I’ve been acting like I’m sixteen.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
About Face: From Wife to Party Girl
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
live?
I’d still live in San
Diego because I grew up here and love it, but I’d choose
a house on the beach.
What song would best describe your life?
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Hmm. Interesting question. A broom, to sweep out the old and
sweep in the new.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
A store that carries all kinds of things to make the home comfortable,
pretty and organized. Or a bookstore for children and adults.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
I loved school and everything about it, especially learning
and friends.
Tell us an embarrassing story that has to do with a pet.
If you have no pets, a story about a significant other will do.
One time our Labrador Retriever dug under the fence and got
into a neighbor’s house through their dog door at Christmastime and ate a gingerbread
house the lady had taken days to decorate.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

Warning: Don’t try to pin this girl down.
New Year’s Eve Club Authors

Please Fill in the Blanks (as Jessica)

I love making out in a car like a teenager.
I’m always ready for a dinner out.
When I’m alone, I read Romance novels. I love happy endings.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m really scared inside.
If I had a halo it would be slightly
crooked
.
If I could be like my mom, I’d know I was raising
my children well
.
I can never stand to see my children unhappy.

About the Author

As a child, Jill got herself in trouble with some of her tales
but now she gets paid for them. Residing in San Diego with her husband and a trio of dogs,
Jill loves most gathering friends and family for good food, conversation and plenty
of laughter.

Find Me Here

New Year’s Eve Club Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/TheNewYear’sClub

Tamara Hoffa, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your book, Heart Of A Soldier.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Borough Publishing
Buy links:
Cover artist: Cat Hoffa
Length: 10,000 words
Heat rating: mild sensuality
Blurb:
Soldier Jamison Hunter faces the battle of his life, winning
the heart of Charlotte MacKenzie, windowed mother of a young recruit
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Tamara Hoffa – Charlotte MacKenzie (Charlie) age 36,
Jamison Hunter (Jamie) age 40

Interview with Jamison Hunter

Tell us about yourself.
What are you like?
I’m a soldier, first and foremost; A helicopter pilot, husband,
and father. I think I’m a pretty easy-going man. I love my country and my family.
I like to watch football, sit by a warm fire in the evening and snuggle with my
lady, or sit on the front porch and stargaze while we rock and talk about our day.
What do you think is your
strongest point?
I’m stubborn and single minded, if I want something I never give
up.
Do you have a weakness?
(If so, what do you think it is? What does your lover think it is? What does your
enemy think it is?)
We all have weaknesses. I’m certainly not immune. Pride, I guess
would be the one that comes to mind. Sometimes I let it get in the way of my heart.
What drives you to do
the things you do? What makes you want to be the “good guy?”
Honor. I was raised to believe in honoring your country, your
parents and yourself.
What’s your favorite guilty
pleasure?
Charlie (smirk) and Turtle Cheesecake; I just can’t turn it down.
If you didn’t know how
old you were how old would you be?
I’d be my own age, 40. I’m very happy with where I am in my life.
Everything I’ve been through and seen has made me who I am. I have no desire to
go back and do it over again.
A biography has been written
about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Heart of a Soldier
If money were not an object,
where would you most like to live?
Hmm… Hawaii.
I’d love to have a view of the ocean, no ice and snow and Charlie in a bikini.
What song would best describe
your life?
God Bless The USA
If you were a tool, what
would people use you to do?
Build houses. Nothing is as important as a home.
Picture yourself as a
store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be
sold there?
Sporting goods.
As a child, what was your
favorite thing about school?
Recess.
Tell us an embarrassing
story that has to do with a pet. If you have no pets, a story about a significant
other will do.
Charlie and I got a puppy for Christmas. A little black lab.
When we first brought him home he was so excited, running all over and then he stopped
and peed on my foot!
If you came with a warning
label, what would it say?
Do not approach before morning coffee.

Please Fill in the Blanks (as Jamison Hunter)

I love pizza with everything.
I’m always ready for action.
When I’m alone, I pogo.
You’d never be able to tell, but I like chick flicks.
If I had a halo it would be red, white, and blue.
If I could sing I’d serenade Charlie.
I can never go spelunking, because I hate tight places.
Tamara Hoffa

About the Author

Tamara Hoffa – Tamara Hoffa lives in central Tennessee, with her husband
of 30 years, her three grown children, two grandchildren, 3 dogs and 2 cats. Tamara
started reading when she was four years old and has rarely been seen without a book
at hand since. At home you will usually find her in “nana’s chair” with
her Kindle, her laptop or one of her precious, precocious grandsons in her lap.
Tamara is a reviewer, a professional reader and can now add author to her repertoire.
Tamara is proof positive that it’s never too late to reach for your dreams.

Find Me Here

Blissful Lies

Jennifer Brown-Thomas, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your book, Blissful Lies.

Genre: Drama/Romance/Mystery
Buy links:
Print
eBook
To purchase a signed copy: Email Info@jenniferbrownthomas.com
Publisher: Helm Publishing
Cover artist: Jeff Gerred of SoEg Creative
Cover Model: Ashlee Fowler
Length: 234 pages
Tagline: “Some Lies… Change Everything.”
Blurb:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Addison Hamilton, 45, Chancellor of Brown-Thomas University and the rock in which everyone else has built their lives around.
Spencer Hamilton, 45, Lawyer.
Blaire Christianson, 34, stay at home mother.
Elizabeth Kensington, 45, Jackson’s mother and Addison’s best friend, charity event organizer.
Jackson Kensington, early 20’s, college senior.
Parker Hamilton, early 20’s, college senior.
Shaley Brodigan, early 20’s, college senior.
Katherine Thompson (Kate), early 20’s, college senior.
Kinsley Abbott, early 20’s, college senior.
Leighton McDowell, early 20’s, college senior.
Kimber Larson, early 20’s, college senior.
Calvin Tucker, 25, bartender and graduate student.

Interview

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Blissful Lies is a character driven novel. It’s different from a lot of what you might read in the sense that it spans over several genres. Romance, Mystery, Thriller and Suspense. I loved creating the characters because they’re all unique in their own ways, all different, but all have one thing in common–how much they adore each other. At least… that’s what they thought.
How do you come up with ideas?
I think about something I might like to read about. I take one single idea and let it morph into something much bigger. I love creating story lines… I create as I go–so you never know what’s going to happen next.
What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Blissful Lies film

Creating a story people want to read and continue reading. I’ve been asked so many times if there will be a Blissful Lies sequel–that tells me people like what they’re reading, which is very important to me.

What is the most important thing you do for your career?
Staying accessible. If anyone wants to talk, email or chat with me–they can. This is by far the most important aspect of maintaining close relationships with fans. Plus, I love it! I enjoy hearing what people think–the good, the bad and the ugly. And I love that they know they can reach me if they wish to.
What do you enjoy most about life?
Being a mommy. I love it. Everything I do is for my daughter and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
I do things a little differently than most. When I sit down with a blank page, I have somewhat of an idea of how the story is going to progress–but sometimes it even manages to take me by surprise as I’m creating it. I like to write in the moment, create as I go so people aren’t constantly predicting what might happen.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
The easiest part is the writing. The hardest part is getting it out there and letting people know it’s on the shelves.
Would you consider self publishing?
I don’t know if the self-publishing world is for me. I have considered it and decided on the more traditional route of publishing, though I understand the self-publishing world has been quite beneficial for a lot of my peers.
How many hours a day to you spend writing?
It depends. I’d say an average of six during my downtime. Sometimes the average can be as much as fifteen when I’m working on a project.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
It gets better! It’s worth it. It won’t be easy, but it will be incredible.
Is your muse demanding?
So demanding! When I have an idea or a project–it’s hard to tear myself away to deal with the day-today things we all have to deal with. But I’m thankful she’s demanding, it keeps me on track.
Are your stories driven by plot or character?

I think a little of both. But definitely more so by character. I love a good character in a novel. Someone you can relate to, someone you envy or can root for. Without strong characters, any plot is just average.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
Very carefully! Ha. No, I’ve been doing this long enough to have a good balance going. Being a mom, of course, makes things a little more difficult but way more fun and unpredictable. I generally write at night–sometimes, all night, and this allows me to spend time with my daughter during the day. On the days she’s in her mommy’s day out program, I work during the day as well. Luckily, I have an amazing support system–so if there’s a deadline, it’s not a problem.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Blissful Lies is my first published novel. So I think I’d recommend you start there. Vindictive Grounds is coming up–you’ll love it! It’s recently been projected to be the next Fifty Shades of Grey so I’m interested to hear what our readers think.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Young Author Takes On Literary World
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Right where I am. Surrounded by friends and family.
What song would best describe your life?
Ha ha! Chumbawamba’s “I get knocked down.” Or Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Couture everything! I love little girls clothing. In fact, my business partner and myself are creating a young girls clothing line called “Kinsley Kouture.” You can read more about it on my website at jenniferbrownthomas.com
Jennifer Thomas

As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?

I loved everything about school, but English was my favorite subject.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Very Demanding. High Maintenance. Workaholic.
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with cheese… lots of cheese.
I’m always ready for literally anything. You have to be in this business.
When I’m alone, I am working.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m exhausted 85% of the time.
If I had a halo it would be hot pink and completely blinged out.
If I could take a vacation I’d head to Belize.
I can never completely relax because I’m a mommy.
Books Coming Soon
Vindictive Grounds
Find Me Here
Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
Blissful Lies blog tour site:

LittleBirdie Who…

The subtitle of this blog article is “It Just Came to Me!”
I’m turning over the blog to Vicki Batman today for her article on inspiration
for books.

“It Just Came to Me!”

I’m always asked where do you get your ideas for stories?
Ideas can be found everywhere–a phrase, a word, a journal post,
a look, something overheard in a restaurant, something spoken on television…lots
of places. Something in my head goes boing! and I scribble it down.
I began writing shorts after critiquing for a friend. I guess
osmosis set in because the next thing I knew, I’d written a whole bunch.
Over the years, I’ve had many stories published in magazines
and thru e-publishers. However one magazine, Woman’s World, has eluded me. It isn’t
because my stuff is awful. Woman’s World receives over two hundred submissions per
week. Some of mine have been commented on; some kept for several months (the longer
the better). And others…they were returned quickly. LOL
So what does an author do with those stories? I’ve published
them for free reads. Expanded into longer stories and then, sold them.
However, when the indie wave intensified, I got a badabing!
idea–why not put several stories together into a small book?
So I did. My baby is born–“Little Birdie Who…and Other
Stories.”
Here’s a tiny blurb from each story in “Little Birdie Who”
and what inspired that story:
“Little Birdie Who”–a new resident helps
her next door neighbor rescue a little bird, but who is the birdie worth keeping?
Handsome and I actually rescued a little bird stuck on a pest
strip in our garage.
“Check Her Out”–Gum: it’s a sticky situation,
especially between a store manager and Auntie Caren when her nephew has to pay for
the package he stole.
I know someone whose son stole gum several times when he was
five. Her rendition (and exasperation) stayed in my head and I just had to tell
the tale.
“This is NOT Working”–Who knew Day One at
a new job would begin so badly and end with possibilities?
Who hasn’t had a horrible day at a new job, but to make it a
first day ramped up the heroine’s awful situation. And someone near and dear said
he forgot to turn on his computer one day, and it nearly drove him crazy.
So if you are sitting in a café, airport lounge, or do something
crazy, you might be overheard by a writer and become an inspiration for the next
bestseller!
Little Birdie Who is COMING SOON!
Twinkle Lights

Available Now:

Twinkle Lights
When the owner of a Christmas tree stand has a heart attack, a do-gooder and a reformed delinquent turned lawyer fall under the holiday spirit and staff the business. The two-some meet the everyday challenges of running the establishment and through their close association, began to care for each other. When the revenue goes missing, fingers are pointed.
Buy link: http://is.gd/9e9Nv7

About the Author

Vicki Batman kicks back with a diet Coke and–hopefully–is weaving
writing magic.

Find Me Here

Some Like it Haute.

Jillian Leigh, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Some Like It Haute. What a great title! Tell us more about it.
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Cover artist: Boroughs Publishing Group
Length: 10,000 words
Heat rating: Sweet
Tagline: Too haute for comfort? A stylish gentleman meets his
match when he wagers he can make a dowdy spinster the talk of the ton in Regency
England.
Blurb: Stylish leader of the beau monde Sir Richard Sheridan
has managed to avoid most forms of vulgarity for almost thirty years, but one evening,
when he is goaded by a drunken young pup in the middle of a ballroom, Sherry finds
himself embroiled in the most vulgar of wagers: to turn a dowdy young woman into
the talk of the ton. Jane Smith, in town as chaperone to her niece, isn’t interested
in a dandy such as Sir Richard, even if he is the most handsome man she’s ever encountered.
But when he offers to help make her niece’s season a success, how can she refuse
his company? Soon, they discover that they are–despite appearances to the contrary–
more evenly matched than either could have imagined.
What are your main
characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Sir Richard Sheridan,
known to the world as Sherry, is almost 30. He’s a Regency gentleman, so
naturally he does as little as possible.
Jane Smith is about
the same age, though it’s impolite to speculate about a lady’s age. Suffice to
say she’s old enough to play chaperone to her young niece in London society.

Interview

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does
it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Some Like It Haute is an historical Romance, set during the period
of English history known as the Regency. It’s my take on traditional Regency. I
hope I’ve captured some of the elegance and wit that this kind of historical is
noted for.
How do you come up with ideas?
Ideas come from all sorts of places. Sometimes I’ll see a scene
in my head. I don’t know exactly who these people are or what they’re doing there,
precisely, but it’s fun to find out. Or I might start with a premise: a what if?
Movies and books often start little ‘fires’ in my brain. Not all my ideas are suitable
for turning into stories, though, or they may need to be tweaked and refined a bit
first. Occasionally I’ll get a kernel of an idea that ends up sounding almost unrecognizable
by the time I’ve finished with it. But that’s writing for you.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
As Dorothy Parker famously said, “I hate writing. I love having
written.” While I don’t hate writing–or I probably wouldn’t do it–it’s hard work.
Once the draft is written, though, it’s fun to edit, revise, shudder at what’s on
the page, then come back and realize it’s not so awful after all. Even though reading
your own work can be a humbling experience, occasionally you come across a bit of
dialogue or a scene that you almost forgot you wrote–and it’s not bad!
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline,
or…?
A great deal depends upon what sort of idea has possessed my
mind. I do try not to do a lot of research before I start, because it can become
a distraction. So I either look up something as I need to, or make a note to come
back later (as long as an important plot point doesn’t hinge on knowing the answer).
Generally, I try to start with a vague but almost coherent outline. I used to think
I was a plotter, someone who needed to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s before starting
to write. Somewhere along the way, I came to the conclusion that I was either too
lazy or too impatient to be a dedicated plotter. So then I decided I must be a pantser,
who wanted to launch into things and work out the finer points later. Now I realize
that I’m somewhere in between. I do need some sort of plot to work with, but writing
outlines and character sheets just makes me grumpy. Does that mean I’m a plantser?
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what
would it be?
I would tell young me to ‘go for it’–not worry so much about
what I should be doing and do all the things I want to do, no matter how wild or
improbable they may seem at the time. I’d tell myself that your regrets tend to
be about what you wished you’d done, rather than the things you did do. I would
also tell young me to start writing sooner.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your
work?
I would love to think that readers are transported to another
world for a little while, so much so that they forget their everyday existence and
go along for an entertaining and amusing ride.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break
from your own writing.
If I had to choose two only, I suppose I’d have to include Jane
Austen and Georgette Heyer. But if I could mention more than two–which I’m going
to do blatantly and unapologetically now–I would want to include writers such as
Dickens and Trollope. In the genre of historical Romance I enjoy, amongst others,
the fabulous Julia Quinn and Tessa Dare.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think
the title would be in six words or less?
She was a good girl, but…
If money were not an object, where would you most like to
live?
I’ve often thought, being an Anglophile and a history buff, that
I’d love to live in the UK. In some picturesque English hamlet, no doubt. I’d grow
a cottage garden and visit all the places I’ve mostly read about. But then I think
of how cold it would get and suddenly I’m thankful I live in Australia, where it’s
warm (no, make that hot). Actually, I’d love to have residences all over the world,
like Summer and Winter Palaces, that I could drop in on from time to time as the
mood took me. A girl can dream!
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality
and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
My store is a cross between an elegant department store and something
out of a Dickens novel. You’d find an eclectic mix of old and new. In one corner,
you can try on the latest fashions, gorgeous shoes, sample makeup and perfume. In
another, you’ll wade through old collectibles and antiques. In a third corner of
the store, you’ll find books and DVDs. People will be dancing, performing live theater
and having debates. Of course there would be a café where you can enjoy a cup of
something and a great pastry. I don’t know whether my store would make any money,
but it would be a fun place to browse.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Keep Her Fed and Watered Properly

Please Fill in the Blanks

Jillian Leigh
I love
pizza with almost anything except olives.
I’m always
ready for a good laugh or a great conversation.
When I’m
alone, I daydream.
You’d
never be able to tell, but I can swear with the best of them.
If I had a halo it would be chipped, dented and slightly
crooked, but basically intact
.
If I could
go back in time I’d visit the 19th century (of course).
I can
never read a map properly because I’m spatially challenged.

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