Thursday, March 31, 2011

Need I Say More?

The ultimate snack cake!


Charlie likes to read. Don't mess with his book time!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog Overhaul

My long needed blog overhaul is complete, for now.

You will  find pages added which help to explain each of my pen names, plus the books I have published so far, and the ones that are coming out this year.

I am also looking to interview more authors, especially those that are writing m/m romance/erotica. If you are interested, please contact me. It's a great opportunity to self-promote, this blog is getting hits on average of almost 1000 per month(is that good? I think so?).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A M/M Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of my first m/m romance Beyond Friends , I am giving away a PDF copy or a Amazon Kindle copy (your choice).

All you have to do is leave a reply that you want to be included in this contest. I will draw a winner two weeks from today.



Blurb: Long time friends and one time lovers, Jack and Rain, are now at a crisis in their relationship. Polar opposites, each harbour romantic feelings for the other, but are afraid to own up to them.


When a tragic event happens in Rain's life, he looks to Jack to help him pick up the pieces, realizing there has only ever been one man in his life that he has truly loved-Jack. But will Jack return his love? Can they ever be more than just friends?

Sweet Romance and E Presses




This week after finishing a m/m novella, I decided to switch gears and return back to a WIP that I had started last year. It's a sweet romance. This made me wonder about the market for this type of story in the e publishing world.

Heat sells. I think most of us would agree with that without a doubt. I have started to look around at submission guidelines for various e presses. Most do lean towards the erotic or the more steamier side of things.

Is there much of a e market for sweet romance? What are your thoughts and opinions?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When Promotion Kills

More often than not these days, I have been frequently annoyed by posters on FB who constantly try to push their books.

In my opinion there is a fine line to letting people know what you have out there versus looking pathetic, begging people to buy your book.

Now I'm not talking about those who on release day, mention they have a new book out, or those who post on the writing process or even links to blogs etc...

Anyway, for me it kills me wanting to even look at your book.

So, what do you think? Is there a fine line between promoting on social networks?

Rant over.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Author Interview with Anna Keraleigh

Hi Anna. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to, Write Outside the Box. It's a pleasure having you here.

V- Tell us about your most current release and what inspired you to write it?

A- Hi there, I first wanted to thank you for having me! Fairy Flavor is my current release. It’s the first in a series about an erotic fairy kingdom. Inspiration for me is everywhere and in this case, Irish related. I’ve been obsessed about Ireland and their folklore since I was a child. The moment this seed of an idea came into my head I fell in love with the fairy kingdom.

Buy



V- I have to admit, I do love the cover. When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?

A- I was always a reader. My nose constantly in a book, I’m surprised it’s not flat, lol. When I decided to tinkle with words it was simple for my pleasure. Last years I shared it with a few close friends and they enjoyed it. So, I began with research and ended up with a book I’m very proud of as well as a publisher I find a wonderful treat in such a hectic world. Advice to writers would always be one word – research. Research agents/publishers until your head feels like exploding. The only thing worse than a rejection is an acceptance from a bad place. Try Preditors and Editors, that's where I head to first.


V- What other things interest you besides writing?

A- I love boots, boots and more boots. Can you tell I have a boot buying problem? I also have some fish and a cat they keep me on my toes as odd as that sounds. Meow (Cat) likes to wait till I’m out of the room and try to make friends with my poor guppie fish.

 
V- What are you currently reading, and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?

A- At this particular moment I just finished First Drop of Crimson by Jeanine Frost. I am in love with her characters, particularly Ian. Yum. I’ll read anything in the Breed Series by Lora Leigh or the Merry Gentry Series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I read just about everything. If it's in front of me, I'll give it a try.
 
Now, let's mix it up a bit with some less formal questions:
 
V- If you could relive one moment in time, which one would it be?

A- You know I can’t think of a single moment where I wanted to stop time and burn the image into my mind. I think I’ll wait for the perfect kiss and use that as the moment to relive. So, where’s Eric Northman? :-)  


V- Name one item you cannot do without in life, and why?
 
A- As odd as this is going to sound, my dvds. True Blood, Firefly, Cleopatra 2525, these are just a few of my favorites, and when I can’t read I drown myself in these fantastic worlds.

 
V- What’s your favorite flower?


A- Sunflowers, they’re not loved by many, odd and somewhat awkward compared to other flowers. They're shunned and I love them for their unique qualites. Flaws are never are bad thing. They also play a wicked part in the Fairy Series. Would you like more of a hint? Giant sunflowers are scattered in the fairy kingdom, big enough to hold two people and it’s more than the sun that’s scorching up there.


V- Very interesting. What’s your ultimate indulgence?

A- Porn, ha! I don’t know, I try to indulge in everything at least once. Life is too short not to.

V- True enough! What can we expect to see from you in the future?

A- I’m currently writing the second Fairy novel, The Ravaged Fairy. This will be Thame’s story and for more info as well as sneak peeks, you can check my website. I love hearing from readers so please make yourself at home on my corner of the web.


Thanks again Anna for allowing me to conduct this interview with you.


Anna can be reached through her website at the following link: Anna Keraleigh

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest Post - Adam Slade - Crossing Genres

Hello!

So, firstly a quick introduction for those who don't follow my blog. My name is Adam Slade, and I'm an author of fantasy and humour novels. My first book, A Reaper's Tale, came out last year, and my new one, Strand, is out in early April. There, you know as much as the woman who delivers my mail. Actually, less, as she also knows my address and where my dogs are walked. On to the post...

My second book, Strand, is what sparked the idea for this post. It's a science fiction. I don't write science fiction. Well alright, I wrote one, but you know what I mean. Stop being pernickety.

I started writing Strand as an experiment to see if I was capable of writing science fiction, and I'm glad I did. At the time I was working on two or three fantasy works, and while I wouldn't say I was tiring of the genre, I was getting into a somewhat rigid mindset with regards to what I could and couldn't do within said genre. It also helps me with certain aspects of storytelling. For instance, science fiction work requires a better sense of 'place' than some other genres (in my opinion at least), so writing it helped me bring that over to my other works.

Writing in a genre different to my normal one really helped me come up with less clich├ęd and more interesting ideas for my work, too. Granted, my writing style remained the same, as did the level of sarcasm, but there are some things you can't change. Thankfully.
I have recently expanded again into another genre, though I'm keeping it hush-hush for now as I'm unsure as to how it will work out. Again though, it's helped to expand the way I think about my stories.

If you're like me, and tend to write solely in one genre, give it a go. Even if you aren't happy trying to get the end result published, it could help with your main genre.

(Strand will be released on April 4th, and currently has no excerpts posted anywhere. Kinda stupid, really. Better put one here, I s'pose.)

TTFN,

Adam

______________________________________________________



    Strand set the ship down a quarter mile away from the location on the map and stood to leave via the airlock, then paused to look for something to use as a weapon. He clenched and released his hand and took a deep breath. It had taken a long time to get used to not carrying a gun, and barring a few sticky situations, he’d got along fine without one. The betraying voice in the back of his head once again chimed in to remind him that on those other occasions he hadn’t been breaking into a crime syndicate rife with armed guards.

    “If the worst comes to the worst…” He closed his steel fist, releasing all four data spikes.
    The secret entrance to the compound was disguised as an old grated sewer tunnel. Strand ran his fingers over the rusted metal of the hinges, causing flakes of brown metal to break off. On first inspection, he couldn’t find the terminal that the map had mentioned. He tried wrenching the gate but it didn’t budge. He stepped back a few paces to take in the surrounding area, and a glimmer of polished metal off to the right caught his eye. He walked over and brushed the cascade of ivy aside to find the terminal. He punched in the code marked on the map and winced as the grate swung open with a loud squeal. After taking one last glance around the area, he stepped into the darkness of the tunnel.
    Ten paces in, the outer gate slammed shut again, casting a cross-hatch of moonlight across the floor. Silence settled again and Strand continued onward, his feet splashing in what he hoped was rainwater. Spotting a faint glow in the distance, he made his way toward it only to find a keypad mounted next to an apparent dead end. He used the light from it to check the map, but it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. If this is a trap, I'm done for. Just on the off chance, he punched in the code from the first panel, but nothing happened. He tried Terrick’s birthday and this time he got a message telling him that he had one try remaining.
    “Shit.”
    Finding no access ports on the sleek metal box, he carefully eased the front panel off and glanced at the circuitry inside. A variety of multicolored cables and boards stared back at him.
    “Nothing too advanced, then,” he murmured as he retrieved a stubby screwdriver from a pocket.
    With painstaking care, he unscrewed what he took to be the main circuit board and moved it to one side, revealing another tangle of wires underneath. He found the two he was looking for and short circuited them. A spark lit up the area for a second, then the whir of machinery echoed along the tunnel. He turned to watch a door swing open in what he had thought was a solid wall, flooding light into the area. Shielding his eyes, he stepped through and found himself stood inside Terrick’s old office. Guess this is Phillips’s now. He noticed a familiar item on top of the desk; Terrick’s walking stick. As he tucked it into his jacket, he spotted something even more useful. A security terminal. Strand grinned and flicked a data spike out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Author Interview with Melissa Hosack

Hi Melissa, and thank-you for taking the time to be interviews on, Write Outside the Box.

V- Tell us about your most current release and what inspired you to write it?

M- My most current release is a short story titled, Do It Fur Love. It was included in the anthology, Indecent Encounters, which was published by Evernight Publishing on February 9th, 2011.
 
 Buy

V- When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?

M- I have been writing since the second grade. It has always been a passion of mine. In Jr. High, I won a writing contest in my class to have a study session with Colleen O'Shaughnessy Mckenna, which only made me want to be an author even more. I took a position with the Department of Homeland Security under the Transportation Security Administration as the Model Workplace Coordinator Assistant. My main job is to create their newsletter for Western Pennsylvania. I have been writing a short story column for them as well since 2007. In September of 2008, I had my first short story published, More Bark Than Bite, and haven’t look back since.

My advice to writers is to be patient. Good things come with time, and rejection letters are a necessary evil in this business.

V- What other things interest you besides writing?

M- I enjoy watching and playing sports. I love showing my support to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers! I also enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. This summer my husband and I are taking our 16 month old son Marshall Frost on his first vacation. We’re renting a beach house for a week in June. We’re very excited.

V- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?

M- I am always in the middle of a few books. Right now I am reading, Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton, Angel by James Patterson, and an anthology called, Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas.

Unfinished by Mary Janice Davidson and a few Kim Harrison novels. Those are all at the top of In my to-be-read pile are usually the newest novels by my favorite authors. I have a few Katie MacAlister books waiting for me. I have Janet Evanovichs Wicked Appetite. I have Undead and my list.

Now for some less formal, fun questions!

V- If you could relive one moment in time, which one would it be?

M- My husband, our families, and I went on a Disney cruise through the Bahamas a few years ago. That was a total blast. I think I would have to relive that. In a few years, we plan to take my son on the same trip. Instead of reliving, we’ll do it better. :)
 
V- Name one item you cannot do without in life and why.

M- Sadly, that might have to be my cell phone. It is an easy way for me to keep in touch with my husband while he’s at work. I can send him off goofy pictures of our son or just tell him how my day is going. When I’m at work, it’s nice knowing I can send the babysitter a quick text message to see how my son is behaving. Also, I can’t imagine my car breaking down and not having a phone to call for help. I leave for work very early in the morning. I don’t want to be walking the highway at 4 am.
 
V- What’s your favourite flower?

M- Carnations. They are so cute with their little ruffles. At my wedding, there were red carnations that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses, and I thought they were absolutely beautiful.

V- What’s your ultimate indulgence?

M- My favorite indulgence would be taking a long, hot bubble bath while reading a good book. It’s some nice, quiet me time. Everyone needs that every once in a while. Throw in a back massage from my husband afterward and an Oreo Blizzard, and I am in heaven.

V- What can we expect to see from you in the future?
 
M- In May of 2011, I have another short story being published by Evernight Publishing. It will be in an anthology book that includes some other very talented ladies. I’m excited for this release. I really enjoyed these characters.
 
Once again, thank-you, Melissa.
 
Melissa can be reached on the web through her website at the following link: Melissa Hosack








Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Inspiration


Ideas for stories usually come to me at the strangest times. I could be in the shower, washing my hair when a name comes to me, and then the premise of what could be a story involving the person in my mind. Usually I end up scrambling to get the idea down so I won't forget it since I am working on other stuff. Other times, I'm in bed when the inspiration strikes me for another story. I'm very random that way.

I'm curious to know how you get inspiration? Where do your writing ideas come from?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shameless Charlie-Cat Post

Just as you may have guessed, it's a shameless post about my cat, Charlie and how much I love him.

Myself, like many, love the company of pets. I cannot imagine life without one. And now for the pics LOL

Coming Soon: Guest Blogger and Author Adam Slade

Coming soon: Guest blogger and author, Adam Slade. Adam will blog about a topic of his choice(it's a secret). He will also talk to us about his upcoming book, Strand. Strand will release from Lyrical Press in April, 2011.



For now, you can check out his most current release, A Reaper's Tale.




Author Interview with Jayne Fresina

First, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jayne for her time and willingness to be interviewed. Thanks Jayne!

V- Tell us about your most current release and what inspired you to write it?

J- My current release is Last Rake Standing, a Victorian e-book novella. I started writing the character of Marcus one day and he just crawled in and started taking over. I had Emma already in another story and when I brought the two of them together, they just hit it off. This was my first shorter book (I always used to be much longer-winded!) and I had never tried to write a novella before, so it was an interesting adventure/experiment.
 
V- When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?

J- I started writing years ago - just for myself. I never intended to let anyone read what I wrote. Then, one day, I got brave enough to show a few friends who I trusted to give an honest opinion. They gave me enough encouragement and support to keep going and then I started looking into actual publication. I sent out my first book in 2001. Now, looking back, I realize it wasn't ready, but at the time I was proud of it. I had some interest from agents, but that all fizzled out. Then I put my writing away for a few years. About five years ago I picked it up again and got the fever back. I was able to go from working full-time to part-time and that was a huge help for my writing. I started looking for an agent again and after about a year (and several manuscript revisions) I actually landed a top New York agent. She was wonderful, very enthusiastic. I thought that was it and I was finally on my way! Then I started to open my eyes and realize that it's not the way it happens in movies. Writing is a business. It's creative, but it's a business. You can't just write what you want to write, unless what you want to write happens to be what's selling. You have to learn to tailor your writing to the market. It's important to adapt, not be afraid of change. Eighteen months later my agent hadn't been able to sell my first two books and I sensed her motivation waning, which was understandable. Mine was too! It was so frustrating to get that close and to have editors keeping us on tenterhooks, telling us they loved the manuscript one day and then shooting it down the next. So my agent and I parted company and I was back to square one. I was, however, more determined than ever to get published. I think the experience with that agent - who gave me some invaluable writing advice while I was with her, by the way - just set me on the path and gave me the push I needed. Two months later, working on my own, I had my first book contracted to Lyrical Press (Seducing the Beast will be out in August 2011) and a month after that I had "Last Rake Standing" contacted to Evernight Publishing (released in January this year). My advice to anyone writing out there is to persevere. Believe in the characters you write and keep pushing. If one door closes, find another. Crawl in through the window if you have to! Don't be afraid to go it alone. Agents are great, but even getting one doesn't guarantee a sale, so be prepared to do some work on your own and take chances.  


Buy
 
V- What other things interest you besides writing?
 
J- I spend most of my time writing and don't have a lot spare for other things at the moment. I like going out to dinner occasionally, mostly just relaxing. I used to workout all the time, but sadly that's fallen by the wayside lately!

V- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?

J- I'm currently re-reading Far From the Madding Crowd. I never keep a to-be-read pile. I read a book as soon as it catches my eye and I don't put it down until I'm done. Unless it bores me.
 
Now for some less formal, fun questions!
 
V- If you had one wish, what would it be?

J- To have my own charter plane, complete with crew, so I could fly anywhere in the world with my dogs. Oh,and quarantine restrictions would have to go, but I guess that's another wish!  

V- Name one item you cannot do without in life and why.

J- Computer - obviously.

V- Cats or dogs?
 
J- Dogs. Love cats too but I've never owned one, so the pooches have to come first.

V- Whats your ultimate indulgence? 

J- Cognac Pumpkin Cheesecake from Shari's Berries.
 
V- What can we expect to see from you in the future?
 


J- I have a series of three Victorian novellas coming up, Engraved, Entangled and Enraptured. The series title is A Private Collection and it follows the erotic adventures (or misadventures) of the Blackwood brothers who have to find the three women who once posed in scandalous nude portraits for their eccentric father. Each book follows one of the brothers. Engraved is the youngest son Adam's love story. It will be available in March from Evernight Publishing . Information about upcoming books can be found on my website at http://www.jaynefresina.com/ .

V- Jayne, I wish you the best of luck with your writing career, and thanks again for joining us at, Write Outside The Box.








 
 
 
 
 






Saturday, March 5, 2011

The debate to self-publish


Most recently, Amanda Hocking posted a wonderful blog post on her rise to success through self-publishing. She mentioned that at this time she is doing more marketing for her books than she is actual writing, though her site shows that she does have books coming out this year and in 2012.

I have to admit, self-publishing has crossed my mind. It's not because I think I am going to be the next Hocking, nor do I expect the money to suddenly come flowing in.

Outside of romance and erotica, I write some stuff that I don't think would fit with a print or e press. That is, it doesn't quite fit into their guidelines on what they are actively seeking. So, where does that leave me with these works? I ask myself that question almost daily.

The one thing that does hold me back is the stigma that I find still attached to self-publishing. Some tend to make a person considering it, feel like that their stuff isn't worthy of a more traditional means of publication. Of course, in some cases that's true without a doubt. I have read some pretty shitty self-published stuff. Then again, I have also read some bad books that have been published by some big publishing houses. In the end that's all subjective, as my best book ever could be your most hated book.

Back on topic. Have you considered self-publishing? What are your thoughts when something doesn't fit the mold set forth by most publishers?

Self publishing is a heck of a lot of work for anyone who would like to do it right. Some things to consider are:

-Cover art. A good cover is a must in my opinion.
-Editing. Can you sufficently edit your own work? Can you afford to have someone else do it? Do you know someone who can help, free of charge? These questions are just a few things to consider.
-Formatting. This one scares the hell out of me. I am a tech-turd and clueless to such things. Bad formatting can cause a reader to not want to come back to you ever again. This applies to both electronic and print formats.
-Promotion. It's a lot of work to get your name out there, especially if you are an unknown. Do you have the time and energy? Do you have what it takes?

So, this is the stuff that runs through my head. I'd be interesting in hearing your thoughts on the subject.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beyond Friends is Out Today


It's finally out! I am so excited about my first m/m romance. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did writing it. It's also available on Amazon Kindle , AllRomance, BookStrand and other third part vendor sites.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Author Interview with Shannan Albright

I'd like to welcome author, Shannan Albright to Write Outside the Box. Welcome Shannan!

Vivian- Tell us about your most current release.


Shannan- Dark Passion Rising: A Dark Breed Novel is the first book in the series. The book takes place in “Old Las Vegas” near the famed Fremont Experience. Tambra Ellis is a cop bitten by a Lycan, She is saved by Marcus Valerian a Vampire and Leader of a group of supernatural Enforcers. For this book I asked myself ok, what if all the supernatural monsters we had stories about were true and humans found out? The outcome of this book set’s up all the other that follow in the series, though they are romances they deal with the difficulties of integrating into our society in this day and age.

Buy

Vivian- When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?




Shannan- I started writing twenty years ago and the road was exceptionally rough. When I started out there was no RWA Organization, no one to help a new writer so it was hit and miss. In my case it was a whole lot of misses. After five years I lost hope and stopped submitting. I never stopped writing though and about five years ago started checking out the market again. I got into RWA, found a local chapter, took tons of workshops and tried my hand at submission again. This time I was accepted and the rest you know.

Vivian- What other things interest you besides writing?


Shannan- I have been involved with Renaissance Fairs for many years as an improv actor. I also give workshops from speaking foresoothly, court etiquette, acting and I also design and teach costuming. I also love to oil paint and do illustration work. I also love to lose myself in a good book, and have tea with good friends.


Vivian- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?


Shannan- Everything from Evernight Publishing of course, the authors there are wonderfully versatile. I just finished Sharon Ashwood’s latest in the Dark Forgotten series and am starting Kresley Cole’s latest Dreams of a Dark Warrior. I love anything from Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward so anything they are coming out with is also on that pile to be read.

Vivian- What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Shannan- I have one completed book in revision stage for a new series that I started several years ago, I am working on books two and three in my Dark Breeds series along with a dark Urban Fantasy dealing with the end of days theme. Plus some novellas that are also in outline stage. So as you can see I like keeping myself busy.


My current e-book, Dark Passion Rising: A Dark Breed Novel is due for release in March by Evernight Publishing. It will be available for download through: Evernight Publishing and Amazon Kindle .

Thanks Vivian for having me on your blog it’s been a lot of fun.

Vivian- And thank you Shannan once again for allowing me to interview you. I wish you the best of luck with your writing career.

Shannan can be reached at the following links on the web:




An Interview with me and Free Books on Editing Hat

http://editinghat.blogspot.com/2011/02/vivian-kees-interview-and-giveaway.html Just a reminder to check out the interview with me on, Editing Hat. We are also giving away two sets of ebooks in the Kindle format.