Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Beginnings of a Writer

The beginnings of a writer.

I’ve done a lot of research on writing, the craft, what makes for a great romance novel, what sells, what doesn’t, how to get published, and how to create a great query letter. One specific sentence struck me, and stuck with me, through all my research. It takes, on average, seven years for a writer to become published.

Seven years is a very long time, in my opinion. I’ve learned a lot in the last four years on my adventures in writing. If a writer has a game plan, then they hopefully won’t need to take that long to get published. Start back with the basics. Take a few classes. Savvy Authors has a great variety of classes offered on a regular basis and are priced quite reasonably. When they say that you can literally punctuate yourself to a contract, I believe that to be absolutely true. At the very least, the agent or publisher will really read what you submit as long as your submission content is grammar and spelling free.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Soul Mate Publishing

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to let you know that I'll also be blogging on the Soul Mate Publishing blog at: so come on over and check it out :)

Author Interview: Jennifer Conner

Here we go, here's another great author's responses to my interview questions. Jennifer shares her insites on what makes a story great, how she finds inspiration for her writing, and her lastest releases!

Author Interview
1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I wanted to find something I felt passionate about that didn’t cost tons of money to do. Shopping every minute was out, so writing it is. Writing is more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

2.) What type of genre do you write in? Right now I’m writing Historical Romance in two times, Victorian England 1855 and the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. I also write contemporary romance, paranormal romance and erotica.

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre? What I would hope inspires all writers. You get an idea that you can’t get out of you head.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing? With the Regimental Heroes series, I centered it around the Charge of the Light Brigade poem. It was a battle where the English were wiped out by the Russians. That led me to wonder how Post Traumatic Stress in the 1850’s would be dealt with and treated by the young noblemen who suffered.
In the Gold Rush series, I saw a TV show. I live in the Seattle area. There is an old part of Seattle that burned and the newer part was built above it. It’s referred to as Underground Seattle. The TV show was about a rumored ghost of a young prospector, looking for his gold, who still haunts the underground. A dead- unsexy ghost guy wasn’t going to work for a romance, so I used the idea; what if a young man hit a big gold strike only to lose it?

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why? Diana Gabaldon who writes the Outlander series. She is brilliant in forming her characters that are imbedded in your memory forever. DV Berkom who writes the Kate Jones Adventures for a great, exciting page turner. Chris Karlsen with her Knights in Time, sexy ghosts and knights. Darlene Panzera for her sweet short romances and characters.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great? The author has to put me in the middle of the story. I read every genre. Even if you write romance, I think you need to read everything to round out your writing. I am always about the hero. I usually write hero driven stories and read them too. I love a good angst hero that goes though so much to find love! Ahhhh

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration? I like to help new writers with their craft- it teaches me along the journey. I write a news column on Careers in Writing to pass on tips and tricks of the trade from and for other writers

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups? Yes, my local RWA chapter. My critique group is one of the most important things I am involved in. If you are a writer, I think it is imperative to be in a strong critique group. The million seller authors I know personally are still in critique groups.

9.) Do you have a day job? Yes… it’s every writers dream to be able to give that up, right? It just means I need to be more focused other times and I have given up TV. Not movies, I’m still a junkie.

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published? I wouldn’t have spent so much energy to get published by a big house. I love writing for an indie publisher. I love love (pardon the pun) and will probably continue writing romance, but with an indie publisher, I can write a historical romance, then a paranormal, then a contemporary without the pressures of being pigeonholed into a genre.

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it? The Reluctant Heir is the second in the Regimental Heroes series, Rush of Love and Fields of Gold are the Klondike Gold romances and in November I will have a fun contemporary Christmas romance, Christmas with Carol (out in November). All are available though Books to Go Now, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Android Marketplace, AllRomance, and Overdrive (your local library ebook system on request).
Watch the book trailers here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Author Interview - P.I. Barrington

First of all, I want to thank P.I. Barrington for participating in this author interview on my blog. Throughout my writing and publishing career, I have met so many wonderful people who all have their own stories to tell. Each writer's experience is quite unique and fascinating. My goal is to share their inspirational highlights, what makes them tick, and their current WIP's.

On to the questions:

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Well, I didn't really want to. I won contests and things in grade school and my first real job was as a cub reporter for my local newspaper (oh, yeah, and I was my college paper's editor) and pretty much everything related to that. But that was not what I wanted to do; I wanted to work in music. It was the only thing I ever really wanted to do and I directed all my energy toward it until I ended up in radio and from there to a major record label with other aspects of entertainment tossed into the mix. It was only several years ago that I thought I'd try my hand at writing again and this time I only focused on fiction writing instead of journalism. Seems to be going well, lol!

2.) What type of genre do you write in?
I write in several genre' and a couple of mixed genre' as well. My first trilogy Future Imperfect is a futuristic crime thriller w/ romantic elements; I also write paranormal crime thrillers, short stories in urban fantasy and some horror-ish, one cozy mystery, sci fi w/romantic elements, and my latest baby, Isadora DayStar a dark, quasi-military, sci-fi adventure…I mix 'em up a lot! (One note: Most of my work is co-written with my sister Loni Emmert, another author in her own right)

3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?

For the futuristic sci fi stuff, I love it because I get to play fast and loose with the rules and I can make up my own as well as my fascination with military science fiction. I've never been enlisted but it just entrances me. The cozy my sister talked me into co-writing, it's not something I write at all really. The crime thrillers are my main genre they're what I normally write and the urban fantasy were my first published work—very tongue-in-cheek attitude—though recently I've had some horror-ish shorts published. I love anything where I can break the rules and make my own! I think you get more creative leeway that way.

4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?

Wow from everywhere. There is one secret place I do physically go to get inspired but I will never give it up, not even upon pain of death, lol. Inspiration can come from snippets of conversations I've had, song lyrics, television, commercials, playing what if (though I'm not good at that.) In fact Isadora DayStar came about from both an interview I'd read and from watching CreationScapes on the Daystar television network! I thought DayStar would make a great last name for a female sci-fi character and Isadora just popped into my head. It was perfect!

5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?

Oh! There are so many! I've read everything from Shakespeare to Mad Magazine (my favorite) and everything in between. Currently I love Colleen McCullough & her Masters of Rome series. I love James Michener, Tom Clancy but since I've started writing in earnest, I really don't have time to read anything, other than blurbs on the backs of novels and their cover art. Of course the sci-fi and fantasy masters as well: Tolkien, Bradbury, Ellison, Mary Stewart's Merlin series was a HUGE influence on me. Evangeline Walton's version of the Welsh mythology of The Mabinogion was big too. And Shakespeare—he blew me away as a child when I read MacBeth! The theme of guilt and self-punishment is prevalent in nearly ALL my stories—it's such a universal human experience. Everyone (excepting sociopaths) experiences guilt in their lives regardless of beliefs and much of human behavior is a result of it. Isadora DayStar is all about guilt and redemption. In Future Imperfect, my two main characters carry around enormous guilt just as she does.

6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

Plot, characterization and conflict are the cornerstones of a great story. So is a magnificent villain! Pacing and style play a major part and just a great overall story! Plus a twist in there someplace ratchets things up as well!

7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?

Other than forcing myself to watch television or movies, there really isn't any activity that I perform or engage in aside from my secret place. I love movies like the old black and white films and classic spectacle movies like Gone with the Wind and The Ten Commandments. Oh and my two favorite sci fi movies, Alien/Aliens and BladeRunner! I've never been a big TV fan, most of what I know about television I learned from reruns, except classics like Dragnet, Twilight Zone, Star Trek. I do watch NCIS now—Loni hooked me on it—and reality shows about cops and forensics.

8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?

No critique groups but both Loni and I belong to Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America (I'm rejoining soon) that are major non-profit writing associations. There are others, sci fi and mystery organizations that we need to join as well and plan to in the future.

9.) Do you have a day job?

I do not so I concentrate on writing and the never ending promotion that comes with it, lol! Loni still works in the entertainment industry so I'm still in the loop in a roundabout way—I get the gossip!

10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?

You know, I’m old enough to remember the days when authors typed out their novels on manual typewriters and snail mailed them in then waited ages to find out if they'd been accepted so I am unbelievably thankful that today we send them in almost instantaneously! And we get responses almost as fast! I think that I re-entered the publishing industry at the most advantageous time!

11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

My latest novel, Isadora DayStar, a dark sci-fi adventure, is available through at this link:

Here's the short blurb:
When drug addled assassin Isadora DayStar finally snags a major interplanetary killing job, she thinks it will both support her habit and revise her status as the laughingstock of her profession. Instead, she embarks on a journey that brings her face to face with her tortured past.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick

Hi All,

I wanted to let everyone know that Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick is set to be released in October through Soul Mate Publishing. This full length paranormal romance will be available at:;; and The novel is set to come out in print soon after.

Here is the upcoming back cover blurb, let me know what you think:

After a rogue werewolf attack triggers her latent powers as the Selected, Sydney Sedrick is reluctantly dragged into a war of vampires and werewolves, both battling for total species domination. Each try to use her as their pawn and are willing to use any force necessary to gain control of her special gifts. For her protection, Sydney is armed only with only her grandmother’s journal and Blake, the sexy werewolf who insists they are meant to be together.

In order to succeed, Sydney must embrace her destiny and join the battle to protect both sides from genocide. Caught between two very different worlds, belonging to neither, Sydney is forced to risk it all, or lose everything and everyone she holds dear.