Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Gryffyn Phoenix

Click To Buy

How long did it take you to write your first book?

Verity and the Haven/Helm kids were born when my parents dropped me off at college. I was 16. Verity and my journey were pretty much the same, learning to see things through my own eyes and not my friends or family. When I went to write down Verity’s tale, many many … many years later it took me 10 days.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was eleven years old before I found out everyone didn’t have a movie theater in their heads showing new stories. In other words, I don’t think I was inspired to be a writer, I just was one.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

My first book … I was lucky. I had a number of professional editors in my life who taught me by working on it with me. It was a great way to get started.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Euphoric. Anyone who does drugs or likes alcohol should try finishing a book they’ve written. Best feeling EVER.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

When I started it was just to help chill me out. Drain out some of the frustration I felt with my life. So basically a weird kind of hobby. After it was done, and in my hands, WOW! I mean, as a manuscript it feels like your baby. Once it’s published, you get this baby isn’t yours anymore.

How many books have you published since then?

There are three books in the Haven Awakening series, and one omnibus edition. Now I’m launching a new series based on the Aguane. Historically, the Aguane were fashion loving, kick ass fairies who lived for each other and avenging crime against women. The Roman legion recorded their existence warning their soldiers to not engage, how cool is that? So Rise of the Night Goddess will be the first installment in this girl power saga.

Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With Ali Winters

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’ve always had an active imagination and for as long as I can remember I’ve always loved reading which fueled my desire to create and tell stories.

Can you tell me a little about each book?

The Reapers is book one of a now complete series (The Hunted) about Reapers and the only threat known to them and protecting the balance. Lies, betrayal, centuries of secrets to be revealed, and a slow burn romance.

Sound of Silence is a duology about aliens, zombies and a virus. It’s an apocalyptic YA Romeo and Juliet retelling

A Sky of Shattered Stars is the first of a series that is high fantasy set in space, if space was made of magic instead of science.

What inspires you to write?

All the ideas constantly coming to my mind. It’s like an addiction. I have all these ideas and stories and I want to get them out to share with the world and hold them in my hands.

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

Before I considered writing as a feasible path, I was a blogger who just wrote part of an idea down. I shared it with an author friend who told me she wanted me to finish the story, and so I threw myself head first into writing and haven’t looked back since.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

The middle of 2015 I published my first book. Publishing was scary then, and it’s still nerve wracking. But I love it and will keep doing it.

What advice can you give future authors?

Never stop trying to improve your craft. Never settle for “I write good enough” Always, always, keep trying to improve. Getting complacent will make your writing fall flat and it will lose the one thing readers love about your stories.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

The Moirai. Which is to say, it wasn’t actually easy, but rather with that book I discovered the writing process that works the best for me.

What was the hardest?

The Reapers. I had no idea what I was doing when I went into publishing. I learned a LOT from that book. And it was the one book that had the most incarnations as I learned.

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

Staying focused. I adore the stories in my mind and want to get them all out, but I also struggle with keeping my mind focused.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It’s not my forte, but I still do my best and try to learn new ways to go about it.

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

Most of my books are Urban fantasy with strong fantasy elements and epic fantasy length books with complex plots. My Fantasy books are pure fantasy. Fantasy was what I grew up reading so it’s become a huge influence on how I plot and develop stories.

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

I have done NaNoWriMo every year since 2014, (and won! I’m super self-competitive.) I’ve also done two July camp NaNos, this year and last.

How supportive is your family of your books?

My parents are 10000% convinced I’ll be the next JK Rowling. I love their unwavering support.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

Yes. It’s pretty horrible, especially if it comes from someone you trusted. But you have to push that aside. Surround yourself with people who are positive and believe in you. You can’t let those people take away something you love and enjoy.

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I have a wonderful editor and a great PA. Other than that my “team” is a support system of friends. I do try to do as much “in house” as possible, but only if I can get that particular skill up to market standards.

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

It depends on the book, every one is different. It depends on how messy the first draft is. Sometimes A draft needs to be a dumpster fire so you have something to work with and build up and make pretty, other times a first draft can come out pretty clean(needing a lot less work.)

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Almost all of my books are on audio. Not only because I love them for their convince, but because it’s important for everyone to have access to books.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

The Last Unicorn, The Time Machine, and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy are a few of my all time favorite books. I also enjoy more recent books such as The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the Kricket series by Amy A. Bartol, Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta. Honestly there are a lot of books I love by many authors and I can’t name them all.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

The Vampire Debt is the first in a six book series that can be described as Vampires meet Beauty and the Beast meets Pride and Prejudice. It will be a NA/Adult series and I’m really excited for this series not only because of the story but also because of the covers!

You can sign up for early sneak peeks and be the first to know anything about this series by signing up here: http://www.thevampiredebt.com

Where can we find you on social media?

Website: http://www.aliwinters.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authoraliwinters
Twiter: http://www.twitter.com/aliwinters_
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authoraliwinters

Amazon: http://www.amazon/author/aliwinters

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/authoraliwinters

Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/ali-winters

Newsletter: http://www.aliwinters.com/newsletter

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Kyra Dune

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It took me about a year in total.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in fourth grade, our teacher let us sit quietly at our desk and do whatever if we finished our assignments early. Me, big old nerd that I am, always did, so I’d have a book to read. I’ve been a big reader since forever. One day, I finished my book, I didn’t have another one, so I just took out my notebook and started writing one. I’ve been writing ever since.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Three. That always seems to be my magic number.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

When I opened the email and saw my book had been accepted for publication, I cried.  It was just the most amazing feeling ever.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I don’t have as much free time for writing these days, so it goes a bit slower. As far as publishing, I now self-publish all of my books. I like the control and, honestly, I’ve made more money off my self-published books than I ever did off the traditionally published ones. Granted, I’ve only worked with a few small press publishers, and not any real big houses, but I definitely like self-publishing better. Of course, if one of the big boys in New York ever came knocking on my door, I wouldn’t slam it in their face.

How many books have you published since then?

I have 40 published novels to date.

Links:

Amazon

Other retailers

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Golden Angel

How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first book actually started out as a serial for an online website that was eventually turned into a book and self-published. I think it took me about a month and a half to get the full story written and uploaded to the website.

What inspired you to start writing?

The website I was reading erotica on! After a couple of years I ran through all the stories I wanted to read and I knew exactly what kind of story I wanted to read but no one seemed to be writing new ones exactly like what I wanted. So I figured I should give writing a shot, because then I could have exactly what I wanted without relying on anyone else. I’d always enjoyed writing anyway and I had all these ideas in my head about what I wanted to see happen in a story; it was a bit of a relief to finally get it out of my head and onto some ‘paper.’

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I just published a chapter at a time on the website. I did some proofreading / editing of my own before self-publishing and added a few small scenes, but I went back again later and did more rounds of proofreading / editing, with the help of others.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Readers from the website had actually asked me to publish the story, they wanted to be able to buy it and read it on their e-readers and not just online, so at the time it didn’t feel like that big of a deal. It was just ‘oh, sure, I guess I could do that’ – looked up how to publish through Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc. and just got it out there. It wasn’t until the sales and reviews started coming in and I realized people who weren’t just readers from the website were also reading it and loving it and wanting more that I really had that moment of awe and realized “Oh wow… I actually wrote a book. That people are reading.” That was both humbling and amazing. Publishing the second book was so much scarier because I finally had all the usual worries – what if people don’t like it? What if it doesn’t live up to what they wanted after reading the first book? I do remember that I cried the first time I held a paperback of my book in my hands.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

So different and yet so the same! Now I rarely have time to write for the website, but I feel like I’m still writing books for the readers who want specific stories from that world. I spend a lot more time editing and proof-reading, I have beta readers now who help me, and I pay to have the editing / proof-reading done. The biggest difference to the publishing process is that I now actually do marketing. I was so scared of the author community back when I first began publishing, I didn’t consider myself good enough to even try talking to other authors, and now I feel like I’m fairly involved in the community which welcomed me with open arms. I kick myself for being so shy at the beginning, but I’m so glad to have found them now!

How many books have you published since then?

I believe I’m at about 40 books under my main pen name, not counting the anthologies I’ve been a part of, and another 10 under my alternate pen name. And still going!

Buy the book here!

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Casey Hays

How long did it take you to write your first book?


About three months, but it wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m rewriting the story now. It will be released in 2020 with a new title and cover. Now, it takes me 6-8 months of writing to bring a book up to standard for publishing.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was a high school English teacher for 11 years, and I really wanted to write a book for my students. So… I did.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I can’t even remember, it’s been so long. And I’m one of those writers who stops to revise as I go. I never get through even one draft without revising it. But if I had to guess, I’d say I wrote roughly 5-7 drafts and a dozen revisions of my first book (working closely with my editor) before I felt comfortable with publishing.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I was elated. I wrote the book in 2008, but it was not published until 2012 because I was in a queue at the publishing company and had to wait my turn. Impatience set in, but finally, it was my turn! I wanted to be published by my 40th birthday. I turned 40 in April and the book released May 15. Close enough!

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

Now, I take my time. I’ve learned how to slow down and develop my characters, my setting, my storyline. I let these elements lead the story rather than forcing a plot. I still revise as I go (I can’t seem to break my self of that) but I’m what you’d call a sculpting author. I shape and perfect the story bit by bit as I go. Then I go back and do it all over again two or three or ten more times with my editor. I still only release 1 or 2 books a year. I’m a stickler for doing my best to present a book that is error-free for the most part and satisfying and relatable for readers who enjoy my genres. I’ve learned the fewer books I publish within a year’s time span, the better they will be. So I’ve never published more than 2 in a year. I’m also my own publisher now with my own company, Whispering Pages, LLC, so I get to work at my own pace. It’s refreshing.

How many books have you published since then?

I have a total of 10 books published in two genres: dystopian sci-fi and paranormal romance (all YA books expect for A Heart of Flesh – it’s New Adult Dystopian.)

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Christina Lanier

How long did it take you to write your first book?

From August 2018 to April 2019. I had actually started it in 2017 but was involved in a car accident which put it off.

What Inspired you to start writing?

When I was a kid, I read ALL the time to escape an abusive household.  I always dreamt of offering a temporary respite to other people while at the same time giving them hope for the future.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I think I did 3.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

It was such an emotional high! It took me a few days to even come to terms with the fact that I finished the book. The sense of accomplishment was amazing.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

The writing process is a lot easier, I think because I have more confidence in myself after publishing the first one.  Now I know the process, instead of fumbling through it.

How many books have you published since then?

I’ve only published one, but I’m working on my second. *Fingers crossed*

Buy Slated Here:

Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With MK Mancos

Where do you get your inspiration?

So many sources. I can read a reference book or magazine, watch a documentary or see a billboard. Most of the time it’s the ‘what if’ questions that grab me. My most recent story ideas spawned from seeing a premade cover and I decided I had to buy it and start a YA/NA line. I just never really know where and when they’re going to hit me.

Can you tell me a little about each book?

I’ve written and published over 30, so that’s going to be hard to do in the space provided. I will sum them up to say, I always like some kind of twist, whether it’s churning a known myth or piece of folklore for my use, or leading readers on a merry dance suspecting one character of wrong doing when it’s in fact another. I like mysteries in my books, and find it hard to write when there isn’t one. These rules apply no matter the genre or name I’m writing under.

What inspires you to write?

I don’t think it’s as much inspiration as it is compulsion. I’m an author, I have to write. It’s who I am. I don’t know how to not write. However, there are days when the words simply don’t come. On those I do something different; make jewelry, read a book, play with art, anything to take my mind away from it and refill the well.

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

I’ve been a storyteller all my life. As a child I had horrible nightmares and it was so bad my mother asked the pediatrician what to do about them. He suggested that I have a story time before bed each night to put a good suggestion in my mind before sleeping. Well, the fight ensued. My mother only wanted sweet stories, and I insisted on the unadulterated Brothers Grimm and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Needless to say, she hid my books on me and refused to read after to me after a few espisodes where I’d find the hidden books and pull them out again. This left me to tell my own stories to myself after going to bed. I’ve been doing that same thing for almost 50 years!

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

First published a short story in a magazine in the early 2000s. After that, I was published an erotic romance in one Red Sage’s Secrets editions. Getting that first call is like everything you’d imagine. Euphoria, disbelief, the fulfillment of a dream. It’s incredible.

What advice can you give future authors?

Keep at it. Don’t give up, but don’t sell your soul either. There are so many more avenues available to authors now than there were when I started writing.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

It’s really a tossup between two of them. Solarion Heat (the version that was published by Samhain, not the one I’m re-releasing soon) and High Octane. Both of those books were written in probably a month’s time and really wrote themselves. It was an amazing experience for the words to pour out so fast and actually make sense. I don’t know if it was because both of them are space opera and my voice seems strongest in that genre, or I was just in a groove at the time.

What was the hardest?

Emotionally, it was the 3rd book in my Alchemist and Elemetals series under the name Cassie Sweet, Kiss of Death. That was a redemption story where the main character had done something especially heinous in the previous book. Trying to make him a sympathetic character, show his growth, his redemption, and the ways in which he was as big a victim as the people he’d wronged was a delicate balance. That damned character made me cry more than once writing him.

Physically, I’m having a really hard time with the 2nd Pine Barrens book, Corpesetti. The first half of the book that I wrote back in 2007 went very quickly. Even with the outline in front of me, the second half isn’t going so well. I have to drag every single word from my brain and down to my fingers. I’ve gone off the tracks so many times that the rewrite is going to be even more painful.

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

  1. Finding the time to write. – I work full time outside the home, so that’s always a challenge to balance my work schedule with writing time. Then there’s time I need to edit, rewrite, revisions, plot new books, and it goes on.
  2. Having so many projects I’ve lost count.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

I’m terrible at it. I need others to do that for me, but I’m poor so I can’t afford to pay someone to get on the social media and scream my name into the void. I hope my writing speaks for itself and my readers tell their friends how great they think my books are.

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

Depends. I can do very dark, or I can do light and fun. However, no matter what it is there is a stream of sarcasm that runs through it that comes straight from me. One of my coworkers read my book, Hattie’s Spirit, and said she heard my voice all the way through as if I was telling her the story. Since that was a book I’d written in 1st person I did pour a lot of my own feelings into the text.

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

The year I participated I wrote both Hattie’s Spirit and the second in the Doran Witch series, Rewind, during that month. (well, a good bit of Rewind.) I ended the month with over 70K in words and made NANO my bitch.

How supportive is your family of your books?

Very. My hubby is my biggest cheerleader. My mother has read a lot of my books. (She doesn’t read so much anymore at her age) – My biggest regret is that my father never lived to see me published. I know he’d have read ALL of them too. So many times, when I still lived at home and spent my summers banging away on an old electric typewriter, he’d ask “When are you getting those published?” I think he’d have gotten a thrill out of knowing it happened.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

No, but I did have an agent once tell me they wished I had the death penalty placed on me for spelling his name wrong, though the way I spelled it was wrong in 3 of the 4 places I’d found it. Yeah, so there is that. Jackwagon.

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

The writing part is all me. The promotions…what I do are all me. However, I can’t take any credit for my awesome covers, or the edits on my books. (Well, you know the edits do need my participation, but it’s more a collaboration.) My covers are done by the magic of Victoria Miller, Fiona Jayde, Stella Price, and now Cheryllynn Dyness.

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

Some I have been lucky enough to get correct the first go: Dragon Tamer, Solarion Heat, High Octane, Immorati, Bad Religion, Sacred Sacrifices, Echoes in Stone…this list is going to be long, so I’ll stop there. Others have taken me try after try to get right.

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

None in audio as of yet. I do want to try. My husband is a VO actor who has his own studio, so realistically I could do them here myself. Which I might try one day. I used to do radio in college, but it’s been a long time. At the moment, I’d have to do a royalty share scheme and I’m not sure all the pros and cons of that arrangement.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

I have so many, but the short list is: Brandon Sanderson, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaimen, Robyn Carr, Anne Renwick, Tal Bauer, Michael Creighton, JAK, Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, Kate Elliot, Jennifer Roberson.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

Right now, I’m working on a YA called Into the Pink. It’s about a fae girl adopted by human parents and she’s coming into her own. I’m also working on Corpesetti, the second in my Pine Barrens series. Malice in Wonderland, is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a steampunk bent and those magic mirrors can take you more places than just our world and theirs. Then there is Amplified. This is under my Cassie Sweet name and takes place on a space station where magic and tech meet. It’s the first in my Mage Corp. Inc. series. – As for releases, I have a lot pending in the next few months. Stay tuned.

Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook at MK Mancos or my reader group there Mystic Kat Readers

Twitter @MKMancosKScott

Instagram mk_mancos_author

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Evelyn Lederman

How long did it take you to write your first book?

From when the voices in my head began, it took just under 6 months to write/publish my first book (‘The Chameleon Soul Mate’).

What inspired you to start writing?

I attended my first romance novel convention as a reader in 2010. At that convention, I had an intimate session with Christine Feehan. She mentioned her characters talked to her. I thought she was crazy, but it was a common theme that weekend from other authors. On February 23, 2014, a real conversation that took place outside Sedona, Arizona played in my head. Then 5 women started to talk to me…telling me they were orphaned girls who grew up in our realm, but their parents were dissidents from a parallel dimension. One by one, the women travel to the Troyk universe and discover their telepathic abilities and their soul mates.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I went through several drafts before I blew up the beginning of the novel. It’s a common mistake for first time writers to put too much backstory in the first chapter(s). Since I knew a number of indie authors, I did some research and reached out to an editor. The editor asked to read my first chapter and agreed to take me on. After Tina’s first read thru, I retooled the beginning of the book and added more conflict. Tina went through the manuscript 3 times and I enhanced the manuscript with each of her edits/critiques.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I spent 33 years working for an insurance company, but never felt so emotionally invested in a work product. It never gets old when a reader tells me how much they enjoy a given book or series.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I believe my writing has evolved with each book. I’m told there is a huge difference between my first book and my second (‘The Crystal Telepath’). Over the years, I’ve taken craft classes to enhance my writing.

Today, I format my books, rather than paying someone to do it. I also do my first books in Scribner, rather than Word. Once the book is ready to go to my editor, I move the manuscript to Word.

How many books have you published since then?

Completed series:

Worlds Apart Series (5 books, 1 novella)

Nightshade Saga (5 books, 1 novella …Work In Progress)

Zaratan Trilogy (3 books)

Outer Worlds Passion Series (3 books)

Magic’s Destiny (3 novellas)

On-going series:

Shifters of Eclipse/Warriors of Eclipse (WIP) (2 books, 1 novella)

Laurent’s Blood Legacy (1 book, 1 novella WIP Jan/Feb: New Book, March: New novella)

Pick up a copy of The Chameleon Soul Mate Here:

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Artemis Milchon

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It was in my head for a while, so The Last Dragon, first book in my pnr Omega Clan Lords series, took a week.

What inspired you to start writing?

I kept seeing these smoking hot Omega Clan Lords in my head. They were telling me what it was like being immigrants from another world, dealing with angels, living with the last member of the dragon clan, having the air and water clan lords try to get along. I couldn’t get enough of them, and realized others might feel the same.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Three, and then had a great editor who gave me space to write the story the way the characters demanded. I’ll be going through a rewrite soon on the first book.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

My dream came true. I felt so much relief and joy at finishing the story, I was instantly addicted. I couldn’t wait to tell the next Omega Clan Lords story.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

It took me a while to understand I am the Mom of these characters. I’d better protect them just as if they were my child. I’ve also learned to listen to my own voice over everyone else. If you don’t love your book, if the characters don’t make you openly weep, the reader will feel nothing when they get a hold of your work.

How many books have you published since then?

Six books published. 2019-2020 I will release an additional ten titles, launching an entirely new series!

Buy The Last Dragon here:

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Cheryllynn Dyess

How long did it take you to write your first book?

                4 months for the first draft!

What inspired you to start writing?

                My husband! The story was inspired by wanting to let young women know its okay to be different and to be themselves.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

                I’d say 4 on this one, that was seven years ago so its hard to remember exactly!

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

                Weird to be honest. I was scared to death that no one would like anything I wrote and I was be seen as a fool. When I first held the book in my hand I was blown away that I had actually done it. It’s a very surreal feeling.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

                Now, I understand the book industry more. I still write what I want and never write to market but I’ve learned how to do so much more and have total creative control over what I put out. I now have a better flow of the process and that helps a lot.

How many books have you published since then?

                I now have a total of 15 books out, so 14.

Buy Calastan Here: