Blogger Interview with S.L. Stacy!

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She’s one of my favorite bloggers and someone I’m excited to introduce you to.  She’s a college student but also loves to write in her free time.  Her first novel, The Fallen, a Paranormal Romance, is almost completed.  Apart from working on the novel, she also writes fan fiction.  If you want to check out some sneak peeks of The Fallen, take a look HERE to read some chapters from it.


1.  Tell me about the book you’re writing and what your plans for it are in the future.

The book I’m currently writing is tentatively called The Fallen -the working title has changed several times and will probably change again! It opens with our main character Siobhan encountering a mysterious, seriously injured man in the woods who transfers to her a kind of “super power,” I guess you could call it. She thinks he’s probably dead until he turns up as her Teaching Assistant for one of her college electives. It’s a fantasy/paranormal romance with a bit of mystery since she slowly unravels the truth about him and her connection to him. I’m enjoying writing it, but I’m not sure what my plans are for it. I will probably write some query letters once it’s done/edited while at the same time preparing to self-publish it.

2.  Coffee, tea or soda?

Coffee. I used to hate coffee, but somehow it’s become a necessity every morning. 🙂 Of course I dump cream and sugar into it….

3.  I loved with the Labyrinth movie (and always wanted Sarah’s dress) when I was kid. I thought it was interesting that you were a big Bowie fan as well. Where were you first introduced to his music or found a liking for him?

I was actually first introduced to Bowie one Christmas back in high school because they always play that duet he did with Bing Crosby on the radio (Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth). I had heard of him but had never realized he had such an amazing voice. (I was listening to too much pop music back then, haha!) Strangely enough I didn’t get around to watching Labyrinth until college. I love that it still has a cult following now.

4.  Why did you start blogging?

I originally started blogging to post some of my old fiction and to get back to writing some new stories, which I’ve definitely been motivated to do. But it’s also turned into me writing about books, TV shows, music and other things that I like, which has been fun, too.

5. You mention you write fan fiction. Tell me more about that.

Usually when I get an idea for a fan fiction piece, it’s usually a short romantic or sexy scene between two central characters on a TV show that I like. For some reason, I’ve really been coming up with a lot of ideas from the show Once Upon A Time (OUAT). I’ve posted a few OUAT fan fiction short stories on my blog; this summer I’m planning to post some longer ones. Although the script is sometimes cheesy, I love how none of the characters on this show are completely good or evil. I think that’s a great theme to explore in writing. Also, it gives me several bad boys to over-analyze. 😉


To top off this awesome interview, I’ll give you a tease of S.L’s novel, The Fallen.

In this excerpt Siobhan and Anna try and find out if Jasper is the same man they met long ago-the man who ‘changed’ Siobhan.

“What’s your favorite ancient culture, Jasper?” the hipster to my left asks. “What’s your favorite myth?”

“I enjoy Greek mythology the most,” Jasper replies. “In general I tend to enjoy the stories that are more obscure. My favorite Greek myth is the love affair between Ares and Aphrodite.”

“Why’s that?” a girl asks. She’s on the fringes of the group and cranes her head around the guy sitting next to her so that Jasper sees her. “I didn’t think there was much of a story there.”

“I disagree,” Jasper says smoothly. “I think that the love stories of the gods are great examples of early guilty pleasure entertainment. Aphrodite and Ares’ relationship was sexy and forbidden.”

“So what is the story?” Anna wonders, looking around the group as if she’s missing something.

“Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was forced to marry Hephaestus, the god of fire. Hephaestus is typically portrayed as being ugly and deformed. During their marriage, Aphrodite is unfaithful to him a number of times.”* Jasper’s silky voice is infused with an intense passion for this subject. The entire table has grown subdued, enraptured. This is the sexiest history lesson I’ve ever had.

“One of her affairs is with Hephaestus’ stepbrother, Ares, the god of war. When Hephaestus finds out, he tells Aphrodite he is going to be gone for a few days, but he sets a trap for them –a metal net that drops on Aphrodite and Ares when they’re in bed together, exposing their affair to Hephaestus and the rest of the Olympian Gods. Humiliating them.” There’s a bitter edge to these last two, more quietly spoken words. I wonder if anyone else has noticed.

A few of the others jump in with their favorite myths, although none of them captivate the group like Jasper did. Closer to eight, Anna leans toward me and whispers, “Do you want to talk after this? We can go to my place. I’ll give you a ride back later.”

“Um, sure,” I mumble back, again caught off guard.

Scattered “thank you’s” and squeaking chairs make me realize that everybody is getting ready to leave.

“I’m going to get some tea,” Anna informs me. I nod and decide to wait for her at the table. I get out my phone to text Tanya that I won’t be back until later. I think that everyone has left until I look up and see Jasper Mars standing up but lingering by the table.

I smile up at him. “Thanks for your help tonight,” I tell him to fill the silence. “I think it’s going to be a very interesting course.”

He responds with a smile of his own –a slow, deliberate smile that doesn’t show his teeth. “I hope so.” The smile disappears, and his dark, penetrating eyes seem to sweep me up and down, even though I’m still sitting. “You and Anna are looking well.” He turns on his heel and strides briskly away before I can come up with something to say.

“Ready to go?” Anna asks me, jiggling her car keys in one hand, her paper cup of tea in the other. I’m still staring at the spot Jasper has just vacated, dumbfounded.

Author Interview: Lena Hart

 

BecauseYouAreMine_SM (1)Lena is the author of, Because You Love Me and soon to be released, Because You Are Mine.  She’s a Contemporary Romance author, who focuses on relationships between interracial couples.  She believes it’s important to present strong black heroines in her stories and also show that love can be found anywhere, regardless of any cultural or social barriers there may be.  And unlike other romances her stories come with a hint of mystery and danger added to the mix.  And who doesn’t like danger?! I do…

 


“Keep reading. Keep writing. And never give up!”

-Lena Hart


1.  What is your favorite book?

I read in different genres so I have quite a few favorites in each. But for contemporary, I have to say it would be one of Catherine Coulter’s earlier works, Beyond Eden. It’s an intriguing romantic suspense that took me on a roller-coaster ride the first time I read it!

2.  Do you have any other talents besides writing?

I love cooking. I think I may have been a chef in a previous life. I cook anything and everything, from ethnic dishes, such as Caribbean, Asian, to healthy – and not-so-healthy – dishes. I also have a mean sweet tooth so I’m always trying my hand at baking cookies, cakes, and pies.

3.  Introduce us to your muse.

My muse keeps me on my toes! She’s a complete scatter brain, easily distracted, and stubborn. But she’s never without good ideas, which she likes dropping on me at the most inconvenient times – like in the shower, cleaning, on the treadmill, or dozing off to sleep. And it’s hard to get her to buckle down and focus on one story, which is why I have a growing to-be-written pile. But when I put my foot down, she tends to work with me and the stories unfold effortlessly. She’s hard to work with but she’s all I’ve got.

4.  What’s harder to write; a beginning or an end?

The beginning. For me, it’s harder to write because you don’t know when and where to start the story so the reader gets hooked. Timing is everything and, as a writer, you need to hook, engage, and inform all in the first three pages!

5.  Any tips for writing a great love scene?

Hmmm… I tend to write my love scenes in bed. It’s a bit annoying because I have to transfer my writing from my desktop to my laptop but it’s hard for me to get in the “mood” (with my characters) when I’m sitting at an upright, rigid desk. Writing a great love scene is all about getting in the mood 🙂


Check out her book, Because You Are Mine, which is available now!  I don’t have an excerpt to share with you but I’ll leave you with a blurb about her new book!

Excerpt from Because You Are Mine  

“He crouched down in front of her, fighting the urge to lean down and kiss her smooth, graceful neck. She was a natural beauty, and in sleep she was achingly so.”

Betrayal cuts deep, especially when it comes from someone you trust. And no one understands this better than Cara Sinclair’s old love, now new boss, Drake Ross. Growing up, these two shared an undeniable bond until they found themselves in a fight for their lives. Twelve years later, fate conspires to bring them back together. Yet, while Cara is torn between chasing a lost love, or pursuing another, Drake is left more uncertain of the truth and his feelings for the girl he believed betrayed him. But the love that binds them proves impenetrable. And when light is finally shed on the secrets that haunt them, Cara and Drake will soon discover that danger still lurks… and betrayal cuts deeper than they could have ever imagined. 

Author Interview: Rich Voza

Welcome to another exciting author interview!

You should be super psyched about this one.  Today my interviewee is one of my good writer friends and my editing advice guru.


“More than 50% of the time, persistence wins over talent. Too many times the more talented people give up too easily, and then the less talented people get the job.”

-Rich Voza


Rich is the author of The Curse, which made it as a quarter finalist in the ABNA last year.  I think that may be the reason I first started talking to him but I can’t remember exactly.  

He lives in a house on the beach, something a lot of us dream about. He’s also a retired English teacher now turned editor and full time writer (when he isn’t spending time with his children) and writes movie reviews.  Right now he’s been working on many short stories like The Bus Stop, The Lie and The Accident but has also written several books like the Room 317 and The Curse

If you need a great editor, give him a shout out, he’s great at it and I’m sure happy to help.  He has helpful posts on grammar, so check them out.  You might learn something. Find some of those HERE and HERE.

And now onto the interview…..



1.  What is the hardest thing about writing a book (story)?

This will sound rude, but the hardest part of writing a book or story, seriously, is just time.  I have written four novels and seven short stories.  Maybe eight.  And I’ve never written anything during which I have not suddenly been hit with what seemed like a better story.  Then, I feel like I have to rush to finish what I’m currently writing so I can get to the next great idea.  I hate saying that, but it’s true.

2.  What are you currently working on?

I’m currently stuck as hell.  I have two stories that I need to revise.  They’re ready to be pitched.  But I have this fabulous idea for a really creepy stalker story.  However, if I don’t actually get something finished, queried, pitched, and all that, then I’ll remain the best writer who’s never done anything beyond his own computer.  And blog.

3.  What is the best story, in your opinion, have you ever written and why.

The best story I’ve ever written is a great story – but it’s poorly written, and I have to totally re-write it.  It’s called “The Curse,” and it’s about a slave owner who puts a curse on his slaves to prevent them from running away.  But the curse backfires on him instead of being put on the slaves.  I love it.  It was a quarterfinalist in the ABNA last year.  The readers loved the first three chapters, but I didn’t finish it well enough.

4.  As an editor, what is the grammar issue that most annoys you?

I suck at knowing when to break for paragraphs.  I know that you break when the location or the time changes, or when the speaker changes.  But sometimes there are other changes, and I get confused as to when they should be.

5.  As a reader, what do other writers do that most annoys you?

Clichés.

6.  What is your greatest strength as a writer?</h2

Dialogue.  I always get compliments on it.  The reason it’s m strength is because I talk too much and I constantly watch and observe people.  I’m  nosey as hell, watching people when they don’t realize it.

7.  What genre do you find hard to write?

Not sure because I only keep to what I know I can do.

8.  When did you write your first book?

In a way, I wrote my first book when I was in third grade.  We had a summer reading assignment, which I didn’t do.  We could have read anything, and I read nothing.  On the first day of school we had an assignment, like a book report about what we read.  I totally made mine up.  It was called “Carrot Top Mr. Mouse,” about a mouse with red hair, and the other mice made fun of him, so he ran away.  It was because I had red hair, and sometimes people made fun of me.  I think I’ll have to actually write that one day, but on that day, I made up a cover and a summary.

However, for real, my first book was “Grandpa’s Watch.”  It’s about a boy who accidentally gets sent back in time into the Civil War where his great-grandfather, as a teenager, was involved.  But the boy who gets sent back accidentally injures his grandfather.  Luckily, he knows what the old man did to help the Union win the war, and he now has to take his grandfather’s place, otherwise the South might win.  According to my daughter, it’s too educational and not enough fun.

9.  Have you ever used a pen name? (And if so did you write naughty stories?)

Yes, and yes.  But the “naughty” stories were 100% true.

10.  What is your advice for other writers?

My advice – don’t be lazy like me.  I’ve learned that there are many great writers, great stories, that nobody knows about because those writers don’t have the “drive” to get published.  That’s what I’m battling against.  For me, it’s a fear of failure.  Like, if I don’t pull the trigger, then I can’t possibly miss.  But lately I’ve been working on that.

Also, find a writers group who will read and trade feedback.  Not an online group but a real group that meets at a library or someplace.  Make sure they’re people who know what they’re doing.  I’ve been involved with writers groups in which nobody owned a computer.  I’m not trying to make fun of anyone’s money situation, but I can’t figure out how anyone can really write anything without a computer.  It would take too long.  Maybe that’s stupid, but it’s how I feel.

Also, be careful about blogging.  I just spent a year blogging very successfully.  Never had more people read what I’ve written, and got a lot of praise.  However, what I’ve been writing is nothing I could ever sell.  I spent probably 100,000 words that won’t go anywhere.  But at the same time, it’s a great confidence booster.  Now, after all that, I’ve finally learned that it’s more important to have five good people read my fiction, give me feedback, and help me improve than it is to have 100 people read something and say “Wow, that was great.”  Those 100 people are nice, but they’re not going to get me anywhere.

11.  Who would you love to co write a story with and why?

A woman I know in the Midwest because she can write stuff that I can’t, which makes sense to collaborate. (And yes, Rich, I would be awesome to write a collaborative story with. -H.N.)

Check out Rich’s blog >>HERE<<.  

I’ll leave you with one of Rich’s short stories titled, The Accident


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The only thing Jones had been more impressed with than his week-old BMW convertible was himself.  He had pushed the limits of time and energy, along with the art of negotiation, for three years strictly for his promotion and, more importantly, the car.  The car was now upside down at the bottom of a small grassy hill off the right shoulder of Route 295 South.  Jones stood from what seemed a very comfortable seated position in tall grass fifty yards from the car, his car, and stared in amazement to make certain it really was his car with the wheels pointing skyward like a dead turtle on its back.  The crowd of emergency personnel made it more difficult for him to see the platinum-silver car, but he could think of no other reason why he was where he was.

As he approached the car, the hairs on his right forearm prickled up as the breeze from the highway blew across where his right shirt sleeve used to be.  The rest of the starched white shirt remained, along with a bright red tie, which he loosened as he noticed another crowd uniforms gathered around something else – a body covered with a mostly white sheet except where deep red stains were soaking through where the body’s head would be.  On the ground next to the body was the white sleeve he no longer wore.

“Bastard probably never felt a thing,” said a firefighter as he removed his helmet.

“Better that way,” another replied, “when you don’t know it’s coming, no time to think.  You’re just – gone.”

Gone.  The word echoed in Jones’s head and faded like the rush of endless tires on the highway nearby.  He stumbled backwards through the tall grass as voices and flashing lights remained behind.  He dug his wallet from his left front pocket and reviewed his driver’s license just to be sure he was who he was.  The faces of his wife and kids all matched his memory as did his name and picture, and he put it all back in his pocket while taking further steps towards the woods behind him.  He turned and picked up speed until he reached a full sprint, which lasted for only a few seconds before he slowed without breath.  He dropped to one knee before curling in a fetal position and sobbing beneath the frozen arms of a family of oak trees whose spring buds were days away from exploding.  When he pulled his hands from his face a few minutes later, he noticed blood and thought of the sheet over the body back at the accident scene.

He leaped to his feet, hands held away from his body as if his own blood might contaminate him.  His eyes darted until they found the shimmer of a stream, then he walked almost primate-like across a grassy opening in the trees until reaching a bend of a tributary that strayed from the Delaware River about ten miles west.  Jones squatted, thrashing his bloody hands in the ripples before allowing the water to calm so he could see the matted hair that partially covered a gash torn open during the accident.

He felt a wave of panic that began with the men at the crash site, the sheet covering the body with the bloody head, his missing sleeve next to the sheet, and the comfort in the suggestion that maybe he never felt a thing.  After his shoulders relaxed, he stepped knee-deep into the stream and bent forward to rinse his hair of the blood and thoughts about death.

“I guess I get to keep my body.  Good thing I never filled out that donor card.”  He chuckled, forcing a smile.  “But why would I need my body?  Wouldn’t I just be more like a spirit?  Is there a reason I’m still physical?  What about-”

To read the rest of this story, click >> HERE <<