Sunday, 28 July 2013

When Your Writing Gives Back

In the past when I have met other authors/writers, I’ve always enjoyed asking them about their experiences. Now, not in an interview sort of way but I ask questions on a more personal level. Many writers will have felt this, but you achieve strange sensations from different stages of the writing process. And as much as I love writing, I do actually enjoy editing. Or rather, the re-visiting of a novel you created.

The shaping of a scene is always dictated by the state of mind you are in at the time. And in the process of editing, we get to revisit those spots of time. But there are time where you forget exactly what you were thinking. When re-reading my novel for the first time (and I’m talking about the dirty draft riddled with things that make me question where my head was at), I find myself forgetting so much. You become the reader and you do actually question how you came up with that one sentence or that image.

A stranger sensation, I find, is when a novel you wrote in the past, holds a larger significance to you now, than it did when you wrote it. There are many notions presented my heroine in my current novel, Deceive Me in Ireland, that hold such relevance to me at this stage in my life. It’s as if my muse knew then that one day, I would need to take my own character’s advice and in a way, as I mesh out my own opinions and beliefs, I edit them into the original story, strengthening character and situation.

The relevance of my writing and the issue raise are startling, but it really does help when it comes to keeping a levelled head haha. But I wondered, have any other writers experienced this? It’s been a year since I finished the draft for Deceive Me in Ireland. I let my character rest. I moved on and wrote another novel. Only to return with so much to offer due to new life experiences and expectations.

So there you have it. For my readers, you get a little sense of just how important my writing is to me. I rely on it just as much as you are relying on me to present you with the next instalment of my Irish series so that you might escape just as I do. J And writers, you might find yourself looking at your writing differently. Or maybe you’ve already experienced how sometimes, a story you created, can give back.

I guess, that might be what happens when you don’t write from experience. But rather observation J

Thursday, 25 July 2013

On the Window Seat with Tricia Anderson!

Joining me on my window seat today is author, Tricia Anderson! And guess what! Her heroes are also Irish! Tricia is a fellow Secret Cravings author and her novel, Black Irish top the SCP bestsellers charts in May and June this year. :)

Welcome Tricia!

·         First things first, tell us five things about yourself as a person and as a writer (genre, hobbies, personality, are you a little on the quirky side?) I am a Supermom chasing a husband and three kids around. I live in Iowa but I live in a city (which shocks some people that there are cities in Iowa), I find my “inspiration” for my heroes frequently from watching the WWE (I’m kind of a crazed fan), I just started kickboxing after interviewing an MMA gym for one of my books, and am a very proud of my Irish heritage.

[A WWE fan! Now that is interesting! And I’m just a little jealous of your heritage.]

·         When did you first start writing? Was it just an unbridled urge to write or had it been a matter of ‘it’s now or never’? I started writing when I was little.  When I was in grade school I used to do extra reports just so my teacher would read them.  I never asked for a grade – I just wanted her to read what I wrote.  Ever since grade school I would torture my friends by making them read my stories (today I call them beta readers!).  I have very patient friends.

·         Is there a reason as to why you write? And what’s your favourite part about being a writer? Writing for me is relaxation.  It is fun for me, it’s what I enjoy doing.  My favorite part of being a writer is sharing the stories I make up in my head with others.

[Sharing is caring!]

·         What inspires you? The novels you read? Other authors? Life itself? A little bit of everything.  Sometimes it’s been TV shows, sometimes books, sometimes from a very vivid dream I’ve had.

[You know, I’ve never had the dreams. But I know many authors who have.]

·         When did your writing dream become a published reality?  I received my first contract with Secret Cravings Publishing the day after Christmas 2012.  It is by far the best Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten.  My husband is still trying to figure out how to outdo it.

[Haha, the poor bloke. And what a gift!]

·         What was the hardest part of the publishing process for you?  The hardest part of this process is talking to people I don’t know about my books.  I think my books are completely fascinating but I’m afraid I am boring others to tears.

·         Do you have any inspirational words for aspiring writers?  Do Not Give Up.  I know everyone says that but seriously don’t.  If it is something you really believe in and it would be your dream to be a published author then keep fighting.  It’s not easy.  But it will happen.

·         Can you pitch you current/upcoming release to us in ten words or less?  Will Sloan and Abbey be torn apart forever?

·         Who is your favourite character in the Black Irish series?  My favorite character without a doubt is Sloan O’Riley.  I originally based Sloan on my late grandfather.  So despite his devious ways and his brooding moods, he’s pretty dear to me.

[Gotta love the brooding type… Especially the Irish kind. :p )

·         So what’s next for Tricia Andersen?  Heartland (Black Irish #2) will be coming out in the next couple weeks and The Troubles (Black Irish #3) will be coming out in November.  In the meantime I am working on a novel called Breaking the Cycle.  In it the hero falls for a girl who seems to be sick every three weeks for no reason and he helps her find out what is making her sick.  The heroine suffers from the same disorder my daughter has.

[An exciting time ahead of you! I wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing more about your Black Irish series. : ) )

Now for a little fun…

·         Now, I think of my muse as some being. An alter ego of sorts. Tell us about your muse. Are they male or female? Can you describe three of their personality traits? My muse is a girl.  She kind of looks like the Lost Boys from the movie Hook with the hair sticking up and the raggedy clothes.  She’s mischievous, she sulks when she doesn’t get her way, and she shrieks with delight when she’s doing something she likes to do.  I found out she likes to kickbox.  Don’t ask how…

[She sounds like fun haha. Though with those kickboxing moves, I wouldn’t like to get on her bad side.]

·         Are you reading a novel right now? I am about to start a book called Corsets and Clockwork.  I am thinking about writing a steampunk romance so I am doing a little research into what it is all about.

[I’ve always wanted to read a steampunk!]

·         If you were about to encounter the rakish charms of an Irishman, what would you arm yourself with?  Probably nothing.  I’d just give in!!

·         Now for a question to appeal to our readers visually, but which Hollywood star would you choose to play your hero and heroine? And if not one, are they a mixture? I’ve never really picked anyone for my heroine.  For my hero, like I said before I find a lot of my inspiration for my heroes in the WWE.  My inspiration for Sloan O’Riley is WWE wrestler Wade Barrett.  He’s built, he’s the same height, he has the same thick black hair and blue eyes and he’s just…wow!  *swoon*

Thank you for joining me today, Tricia! It's been a pleasure. Wishing you all the best with your Irishman Sloan. :)

Readers, if you'd like to find out more about Tricia and her novel, Black Irish and Heartland, you can find the blurb for Heartland and links or Tricia and Black Irish below!

And did I mention it's your lucky day? Tricia is giving away a copy of each of her novels to one lucky commenter! I wish I could participate in this one myself! :)


Sloan and Abbey move to Abbey’s hometown of Mount Vernon, Iowa, to start their new lives together away from the chaos of New York City.  And they are not alone – they are joined by Gordon, Maggie, and Bartholomew each looking for a fresh start and new love in the small rural town. 
Their marriage is put to the test by the reappearance of Abbey’s father, bullies from her high school days, a business opportunity in Miami, and a new baby on the way.  When a person from their past comes back looking to make Abbey his own again, will he be able to tear Sloan and Abbey apart forever?
Buy links for Black Irish...

About Tricia:
Tricia Andersen lives in Iowa with her husband, Brian and her three children – her sons, Jake and Jon, and her daughter, Alex.  She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Communications Media/Public Relations.  Along with writing (which she loves to do), Tricia coaches and participates in track and field, does kickboxing, reads, sews and is involved in many of her children's activities.
Tricia is a member of the Romance Writers of America and RWA Chapter 177 From the Heart Romance Writers.
Tricia’s Links:

Thursday, 18 July 2013

On the Window Seat with Jennie Jones!

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing my window seat with romance author, Jennie Jones - a woman I know better as my Diamond sister! Jennie's fabulous debut rural romance, The House on Burra Burra Lane was release in June this year and has been doing fabulously on the amazon charts as well as hitting number one on iTunes! So if you haven't already snapped up a copy, be sure to grab one after finding out a little bit about the woman behind the romance :)

First things first, Jennie could you tell us five things about yourself as a person and as a writer (genre, hobbies, personality, are you a little on the quirky side?)

I write contemporary romance. I’m a romantic at heart. I’m a Leo so I’m all lioness (when happy or angry!). I like to think I’m a little quirky because that means I’m different. :)

(Haha, I've seen Jennie in both these states. Definitely living up to her Leo expectations hehe.)
When did you first start writing, Jennie? Was it just an unbridled urge to write or had it been a matter of ‘it’s now or never’?

I’ve always had a bit of the theatrical in me but I didn’t expect to become a writer - although it was an obvious choice for me, having been an actor for so many years, to move to writing when I found myself without an arty outlet.

Is there a reason as to why you write? And what’s your favourite part about being a writer?

There’s no reason why I write - I just write. I mean, I want to write - can’t envisage not writing now. But the connection, camaraderie and essence of being involved with other writers is an added pleasure.

(I believe many people mistaken the writerly life as a 'Lone wolf' kind of profession. If you've been behind the scenes or even attended a signing or a conference, you'll quickly adjust your opinion hehe)

Now, what inspires you? The novels you read? Other authors? Life itself?
People with spirit and courage inspire me and you find those in all walks of the daily grind. It’s always a pleasure to meet them or be surprised by them.  I don’t have much time to read these days but when I do, I love to be inspired by the characters in the story which means I’m inspired by the author.  (Double the pleasure.)

Tell our readers when your writing dream become a published reality? I sure remember :)
February 2013 - my novel The House on Burra Burra Lane (Book 1 in my Swallow’s Fall series) had been through a number of competitions and did wonderfully well but I knew it was out of the main frame for most publishers. Harlequin (Australia) digital-first imprint Escape Publishing changed that for me. They published my book in June this year - and they are fantastic to be with.
(Isn't her cover gorgeous!?)
What was the hardest part of the publishing process for you?

The hardest part was also the best part. Not giving up - I pushed myself to keep learning, keep changing and re-writing my story until I felt I had a chance.

(What was your mantra? 'If you build it, they will come'?)
Do you have any inspirational words for aspiring writers?

If you really want it, you’ll get it but it’s not easy. It takes courage and perseverance of a personal nature to keep moving forward.

Can you pitch your current/upcoming release to us in ten words or less?

Oh heck do I have to?  I loathe doing these! 

 A story of resistance: will Ethan’s past ruin Sammy’s future?
I think those writers who capture a storyline in anything under ten words are absolute geniuses.

Who is your favourite character in The House on Burra Burra Lane?

Ethan. I love him to bits.

(Oh, I've acquainted myself with Ethan hehe. Wouldn't mind if he was my vet :P)
So what’s next for Jennie Jones?

RWA conference in Fremantle, Perth in August. I’m involved with the committee and it’s so exciting to be a part of the organization that helped me become a writer.
After that - it’s on to Book 2 of the Swallow’s Fall series, Trouble on Main Street, where you’ll meet two newcomers in town.

(I wish I was going to the conference with you. The memory of last year's is etched in my mind. Can't wait to hear more about Trouble on Main Street!)

If you were about to encounter the rakish charms of an Irishman, what would you arm yourself with?

A book that might give me some insider clues - let’s say What Happens in Ireland by Whitney K-E. That should do it!

(Ooo, that sounds like a great book :P ) 

  If you had to write a warning to your readers about your novel, what would you say?
e.g. Warning: This novel contains a bounty of Irish Charm and side effects include drooling, terminal daydreaming of naked Irishmen and runaway heartbeats.

Wow Whitney! That’s so good I can’t beat it. I’ll have to join it …

The House on Burra Burra Lane

Warning: This novel contains a masculine veterinarian with quiet charm and side effects include falling in love with him or terminal daydreaming of naked male vets in general. (There’s also a runaway pig in the story - but you might not find that so sexy.)

(I don't know about that. The pig's got a little something, don't you agree readers?)

Now, for all writers, there’s something magical about creating a novel. What is your favourite part of creating a novel? Are you a Happily-Ever-After kind of writer, a cheeky black moment maker, or a first-sight-and-first-kiss kind of writer?

My favourite part is where abstract scenes come to me and I have to write them, even though I don’t know what affect they’ll have on my characters or the story. I find that magical. I’ve been known to write Chapter One and the Epilogue first, then fill in the middle bits with those magical, abstract scenes.

(Wonderful :))
Now, I’ve had some strange encounters where I’ve met my characters in real life. After I had created them! Has this ever happened to you?

No, but I wish it would! (Not such a good thought if you write crime or suspense though, huh? Dark alleys and evil men with weapons.)

(Hehe, I don't know. I wouldn't mind it as long as Daniel Craig was swooping in to save me :P)
Well, that's the end of my chat with the fantastic Jennie Jones. As always, thanks for joining me Jennie. :)
Thanks for having me in the window seat Whitney. There’s a grand view of the rolling hillsides. Is this where you wrote What Happens in Ireland?

Darling, we are siting in the very cottage itself hehe.
A quick thank you to all the readers who've come along to meet my dear friend. And don't forget, The House on Burra Burra Lane is a must read. If you like hunky vets and rural romance, it's definitely a must read. :)
Where to buy The House on Burra Burra Lane:
Harlequin (Australia) Escape Publishing (all where to buy links)

Where to find Jennie Jones:
Jennie Jones Romance
Twitter (@JJRomance)
The Romantic Muse Blog

Monday, 15 July 2013

Status: "Gettin' There"

Well, we're halfway through July and as the title of this post indicates, I'm 'gettin' there'. Once again, I'm building on my old habits (blogging, interviewing, editing/writing) and I'm finally getting in the swing of things.

I'm enjoying my edits and to keep my muse inspired whilst the editor side of my brain takes over, I've been catching up some books I've been dying to read. At the moment, I'm submersed in Kresley Cole's Immortal After Dark series and The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist series. I'm a big Kresley Cole fan and despite writing in a different genre, I still find her books inspiring. :)

Deceive Me in Ireland is coming together smoothly and unlike What Happens in Ireland, I seem to be adding to the word count rather than culling it. :) I think my muse has learnt to rein in when it comes to elaborating, but perhaps sometimes, a little more detail can make perfect.

Now, I've got some fabulous friends for you to meet in the coming months! This Friday, Author extraordinaire, Mrs Jennie Jones, my diamond sister, will be joining me on my window seat for a cuppa and a yak! So watch this space! :)

Well, that's all I have to say for now. Happy reading from me and (some of you might remember my grumpy gelding) Chief!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Call Out: Interviewees Wanted!

Well, I've been mulling over some ideas for interviews and I'm finally open for business. Now who wants to join me on my window seat and share some quirky facts about their writerly lives? :)

Yep! My heroine Kate  Barrow has offered up her spot on the window seat situated in the little cottage on the O'Rielly property and I'm looking for some squatters!

Be you an author or an aspiring writer, now's your chance to work on that writer's platform and introduce yourself to some readers. All genres welcome as long as there is as there is a romantic element to your story. :)

If you are interested, I'd love to hear from you :) The posts will be published weekly on the Friday.
For more details email me at: