Friday, February 17, 2017

Interview with J.J. Stanley



Today we are thrilled to be interviewing 
Erotic M/M Romance author, J.J. Stanley.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
 
Anne Rice.
Matthew Reilly.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?
 
I have always had a huge imagination, since I was little. I loved to play in the yard, in my own little worlds.
My writing started, not long after I turned 13, when the family got its first computer.
I didn’t start writing full time, until 2008, when we moved out to a farm… and there was nothing else to do, because I was a stay at home mum.

What 3 words describe you as a person?
 
Quiet.
Imaginative.
Quirky.

What 3 words describe you as a writer?
 
Emotional.
Vibrant.
Dark.

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?
 
Watching movies, playing video games, gardening… and I have 3 kids… they’re classed as a hobby… right?

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
 
I read Dragon Riders of Pern. By Anne McCaffery.
That book was the one that propelled me into wanting to be a writer. I can’t remember many before that.
I did love the Trixie Belden series, but Dragon Riders was the one which lit my imagination and sent me on a literary journey.

Describe your desk.
 
Basic.
Sits in the lounge room. I do get distracted easily…
I have my laptop, keyboard, monitor and whatever I am drinking at the time.

Who is the main character?
 
Troy Atkins

What’s his story?
 
Troy is a troubled young man. He is still not 100% comfortable with his sexuality. But he is trying to find his way and getting his heart broken along the journey.

Where/when does the story take place?
 
Houston, Texas.

How did the story come to you?
 
My husband has a gay brother and gay cousin. I know there is a lot of call for the homo-erotica style—thought I’d give it a try and hope for the best.

Who is your target audience?
 
I didn’t start out with an audience in mind… but as I have written, I have found a lot of women love the genre—so them?

What makes your book different from other similar ones?
 
I think combining sexuality, with an elite sport might set it apart from the rest… but it is a bit of a quagmire of books out there. I’d be happy just to hold my head above it.

What do your fans mean to you?
 
A lot. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to keep going. I love the idea that random strangers love my works and are willing to use their hard earned money to get what I put so much time into.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?
 
Movies and video games. (Not this book though)
I love to sit and watch a movie and pick little parts, or sometimes characters and put them into different situations in my head. 9/10 ideas come from either a movie, or a video game.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?
 
Stick at it.
Don’t send off the first piece you’ve written—from experience, you will be told to revise, unless it’s a masterpiece…
And edit!! Don’t send off your raw manuscript. It’s always better to have a break. Sit back for a month or two, then go back through it. You’ll find things that don’t sound right, or huge spelling mistakes.
If you see them, sure as anything—so will the publisher.

For more information on J.J. Stanley's series, please go HERE.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Interview with MJ LaBeff

We're thrilled to be showcasing suspense/thriller author, 
MJ LaBeff today.


Who are some of your favorite authors?
  
Mary Higgins Clark, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Meg Gardiner

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?
  
I’ve always been an avid reader and imagined what it would be like to create characters and stories of my own. I devoured books in grade school, high school and college and that dream of writing started at an early age. My favorite classes were English and history and I’m sure that’s because I loved writing book reports. Writing always made me happy and still does.

What 3 words describe you as a person?
  
Honest, generous, kind

What 3 words describe you as a writer?
  
Focused, detailed, determined

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?
  
I work out and enjoy running and weight training, considering I spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer I find exercising is great mental and physical stimulation. Often when I’m running I’ll resolve a scene or fill in a plot hole. I also volunteer for the American Cancer Society serving as a team leader for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and I’m on the committee for the Climb to Conquer Cancer Walk. Being from northeastern Ohio, I’m a huge Cleveland Browns fan so during football season it’s game on!

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
  
My goodness, I’ve read so many wonderful books over the years. However, there are two books I read in grade school that I’ll never forget. The first is “Leo the Late Bloomer” by Robert Kraus. It was such a simple heart warming story but had so much meaning. The second is, “The Giving Tree”by Shel Silverstein. A beautifully written and thought provoking tale. Both books are literary classics for kids that have stood the test of time. I can’t imagine writing a piece of fiction that powerful with the ability to span generations. When I was in high school, I discovered author Mary Higgins Clark and devoured every book she had written. Two of my most favorite books by her are “Where Are The Children” and “A Cry in the Night.” It’s safe to say she has had the most influence on my desire to become a writer.

Describe your desk. 

         
Mostly organized. I have two computers- a netbook for writing and laptop for editing. It’s really two different mind sets for me so hence two computers. It’s a mental trigger. Much like some of the chachki lining the back of my desk- rocks, a piece of quartz, my gemstone necklace laden with creativity I wear while writing. The Eat, Sleep, Shop- Repeat plaque reflects another hobby- shopping! It really should say: Eat, Sleep, Write- Repeat. I also have a block of quotes that opens and folds. It’s pretty cool and serves as a bit of inspiration. Besides that I have my working file for my current work in progress and a file for marketing my current and past pubbed book.

Who is the main character?
  
Homicide Detective Rachel Hood

What’s her story?
  
Rachel’s mom abandoned their family when she was a little girl and that has greatly impacted her life. She’s followed in her dad’s footsteps and wants nothing more than retired lieutenant detective Joe Hood’s approval. Rachel is smart, ambitious and compassionate. She also has the unique paranormal gift of psychic empathy. A gift that comes to life when her sister, Amy is abducted and now four years later Rachel still hasn’t found Amy or three other missing women taken by the Summertime Slayer. Here’s where Rachel’s journey into the occult and the story of Last Summer’s Evil begins.

Where/when does the story take place?
  
In the fictitious town of Snug Harbor, Ohio in the year 2011.
  
Who is your target audience?
  
Fans of mystery/suspense/thriller perhaps a bit of horror- I’ve been told I scare people. I can’t imagine that!

What makes your book different from other similar ones?
  
The Last Cold Case series is best described as the TV shows Criminal Minds and Castle meets Ghostly Encounters. The current case being solved in Last Summer’s Evil is linked to several previous cold cases. What makes homicide detective Rachel Hood different than other detectives is the heart full of compassion and often deep personal connection she forges with victims of crime which brings her paranormal gift of psychic empathy to life. She feels every ounce of a victim’s pain but is powerless to save them. Using traditional investigative methods and her psychic empathy to hunt for clues and evidence is how she solves crimes. She’s gifted with a bit more than most investigators typical gut-intuition.

What do your fans mean to you?
  
I have fans? Wow! Seriously, readers mean more than words can express. There’s nothing like having someone say how much they enjoyed one of my books. I invite everyone to contact me via email or social media and really enjoy meeting people from all over the world, not only to talk about books but other interests we may share- exercise, dogs, shoes, sports, movies just plain old fun stuff.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?
  
Mostly from my dreams. When I was a little girl my mom called me “the night owl” because I didn’t want to go to bed. Now I know why. I have really vivid dreams and dream in color. Unlike so many people, I remember mine. Those snippets turn into full length novels. Obviously, being a suspense/thriller author I don’t have to explain my dreams are usually a bit frightening. What can I say? I work around the clock.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?
  
The best advice I can offer any new writer is this: write, and then write some more and break rules. The most important thing is to just write. Join a good writers group like Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime or Horror Writers Association where you can network with experienced writers and those just starting. Here’s where you’ll learn craft, rules of writing, tips, meet agents, editors, and hopefully find a gentle critique partner or group. Lastly, don’t get overwhelmed. Keep writing and learning and then be brave and submit your novel for publication.

Thank you, MJ, for your time. Always a pleasure talking with you.

A fearful city lies in wait. Summer is here. The solstice is near. Each time the serial killer strikes there are two more victims. One woman has already disappeared. It’s only a matter of time before another woman is murdered.


Homicide Detective Rachel Hood, a psychic empath, feels every ounce of a victim’s pain but is powerless to save her.

Psychic FBI Agent Nick Draven is a skilled profiler, specializing in occult crimes. Together, they must race against the clock to capture the psychopath terrorizing Snug Harbor, Ohio. Only one victim has escaped, but she can’t ID her attacker. What they do know is the sick signature the killer leaves behind. A handmade ragdoll crafted out of the previous victim’s clothes is found in the clutches of the deceased women.

Rachel’s obsession with the case deepens, and she devises a rogue plan to outsmart the killer. The risky plot puts her life in jeopardy. The serial killer has had years to master the crime. Nick only has hours to track down the killer and rescue Rachel before she dies in a ritualistic sacrifice at the hand of a knife wielding, blood thirsty murderer.

The Last Cold Case is available at:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | 24Symbols | MuseItUp

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Interview with Fantasy author Virginia McMorrow



Who are some of your favorite authors?

Melanie Rawn, Mary Gentle, Laurie King, JD Robb, Guy Gavriel Kay

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?

I always had characters in my head and wanted to find out what adventures they might go on. Writing, in my teens, seemed to be the perfect answer.

What 3 words describe you as a person?

Good-humored, easy-going, kind.

What 3 words describe you as a writer?

Honest, persistent, lazy (until caught up in the story).

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?

I love to walk…soothes the soul, clears the mind, and lets new ideas come in (and burns calories). I also enjoy jigsaw puzzles for the same reasons (except for the calories).

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Alas, no…but I do remember reading two novels that had the opposite effect on me. One made me sigh with envy because it was so beautifully written; the other angered me because of its unhappy ending, which touched me so deeply.

Describe your desk.

My dining room table holds my laptop and piles of paper.

Who is the main character?

Krag (Kathren Faralon)

What is her story?

Left to care for a younger sister when her mother died and father deserted them, Krag is torn between responsibility and her own dreams.

Where/when does the story take place?

It’s fantasy and, therefore, any kingdom you’d like it to be.

How did the story come to you?

This novel is the third in the series, and the plot naturally flowed from the first and second books. Krag’s relationship with her mentor and her ongoing sense of responsibility moved the story to the next stage.

Who is your target audience?

Readers who enjoy a good story about real characters with honest situations. (I suspect most of my readers are female.)

What makes your book different from other similar ones?

My voice and experience bring a different perspective. I enjoy writing about family and friendship situations, even in fantasy, so that the characters become real to me.

What do your fans mean to you?

Fans believe in you and give you the encouragement to go on writing. And for those readers who have enjoyed my books, thanks very much! The best thing readers can tell me is that somehow, some way, I’ve managed to touch them by making them laugh or cry or whatever emotion I might have evoked.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?

Anywhere and everywhere … overheard conversations, family and friend situations…life.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?

There’s room for all of us. Don’t give up or get discouraged. Keep writing.
And don’t write to follow a trend. Write what’s in your heart. I read somewhere that writers keep writing the same story in different ways. Find your message, your theme, and share it.

For more information on all of Virginia's books, please visit her here.


Firewing's Hunt
Book 3 from the Young Adult Fantasy 
The Firewing Trilogy

Faced with overwhelming danger and a near-hopeless situation, a young mage finds courage and heart.