Milestone #10….October 15, 2013

Milestones.

I never gave deep thought to what this word means until my husband pointed it out.

In the past year of becoming a published author, I have reached more milestones than I could ever dream of.

First, being signed to 5 Prince Publishing in 2012, and not signing one book, but the entire six book Butterfly Memoirs Series! That still blows my mind…

When I started writing, I saw it as more of a hobby to keep my sanity and a much needed distraction from sitting in front of the TV playing The Sims until the kids came home. Hey, what can I say, I had fun giving my ‘characters’ lives I could control…well, control split with the computer program, that is. If you’ve ever played the game, you know what I mean. J

But with writing, there is another element of control that involves talent, creativity, and a tone of patience, perseverance, and determination. Oh yeah, and as every author knows, that so called ‘control’ over your imaginary characters gets lost from time to time when they come to ‘life’ and fight you and your Muse tooth and nail to write a story!

Other milestones reached include:

  • Earning the title of Bestselling Author in African American Literature & Romance, African American Women’s Fiction, African American Romance, and Multicultural and Interracial Romance (within hours of publication!) – debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken (September, 2012)
  • Publishing a second novel (because the first one wasn’t easy!!!) – Jaded (March, 2013)
  • Starting and hosting the Wordsmith Writers of Clayton County Writer’s Group which once meet at the Clayton County Headquarters Library, but has since moved to Barnes & Noble! (September 2012) I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with wonderful talent from various stages of publication!
  • Being nominated by members of the Building Relationships Around Books (B.R.A.B) book club as Best New Author and Breakout Author (The winners have not been announced yet, but just being chosen along with the many other talented authors is a wonderful experience!)
  • Being selected as the Featured Author at the First Annual Author Workshop held by The Virtuous Women, LLC (August, 2013)
  • Speaking at the Jonesboro Library and hosting a workshop on How to Land a Publishing Contract. (August, 2013)
  • I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in a few phone interviews; the latest was with LaSheera Lee of Read You Later Blog Talk Radio. (September, 2013)

That is by no means all of them, but those are some of the most memorable ones by far. So what’s next?

The most recent milestone happened on October 15th, when I had the opportunity to be interviewed by DeKalb County Commissioner, Stan Watson, on his local program, The Stan Watson Show, which features people in the community from various walks of life, talent, and businesses. It was my first television appearance as a published author, and by far, very memorable!

Take a few minutes and watch the link. I’m the first interview (time stamp 5:20). There were some technical issues in the beginning, but they are quickly resolved. Enjoy! Also, check out the wonderful interviews that follow! I look forward to sharing more about their projects on my blog in the next few weeks.

M.J. Kane on The Stan Watson Show! 

So, what’s up next on my ‘Milestone List?’

THE SORMAGE ONLINE CONFERENCE!!!

NOVEMBER 1-3, 2013

I’m excited to join other talented authors in two online panels on November 2nd: Social Media and Readers, and November 3rd: Marketing. Both are LIVE PHONE panels! If you haven’t registered for the conference, what are you waiting for???? REGISTER NOW!!! It’s FREE!!!!

And of course, my favorite project, LONELY HEART (BOOK 3 of THE BUTTERFLY MEMOIRS)!!!! The editing for this book is well underway. Release date is MARCH 6, 2014!!!! I love the way this story has turned out. The more I feel the characters as I edit, the more they come alive and their voices and stories are defined. I can promise you one thing; Kaitlyn’s story is NOTHING like the Ebony or Yasmine’s. Every woman has their own path in life, decisions that are made, and consequences to deal with. I look forward to sharing snippets with you as the edits are completed.

And since the contest I posted on Facebook the night of the interview did not go the way I thought it would due to the limited viewing area, I am going to hold another contest, another opportunity for TWO lucky winners to win an eBook copy of LONELY HEART the day it’s published! Entry is simple, just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter link! The winner will be announced on November 1st!

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE LONELY HEART EBOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!

Good luck! And thanks to every one for your continued support! Without you guys, these MILESTONES would be unattainable dreams! ((HUGS)) and <3!!!!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#WriterWednesday- Interview with Author Untamed!

 I met Author Untamed during book signing at my local mall and had to introduce her to you. It’s always a pleasure to support my fellow authors!

Untamed author pic

Welcome, Untamed!

What inspired you to write?

I was given a poetry assignment in middle school and I found it as a great way to release my emotions. From writing poetry, I began to develop short stories and eventually novels.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write a variation of urban fiction which at its core is urban however it has elements of comedy and what I’ve heard of as a “slice of life” or real-life genre. I also write dramas and erotica.  All of my writing chooses me. I always write what it’s in my heart and my characters tend to take a life of their own so I let them go wherever they choose.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

 Hectic! I usually write early in the morning or late at night.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My character’s voices. I tend to allow my characters to have very distinct personalities and speaking voices. I’ve found it helps the readers connect closer with the characters of their choice.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

As an author, I feel as though you have to be a little of both because you have to at least know what you’re going to write about and develop some characters, scenarios and plots, but stories do tend to deviate from the original plan. As for me, I think I’m more of a plotter and my characters are the pantsers lol! I have a vision and then they go wherever.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

For the series I have out now, it is a combination of my personal experiences, people I know and situations that you hear about from day to day. For example, my books Never Again…No More and Never Again…No More 2 are about ladies who were teen moms and I was a teen mom.  My other novels are strictly pieces from the crevices of the mind of Untamed.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?  Once you’ve written your masterpiece, edit, edit, edit then get someone to edit and then have another editor check your edits and your editor’s edits.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

 I am traditionally published through One Karma publishing.

What are your current projects?

Currently, I am editing the next book in my series.

Connect with Untamed on the following links: 

Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Library Thing     Blog/Website     Email

Book cover

Born and raised in Atlanta, Lucinda, LaMeka, Charice, and Trinity are best friends with very similar backgrounds. They have all fallen victim to the perils of teen pregnancy. After each one becomes love struck to the bitter end; they realize that their dreams, ambitions, and planned future must be put on hold. While they struggle to find themselves, each one tries to survive in the game called life. Once they find out that their consequences are a little costlier then they imagined, it’s the decisions they’ve made that creates their troubles.

BUY your copy today!

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     One Karma Publishing     Authorgraph

 

About the Author:

Untamed is an urban fiction author working for One Karma Publishing Company. She lives in her home state of Georgia with her devoted husband of twelve glorious years, three beautiful and spirited children, and an insanely loveable dog named Rocky.

Untamed first found a love of writing as a young child through her love of reading. It was the novel entitled, Coming of Age by Lorri Hewitt that truly inspired Untamed and became the flame that ignited her introduction to the pen and pad.

Untamed’s writing journey began twenty years ago at thirteen years old with poetry, spoken word and short stories. Throughout her high school and college years, she received many accolades for her writing ability to include the Coca-Cola Young Writers Award and honorable mention in the Sandhills Writers’ Conference.

Later, she began to develop her writing talents as a novelist due to her own personal life experiences. Best known for her gritty yet flavorful language, she embraced urban literature to bring about knowledge and support through real life, every day stories with highly animated and lifelike characters. Her powerful words and straight up, no-chaser verbiage delivers punches that will leave you screaming for more.

Writing is a passion to Untamed, believing that everyone has a story to tell, she proudly writes stories that not only entertain but relates to the readers on a very personal level.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

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#WriterWednesday- Interview with Dianne Harman!

Today I welcome author, Dianne Harman. Grab your coffee, sit back, and get to know her!

Dianne Author Pic

Welcome, Dianne!

What inspired you to write?

I’d always wanted to write but I didn’t feel that I had enough credentials, you know, the how many workshops have you attended, how many writing groups are you in – and then my husband gave me Stephen Kings seminal book, On Writing. It gave me the freedom to just do it.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I really struggle with that question because I just don’t have an answer. My first book, Blue Coyote Motel, has been called a romance, a mystery, a thriller, a travel story, Americana, Alfred Hitchcockian and Twilight Zone like. Other than a basic premise and a couple of characters who immediately fit in the book, the rest evolved.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Blue Coyote - Dianne Harman for ad2I generally split my time between writing, marketing and editing and re-editing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I sit down and write. I have a very general idea of what the plot is and where it’s going, but what I find is that the characters begin to take over the story and tell me where it’s going. It’s fun because I get to read a novel while I’m writing it!

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

I think if writers were honest, and if they’re writing contemporary fiction, there is going to be an element of their experiences in the novel. Two examples come to mind.  In Blue Coyote there is a scene where Jill treks to the Mani Rimdu festival in Nepal. I did that and it was one of the more interesting experiences in my life. In Tea Party Teddy, the main character is a composite of many of the Senators and Assemblymen I came to know when my husband was a California Legislator.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Edit, edit and re-edit. Ask people to be Beta readers and ask for feedback from them. We often are so caught up in our slant of the book that we miss things that will make it better. There’s a tendency not to share our writing, kind of like what if someone said your firstborn was ugly, but it’s critically important to get feedback.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

Tea Party Teddy by Dianne Harman ebooksmI am self-pubbed. A mentor of mine was very strong about self-publishing since he had lost a lot of money because he had gone with a publisher. I have complete control over everything and I make more money.

What are your current projects?

I am in the process of re-editing books two and three in the Coyote series as well as the sequel to Tea Party Teddy. I’m about halfway through a boomer novel about women and what they deal with as they begin the second stage of life, plus I’m playing with doing a series based on one of the characters in Tea Party Teddy, a private eye who has captured my imagination. But ask me tomorrow, it will probably change as something new captures my interest!

Connect with Dianne on these links!

Twitter     Facebook     Google+     Goodreads     Smashwords     Amazon     Email

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

The Butterfly Memoirs: Life, Love, Tragedy, and Triumph…The Realities of Real Romance

Those are the type of stories I write.

When I decided to become an author, the first thing I did was read…a lot. I read books by authors I idolized. I read books by authors I’d never heard of. I read books that were bestsellers, and books that weren’t getting the best reviews. Contemporary Romances, Erotic Romances, Military Romance, and Romantic Comedies…anything that got my attention, I read it.

Then, I decided to write my story.

I wanted to do something different from what I read and focus on the unique voices of each character. I wanted each character  to tell the story in their voice, share their private thoughts, their diaries. If you like emotional reads that grip you and have you rooting for the hero and heroine and want to truly get to know these individuals…this series is for you.

The Butterfly Memoirs are stories that follow a group of characters as they deal with the trials of real life. Each book follows a different character who’s life has it’s own path to travel. The characters are everyday people struggling to reach their dreams. They could be you, me, or the neighbor next door. They are imperfect, make mistakes, struggle with family and friendships. They argue, they disagree, they hurt the one they love, then fight to get them back. Somewhere in-between it all, they fall in love and discover happiness.

And at the end of their journey, like a butterfly who goes into a cocoon and emerges changed, so do my characters.

Life. Love. Tragedy. Triumph.

Try a sample of these bestsellers today! 

AHNEB FINAL COVER

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond-haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

Autumn landscape

A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control—starting her own business.

When her computer crashes, taking months of hard work with it, she must rely on computer genius Zachariah Givens to save her. A complete opposite of men from her past, she doesn’t expect the passion that ensues. But just as she finds happiness, she learns the truth about the other women in Zachariah’s life.

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY! 

  Prologue and Chapter One     Character Bio’s   Yasmine’s Diary      From the Desktop of Zachariah Givens    Book Reviews

Have you heard of AuthorsDB? If not, you have to check this out!

adb_badgeRecently, I was directed to a website that offers free author promotions. In the digital age of Indie authors, it’s up to us to find ways to promote our work in order for our creative voices to be heard by millions of readers. I’ve signed up for a variety of sites, but this one in particular stands out from the rest.

Have you heard of IMDb (Internet Movie Data Base)? They are the biggest source of information regarding television shows, movies, and actors. AuthorsDB is the same, except that its a  Data Base for finding authors on the web. This site  not only allows you to post your biography, books, blurbs, and sales links, it also gives you the freedom to share every available social networking sites your connected to, list your publisher information, and share specific details about your books. The site also offers services for authors, contests, and even shares your information across the web via Twitter, Facebook, and the other major sites where readers can be found! Did I mention this service is FREE?????

Interested? Stop by and visit my page. And while your there, I’d appreciate your support in a book cover contest that is being held. I’ve submitted both covers, you can see the samples on the right hand side of your screen. Take a minute and cast a vote. I’d love the support! Don’t forget to ‘Like’ and ‘Share” the page as well.

Vote for A Heart Not Easily Broken Cover           Vote for Jaded Cover

I hope you find this tip helpful. Good luck with your book promotions!

MJ

 

 

#WriterWednesday- Interview with A.T. Hicks!

This week I introduce you to another great author, A.T. Hicks! She stopped by a few weeks ago to share how she cracked the mystery novel code. This weeks she’s back to tell us why she writes and offers a few tips to aspiring authors.

Welcome back, A.T.! 


What inspired you to write?

 I wasn’t really inspired to write so much as reminded that I could. One day, desperate, I was trying to figure out where my talent lay. What was I supposed to be doing? At that point in my life, I was a directionless college student without the goals and drive that those around me seemed to have. I prayed. The next day I wrote my very first poem. And within a year I wrote my first novel. Albeit a terrible one, but a novel nonetheless! My inspiration for books lies in the madness of everyday life, in the nuances of human behavior, and…in court TV!

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

At the moment, I’m focused on writing a series of not so cozy mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Peaches Donnelly. I love cozy mysteries and have read tons of them. However, I noticed none were written by black authors. I figured I’d change that. However, I wanted the plot of Peaches and the Gambler, my first cozy, to have plot elements that were far more risqué than your traditional cutsie-cutsie cozy. So, with that in mind, I got to work. So, I guess you could say I chose the genre and not the other way around.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Unless I get really busy with my day job, I write nearly every day. I try to stick to around 1500 words a day. But as usual, this goes awry! Novels generally take me two to three months from start to finish.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 I write all my novels in front of the television while talking to my husband! In addition, I’m not one of those writers who, if they stop, the writing muse disappears. Quite often, I’ll write a paragraph or two, in between cooking dinner.

MJ: Sounds like me this evening! I was cooking and writing at the same time!

Are you a pantser or plotter?

 I’m a panster with a bit of plotter thrown in for good measure. I usually have an idea and run with it. However, I spend a lot of time in my head plotting. Thus, the characters are already well-developed. I generally know exactly what’s going to happen in a book, save a few minor details.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share an example?

My stories are almost inevitably ideas I’ve gleaned from a combination of watching the news, reading police bulletins and watching court TV. The development of the character for Peaches Donnelly was shaped around one of my girlfriends whose life–I swear to God–is a bad comedy. Every time I spoke to her something funny was going on with her or one of her two daughters. She was too funny a character to pass up. She IS Peaches Donnelly! The car chase in my second novel, Peaches and the Baby Mama, actually happened in real life. It was a story I saw featured on an episode of Judge Alex. It was so unbelievable and ridiculous; I just had to use it!

MJ: Ha ha ha!!! Art imitating life!

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

 I know this is probably clichéd advice, but write all the time. Learn how to shut people out. Put down your phone! Also, watch plenty of TV. That’s where I get all of the characters for my books. Nothing comes out of a vacuum and certainly with the characters in my books, this couldn’t be more true.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m self-published. I’m sorry. I’m an Indie Writer. I believe that’s the politically correct term these days!

What are your current projects?

 I just completed Peaches and the Baby Mama. The next novel in the series is Peaches and the Cross Dresser.

Peaches and the Gambler Silhouette

 

Buy Now!

What does a strip club, a dead man and a Dove ice cream bar all have in common? Peaches Donnelly.

Peaches Donnelly has a major problem: she’s just been fired. Unaccustomed to filling her days with nothingness, she embroils herself in the murder of a childhood friend. However, standing between her and the solving of this heinous
crime are two pesky daughters, a selfish opera singer sister, the diet from hell and two sexy men she can’t resist.

Add to this bubbling pot a hasty decision to go undercover as a stripper and you have a story rife with drama, laughs and a little dash of danger.

Follow Peaches and the always funny cast of characters in this first installment of a rollicking series of cozy mysteries.

 


 

Peaches and the Baby Momma

Buy Now! 

 

Bodacious beauty and Baby Mama Extraordinaire Cecily Washington has it all: a Child Support Portfolio that would make any Gold Digger proud, a sprawling McMansion filled with expensive goodies, and a closet full of designer shoes that would bring a diva to tears.

When Peaches is invited to a party at the uber wealthy Cecily’s home, she jumps at the chance. However, poison is in the air when local daycare owner and president of Peaches PTA, Stacey Howard, storms in and confronts the Baby Mama about the torrid affair she is carrying on with her husband.

When the housekeeper finds Cecily dead the next morning, the victim of a vicious—and some think well deserved—knife in the back, Peaches sleuthing/nosy instincts kick into high gear. Stacey Howard is the prime
suspect. But the list of Cecily Haters is long and illustrious. Accepting a lucrative wager to solve the crime before local police, Peaches puts her amateur detecting skills to work to root out the well-to-do Baby Mama’s
murderer.

 

About the Author:

When A. T. Hicks isn’t penning outrageous fiction, she’s shooing a renegade tomcat out of her garden, trying to prevent her escape artist dog from slipping out under the fence once again and negotiating with her teenaged daughter to complete her chores.

Twitter     Blog/Website     Amazon     Email

Thanks for stopping by to share your books with us!

MJ

Related articles

The Best Moment Award!

It was a pleasant start to my morning to open my email and learn that my blog has received the  Best Moment Award, and more specifically, my page that offers Helpful Advice for Aspiring Authors. It is a great feeling to learn that my blog post sharing my journey to becoming an author has proved to be helpful to so many.

best-moment-award

So, as requested, per the award instructions, I have to give an acceptance speech:

My Speech:

First of all, let me thank Sharon C. Cooper for honoring me with this title. In January, I switched my blogging platform from Blogger to WordPress. It was  a big decision since over the past three years I’d acquired a large following of bloggers, writers, and readers who read my post for inspiration. I was an aspiring author when I started blogging, and enjoyed sharing the things I learned with other authors with goals of seeing their name on a book. The comments and feedback those posts  inspired me to keep writing more, keep researching, and to keep sharing. In doing so, I had unwittingly built a support system of hundreds of unknown, often times faceless, followers who cheered me on when my status changed to published author. I worried that changing blogging platforms would make it impossible for my blog followers to find me again, but to my surprise, they have! Though my blog no longer focuses solely on sharing information about writing, I still focus on the craft. To make it easy for aspiring authors who are looking for helpful advice, I created the M.J. on Writing- Helpful Advice for Aspiring Authors page which has direct links to all of my most viewed and helpful post on writing dating back to 2010. I still blog twice a month on such topics, as well as share weekly author interviews and guest post, allowing my blog followers the chance to meet and learn what makes other authors tick. I do this as a way to provide inspiration for those who feel they are alone when it comes to writing. Since January, I have picked up over 1000 followers….THANKS GUYS!!!

Now, that the hand waving and tears are out of the way, lol, it’s time to nominate other bloggers for the post that inspired me. (It’s supposed to be 15, but I’ll see how many I can remember!) So, here we go!

Carmen DeSousa- Why do you write? Does it matter if a major publisher discovers you, or just that someone reads your writing?

Christine Steendam- Overnight Success 

Synithia Williams- If Romance is Smut It’s All Smut

Stacey Deanne- Interracial Romance: The Most Popular Genre No One’s Heard About

Those are the only ones I can come up with off the top of my head…yep, I’ve been that busy writing that I haven’t read too much!!!

Congrats to all, and pass along to show appreciation of post you’ve enjoyed!

MJ

To Blog or Not to Blog?

blogThere was a time when I didn’t spend much time on the internet, much less read or follow a blog. Yet, in the last 3 years, I’ve become an avid blogger! Who knew? During this time my blog has undergone several revisions…from colors, to layouts, blogging platforms…and most importantly, what I blog about.

So, why did I start blogging? The answer is simple….to become a better writer.

Sounds crazy, right?

When I started blogging in 2009, I had no idea what I would write about. I mean really, at the time I was a stay at home mom who was attempting to write a book. What did I have to talk about? Hmm…kids, the community, my dogs. BORING!!! Who wanted to read that? LOL! In the beginning I had about 4 people who stopped by to read what I wrote. And that was only because I asked them to check it out. I had no idea how to format a blog post or how long it should be. Adding a picture was a hair pulling experience (did I mention I wasn’t THAT computer savvy?). Yep…suffice it to say I didn’t blog very often. Those blogs are still available if you’d like to read them:

 Four Miles and Counting….(my very first post!)

…Two Pit Bulls, One Paper Clip and a lap top to put it all in! (the next daring endevor!)

I know, I know, the big question is: did it actually help your writing?

The answer: YES!!!! (Seriously, take a look back then and now and you’ll see my writing technique has changed though my voice is pretty much the same.)

What are the benefits to writing a blog? As I stated above, writing a blog helped me find my writing voice, or rather, get comfortable with writing something, having people read it. Getting used to receiving comments and feedback about my blog post helped me get used to the idea of reading reviews as a published author. You can’t please everyone and of course everyone will not agree or like what you have to say. As writers, we have to get used to that idea. Why not do that with a blog?

And as they say about anything you strive to get better at: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and you will improve. I strongly suggest that if you are an aspiring author looking to practice the craft of writing, start a blog! Find a topic or subject that is important to you (your writing platform or niche), and use it!

As time went on, I gave up on my blog for several months until I discovered my blog niche was writing about my experiences as an aspiring author. The more information I ran across, practiced, or new technique I found, I wrote about it. Sharing my story led me to other writers who were doing the same thing I was. Forming connections with other writers lead to networking, networking lead to learning new writing techniques from more experienced writers…and well, here I am today! It took a lot of work and continues to take a lot of work to keep this blog going, but I am proud to say that as of right now, I have over 900 blog followers.

I guess what I have to say and share means something! Thank you guys!!!

The question I am asked most by writers who would like to start a blog but fear they will never have a following is: “I have something to say, but who is going to read it? How do I promote my blog?” The answer is simple. If you’re tied into the major social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, etc., your potential readers are right there waiting. Choose a snazzy topic, a witty title, develop your layout, and use those free social networking tools. Before you know it, you’ll have a blog following, too!

Good luck and happy blogging!

MJ

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Florence Osmund!

The one thing I love about writing is the opportunity to meet a wide variety of authors from various genres. I meet Florence when I joined the Women’s Fiction author group on Goodreads. Take a few moments to learn about this talented author!

Osmund_7786

What inspired you to write?

Years before I started writing novels, I jotted down anything and everything that I thought I could use in a storyline. Then, when I was ready to write, I retrieved those hundreds of scraps of paper, sorted through them, put them in piles, and lo and behold, a story emerged. So when you ask what inspired me, I have to say it was family, friends, and strangers saying and doing a vast array of different things.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

So far I have written two historical fiction books and am currently working on a third. My first two novels take place in the 1940s, and the third one takes place in the 1950s. For reasons unknown to me, I am drawn to that time period.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I typically spend mornings participating in on-line discussion groups for authors (LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Facebook), marketing my books, and managing e-mail and Facebook messages. In the afternoons, I write.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I donʾt know if this qualifies as a quirk or not, but Iʾm not motivated to write unless I have at least two hours at a time to devote to it.  I would be interested in knowing if thatʾs the case for other writers. On the other side of that, I find myself having to take at least an hour break after writing for four hours.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

With regard to writing (and I assume thatʾs where youʾre going with this question), I fall somewhere in between a pantser and a plotter. I typically start out with a brief outline of the story—beginning, middle, and ending—and go from there. However, sometimes as Iʾm writing, the story takes on a life of its own and goes in another direction, in which case I go with it and revise my outline.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

As I mentioned in an earlier response, when I hear or see something in real life that I think would make a good scene or storyline, I jot it down. For example, one day I was walking down a Chicago street on my way to a restaurant. A young couple was in front of me. All of a sudden, the man leapt into the street toward a moving car. The back door of the car opened, and he jumped in, but only after turning toward his companion and yelling, “Iʾll catch up with you!” She was left standing there with her mouth wide open, obviously dumbstruck. I used that scene in my first novel. It fit beautifully.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I devote much of my website to offering new author advice—advice I wish I had received before I started writing my first book. The most elementary and important advice I have for them is to read, read, and then read some more. Read books in your genre, and keep notes on what made the books good or not-so-good, and then use that knowledge in your own writing. For example, did you feel connected to a certain character? If so, why? Were you unable to put the book down? If so, what kept you turning the pages? What did you consider to be the bookʾs value? Learn from other authorsʾ successes and failures.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I self-published through CreateSpace.

What are your current projects?

My current project is titled, “Mystic Coins.” The male protagonist in this novel, Lee Winekoop, comes from extremely wealthy parents who give him everything anyone would ever need to be successful in life. That seems to work for his two older brothers, but unfortunately, not for Lee. This is a story of how a young man deals with weaknesses, frustrations and feelings of inadequacy, but more importantly, this is the story of differing views on what defines success in life.

1Coach House Front Cover

1945 Chicago. Newlyweds Marie Marchetti and her husband, Richard, have the perfect life together. Or at least it seems until Marie discovers cryptic receipts hidden in their basement and a gun in Richard’s desk drawer. When she learns he secretly attends a mobster’s funeral, her suspicions are confirmed. And when she inadvertently interrupts a meeting between Richard and his so-called business associates in their home, he causes her to fall down the basement steps, compelling Marie to run for her life.

Ending up in Atchison, Kansas, Marie quickly sets up a new life for herself. She meets Karen Franklin, a woman who will become her lifelong best friend, and rents a coach house apartment behind a three-story Victorian home. Ironically, it is the discovery of the identity of her real father and his ethnicity that unexpectedly changes her life more than Richard ever could.

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About the Author

Florence Osmund grew up in an old Victorian home in Illinois, complete with a coach house, the same house she used as inspiration for her first two novels. She earned her master’s degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and has obtained more than three decades of experience in corporate America. Her website is dedicated primarily to helping new authors—offering advice she wishes she had received before she starting writing. Osmund currently resides in Chicago where she is working on her next novel.

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Interview with Melynda Price!

Today I welcome another  5 Prince Publishing author,  Melynda Price. Melinda writes  Paranormal Romance. Take a moment to get to know her, then check out her book, Until Darkness Comes!

Welcome, Melynda!

What inspired you to write?

A few key things contributed to my becoming an author. I edited a book for a friend of mine, and I absolutely loved it! But as fantastic as her story was, I found myself wanting to write over it. What if this happened? Or what if they said that? At the time, I was also reading the Book of Enoch, which inspired me to write a fallen angel series.

 What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write paranormal romance. I think the choosing was mutual, LOL. I only read paranormal, it’s what intrigues me, and I write what I’m passionate about. I love creating a world that’s larger than life, an escape from reality and the confines of our world where my only challenge is to make the unbelievable believable.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I’m the most productive in the morning. I’ve found that’s when my creativity is the best. I like to grab a cup of coffee, settle into my chair with my Chihuahua and spend the day writing. 🙂

 What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

It’s not a quirk as much as a challenge, but I have the hardest time ending a book. I hate to say good-bye to my characters, and I find it very difficult to wrap up a story that will give the reader closure. It’s important to me that they don’t feel like the ending is rushed. I’ve read so many great stories but then was disappointed with the ending. I think cliffhangers are great too, as long as everyone gets their Happily Ever After when it’s all finished. 🙂

 Are you a pantser or plotter?

I’m a total pantser. In fact, half the time, I don’t even know what’s going to happen until sit down to write it. I think this style of writing can make for an exciting, unpredictable read. When I wrote Shades of Darkness, I had my first draft written and when I was polishing it for my editor, I got pulled back into the story and I completely rewrote the ending. 🙂

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

My stories are complete and total fabrications. However, I have been told by people who know me, that they can see a little of by daughter in Olivia. I find it funny how even without trying my creative side intersects with reality.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Learn to write deep POV from the beginning. It’s a craft of writing that takes time to develop but well worth it. It will enrich your story and make your writing stronger.

 Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m traditionally published through 5Prince Publishing. My first book, Until Darkness Comes released 3/21/12. Shades of Darkness, the second book in this series, will release 2/28/13.

 What are your current projects?

I’m currently writing the third book in my Redemption Series, Courting Darkness.

Connect  with Melynda on these sites:

Website      FB Author Page      FB      Twitter      Email 

Autumn landscapeA guardian angel… A forbidden love… Eternal consequences…
Olivia Norton was born with a gift—a gift heaven has sworn to protect, and hell is bound to destroy. Her perfect world is turned upside-down when two handsome strangers, Max and Liam, step into her life. Olivia soon discovers that her ‘Mr. Perfect’ is actually a perfect nightmare.

 The rules of engagement have changed and Liam, Olivia’s guardian angel, is forced to cross dimensional borders or risk losing the woman he’s sworn to protect. Suddenly, thrust into a world unlike anything he’s ever known, Liam isn’t prepared to come face to face with the young woman whose life he holds in his hands.

 But nothing is as it seems, and secrets abound that will ultimately force him to choose between two impossibilities. Max will stop at nothing to finish what he’s started, and Olivia is soon plunged into a battle between good and evil. Her very life hangs in the balance as two forces fight to win her heart.

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Autumn landscape

 Coming  2/28/13!!!

Free will comes at a cost…

Three years after losing the love of her life, Olivia Norton refuses to continue living in the shadows of what will never be. But how can she marry another when her guardian angel still holds her heart?

Bound by Universal Law, Liam is forced to choose between his honor and his heart. Returning for Olivia nearly cost him his salvation once, but twice may prove to be his final undoing. Some sacrifices are worth the risk, while others could bring consequences that would last an immortal lifetime.

The game has changed—new players bring new threats and challenges. The evil that nearly took Olivia’s life three years ago has returned with a vengeance. A legion has been sent, and the Dark Court will not rest until the last sighted female has been killed.

An old enemy returns… Evil has a new face, a new name, and Haden will stop at nothing to possess the key Olivia holds, unlocking the power he needs to claim his revenge against Heaven and Hell.