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Newly published, Kaylie Austen

I think that I’ve always possessed a vivid imagination, recalling my first short story written at the age of ten about vampire bunnies. During high school summers, I would write entire novels about epic mythology that bled into a sci-fi mix. School and state literary competitions, and all the trophies and permanently etched plaques that lined my old high school, weren’t enough.

I took a hiatus until recently, and over the past two years wrote page after page, book after book, genre after genre. I felt consumed, absolutely insane, as if the ideas and storyline and dialogue were continuously bubbling in my thoughts, clouding my life. They were my first thoughts in the morning and the last thoughts before descending into sleep. During conversations, meetings, classes, I couldn’t pay attention because the book had to be set in ink, or rather, computer, before my mind could release me from it. The mass of tales ate away at me until the books were finished, and then there was a moment of relief. Well, until the next idea hit me. It’s not something that I can control or conjure up according to my own will, it comes when it wants to, like a sadistic puppet master, and I have no choice but to yield to the madness.

I’ve read about Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling going from nothing to everything and having it so easy. After a few queries, they had an agent and soon enough big publishing houses were bidding for their work. We all know what became of those books. I believed it to be just as simple, but countless rejections later, I had to question myself. Take heed the word of Jeffery Carver who went seven years before his first short story was published.

Finally, a small press publisher, called Midnight Showcase Fiction, picked up one of my novellas. It’s a paranormal romance about a Cajun shifter who falls for a human during his assignment in NYC. Ethan, the boy from the Bayou is on the hunt for his rogue brother but stumbles upon the only human that can survive the knowledge of his clandestine realm. A primal desire is ignited amid the perilous and brutal hunt.

I didn’t feel that Cajun Spice was my best work, but somehow it sparked enough interest to find its place in the literary world. It will be grouped with similar shifter romance tales, called Weres in the City 1.

Weres_in_the_City_01_Front_Cover

It sparked hope, once again, that in this subjective business if you can’t keep pushing along, you might never see your work in print. Several literary agents post noteworthy advice. There are many rejections that come before acceptance and just because you finished one book doesn’t mean it will get published. The more you write, the better your writing becomes. So write, read, research, join groups, soak up all the advice and keep plugging away. It’s easy to get down and quit, but a true writer can’t suppress the urgent need to mold tales. Like a carnal lust that can’t easily be satiated, writing can’t easily be ignored. I also believe that in the end, a true writer will keep writing even if their work never hits print. . . but if it does, well that’s even better!

Writing isn’t my career, though I hope one day in the near future it will be. It’s my passion and I’m glad to see that my story has become available for others to enjoy. Cajun Spice will be released in May 8, 2010. Following is a direct link to MS Fiction where the work is available:

http://www.midnightshowcase.com/index.html

And on a side note, I was just notified that the sequel, Secrets of the French Quarter, has been accepted and will be released in Sept. 2010. I always welcome comments and constructive criticism. Feel free to contact me on Facebook. Happy writing!

The hilarious Vivian Arend chats

Viv, I’m so glad you were able to take the time to take the time to chat with us today.

Happy to stop in—although it’s going to be a rushed visit because the month is flying past. I think you’ve caught me at about the busiest time I’ve had to date as a writer.

I read where you were very lucky in being published so quickly.  I’ve also seen you have 8 or 9 books releasing this year!  You’re awful prolific hon.

I’ve been very fortunate to find a hobby I really enjoy. I’m a fast reader, so it makes it easier—I can reread what I’ve already written and keep moving fairly quickly. There have also been those horseshoes I’ve picked up along the way, and I’m hanging onto them tight. Nobody, I mean NOBODY, had better pinch me anytime soon.

Do the characters and stories just come to you “full grown” needing only minor tweaking, or do you plot and plan it all?

Wash your mouth out with soap!! Plot is a four letter word, and so is plan. Nope, I’m a pantser through and through. The stories start with a single idea—sometimes a picture in my head of a scene, or just a question that needs to be answered, and I sit down to write. That’s the only way I get to find out what comes next.

Who’s in control of the story, you, the characters or do y’all share control?

Control? What is this thing you speak of? Hmmm, if I’m honest, I will say I’ve wrestled control back a couple of times, but for the most part I let the characters lead me where they will. Of course this has meant some fun detours I wasn’t expecting, as well as a few shockers. I’m really a very sweet innocent girl. I have no idea where these characters get some of the ideas they do. **polishes halo**

Could you please tell us a bit more about Rocky Mountain Haven, the second in the Six Pack Ranch series?

These stories are about six brothers growing up and working the family ranch in the foothills of Alberta. The first book was about the oldest boy-responsible and totally not prepared for the girl next door to grow up. In book two the sweetheart is Beth. She’s escaping from the big city in the hopes she can start living again—somewhere safer for her and her little boys. Daniel intends to show her there’s more to living than hiding. Like everything else these Coleman Six Pack do—he’s willing to put all his energy into his task.


VA_SPR2_RockyMountainHaven2.

Do you have a favorite character or is that like asking if you have a favorite child?

I think many writers will tell you the characters they are currently are writing are their favorite, because it’s like visiting with a good friend. But overall I have to admit I have a soft spot for TJ Lynus, the clumsy younger brother in the Granite Lake Wolves series. He’s growing up now, and will have a story of his own coming out in October. He’s always saying the wrong thing, or saying it at the wrong time, but his heart is in the right place. I’ve got to respect that.

Is there anything special required to spark your creativity?

Donations of chocolate are cheerfully accepted. Please send to Box 347… no, wait. Actually, my creativity comes from a deep need to let out a few of my stored up memories. Everywhere I go, I enjoy chatting with people and secretly watching them. Visiting new parts of the world, or living in a tent—every experience adds words. After enough time there’s bound to be a few million ‘What if…’ situations struggling for escape.

Looking back on your extensive travels do you have a favorite place?  Memorable encounter?

Tough, tough question. Seeing Mesa Verde and imaging living in that setting gave me shivers. Paddling the Pacific Ocean and having orcas rise ahead of my kayak—heart stopping. I’ve skied over a snowy ridge and come eye to eye with Mount Assiniboine and the grandeur of the mountain in its pristine winter setting made my heart ache. I’ve danced in a nightclub in Florence, Italy and heard a dozen languages around me. Walked the Louvre, swam with dolphins… I don’t think it’s possible to take one situation and set it aside as the pinnacle. Rather, all the experiences have become a part of the whole and made me want to see and do even more. And share the experiences with others.

What genre(s) and authors do you enjoy most?  What are you currently reading?

I read a lot of paranormal. Fantasy. Sci-fi. On my current TBR shelf I have Patricia Briggs (Moon Called) Ann Aguirre (Wanderlust) Christine Feeham (Street Game). However, I feel a re-read coming on soon of Enders Game and perhaps a little CS Lewis, just as a comfort read.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?

You don’t know how tough a question this one is as well! I don’t have any big plans overall, but I do hope for another trip or two into the mountains, perhaps a longish canoe excursion in the summer, and if I’m very good, I might be able to wrangle a trip south as well. For now, I’m looking forward to being able to hop in the kayak this weekend, and I feel the deep dark desire to finish writing my current WIP, because it’s a very naughty one and since I don’t plan, I have no idea what’s coming next. I NEED to know!!

And so I write.

I’ve really enjoyed our chat Viv and appreciate your being with us today.  I’ve had fun.

Thanks for inviting me. I love to hear from readers, so please feel free to drop by my website and visit for a bit.

*S*

A Visit With Angela Knight

Angela honey, thank you so much for taking the time to be here today, I’m glad to have the chance to talk with you.

Thank you for interviewing me!

Can you please tell us a bit about what you have going on?  Releases?

I have a new story coming up in August in an anthology called BURNING UP.  The story is called “Blood and Roses,” and it’s a vampire medieval set in a different universe than the Mageverse.

I’m also working on MASTER OF SMOKE, which is the sequel to MASTER OF FIRE.  My hero, Smoke, appeared as a cat in most of MASTER OF FIRE, but his true form is that of a sexy Sidhe warrior.  Smoke has godlike powers and the ability to shapeshift, but Warlock, the werewolf villain, has stripped him of his powers and memory, and is trying to kill him.  My heroine, a werewolf, finds Smoke, saves him, and christens him David, since he doesn’t remember his name.  They become lovers, and find themselves dodging Warlock’s attempts to kill them.  I love this story, partly because heroine Beth Roman is a wonderful smart alec.

A bit more info about your Passionate Ink online classes please.

I’m teaching a month-long online class on writing erotic romance for the Passionate Ink chapter of the Romance Writers of America in May.  I’ll talk about characterization, plotting, heroes, heroines, villains, and writing steaming sex.  You’ll find more information here:

http://passionateink.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=14307%29

I’m donating my services in teaching this class so the money raised can go to the chapter.

How sweet of you!

My introduction to the Mageverse was Galahad’s story.  I thought it was one of the most creative twists on the Arthurian/Merlin legend I’d ever read.  How’d you connect those dots?

I have loved Arthurian legend since I was twelve years old.  So when Cindy Hwang at Berkley asked me to do a vampire series, I asked myself, “What if King Arthur was a vampire, and is alive today, acting as mankind’s immortal protector.  I’ve had a ball writing the series too – I love vampires.


I too grew up on comics, what was your favorite?

I’ve been reading comics since I was nine years old, and I actually started out as a comic book writer.  My first book was a science fiction series called CYCOPS.

My favorite comic book series for many years was X-MEN, but I also love Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Iron Man.  Among many, many others.  I love comics.

From comics to erotic, that’s quite a leap.  Is erotic what you always wanted to write or did you feel you’d gone as far as you could with comics?

I always wanted to be a novelist, and I love romance.  Comics are a lot of fun, but they’re more about art than writing.  So writing fiction was the way to go.

When I first started writing I noticed that the love scenes were what I did the best.  So erotic romance was the natural way to go.

Do you have a favorite character or couple?

I love all of them, but right now I’m really in love with my current people, David/Smoke and Beth Roman.  Beth has a great sense of humor, which makes her a lot of fun to write, and I find David really sexy.

I love the art work you’ve created of your characters.  You’ve not only described them, you’ve brought them to life, so to speak.   Was the art an outgrowth of the writing?

I actually started doing art when I was five, so writing came second.  I eventually decided to become a writer instead of an artist.  Then I discovered Poser, and started doing computer generated art.  I love doing it, because it seems to feed into my writing.  So I share my pictures of hunks with the members of my Yahoo group here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/angelaknight/?yguid=310647443

Do you create your characters or do they come to you with their stories?

I start out with the characters, and the plot grows from them.  Then the plot, in turn, influences the growth of the characters.


Do you have a favorite author?  Currently reading anything good?

I just finished reading Jim Butcher’s CHANGES, a book in the Dresden Files.  I adore Harry Dresden, and CHANGES was a wonderful rollercoaster ride of a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I also love JD Robb, JR Ward, Marjorie Liu, Lois McMaster Bujold, Patricia Briggs, and Tanya Huff.  That’s just the ones that leap immediately to mind.  I love reading, and when I’m not writing, I’m reading.

I have CHANGES on my TBR Mountain.  I love Harry Dresden too…

What are you looking forward to most this year?

I always look forward to going to the Romantic Times Conference, because it’s a great opportunity to meet the fans.  I also look forward to the Romance Writers of America national convention, because I’m teaching a workshop on writing fight scenes. And I’ll get to spend time with my agent, Roberta Brown, my editor Cindy Hwang, and all my best writer friends like Kate Douglas, Diane Whiteside, Dakota Cassidy and Treva Hart, to name a few.

Angela, thanks again so much for being here hon…I’ve really enjoyed our visit & I can’t wait for MASTER OF SMOKE!

Thank YOU for interviewing me!

Best,

Angela Knight

Talking with Sasha White

Sasha, Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us today honey.
Hi Ivy, Thanks so much for inviting me. You know I’m always happy to talk about my books. 🙂

Could you please tell us a bit about your new release One Weekend?
One Weekend is a super short, super hot menage romp. Sometime’s it’s good for the soul to write just for fun, and I hope for readers too. One Weekend is pure uncomplicated sexy fun for all.

Sounds good!



Did you learn anything in your extensive travels that you’d like to pass on?
Just that in our society it’s too easy to get wrapped up in what we want to have instead of focussing on what we already have. Every now and then we need to stop, take a good look around, and smell the roses…so to speak. 🙂 .

Did you enjoy the teaching?
I’m going to guess you’re referring to my teaching martial arts?  Teaching was okay, but I’m going to say I enjoyed coaching more.  Coaching people who wanted to compete was amazing because everyone was super focussed on the same goals and in many ways we all became family. Some of them are still my closest friends, despite the fact that we haven’t seen each other in years.



Is it hard to work your way through a country?
For me it wasn’t, but I think how hard it would be depends on a persons personality. I loved learning and travelling and meeting new people. I think the biggest thing is that in order to do it you have to be not fussy about what work you do, and you have to be able to go with the flow because it’s rare that plans work out…and thats usually when you find something special. 🙂

Is there anything you need to pacify/coax your muse?
While I don’t really believe in waiting for the muse, I often joke that mine likes tequila.  In reality I rarely drink while I write, and I find inspiration when I stop thinking so hard and just let myself go.


Is there anything you’ve written about that you’ve actually witnessed in your waitressing/bartending?  Care to tell us what it was?  Just witnessed hon, not did or participated in…*G*
Wow. Well, I’ve been waitressing and bartending for over 20 years, and you could say I’ve pretty much seen it all.  From people having sex or snorting coke in the bathrooms to fights and for fun strip shows.  I will say one thing I did participate in a couple of times was being hypnotized. *grin*
I’ll bet that was interesting.  I’ve seen hypnotist sessions up close and they’re something else. Kinda scary giving up control like that.



Are you currently reading anything or just relaxing a bit?
I just finished reading Saddled by Delilah Devlin and Kitty’s House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn.  My TBR pile has dwindled to nothing, but I am anxious for a few releases that are coming soon. And I’m always looking for reader recommendations…anyone want to suggest some for me?
I’m waiting on some releases too..what about Lorelei James’ newest, Wild Ride?

Sasha, it’s been such fun visiting with you.  Thank you for taking time out to satisfy our curiosity and chat a bit..

Sasha has generously offered to give away a download of her novel from Samhain, GYPSY HEART.  All you have to do is answer the following question correctly.  Email your answer to IvyD@manicreaders.com, a winner will be chosen at random from the correct answers.

Who was the guest author on Sasha’s blog for March 23rd?

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