Today I am excited to have these two very talented ladies visiting with me. CL Raven is a duo of two sisters who write together. Come sit back and get to know them just a little better and see what they have going on.
1. Your sisters and you both write. Let's start out by sharing how the two of you write your stories together.
For novels, we write about 1000 words each per chapter, or to the nearest stopping place. One writes the first 1000 words then we switch. We take it in turns to write the first half of the chapter. For short stories, we usually write a page each then switch. Once the chapter or short story is completed, we'll each do a couple of separate redrafts of it, until we can't remember who wrote what. We never sit at the computer and write together, so we never know what we're going to find in the chapter until the second person takes over.
2. Will you guys always write together or do you think you will branch off?
We started out writing separately then redrafting each other's novels, until 2007 when we started writing short stories. We realised it would be too heart breaking for only one of us to get published, when we'd both worked so hard, so we decided to put our separate novels under one name then we started writing together. We'll always write together now. We make a good team and it helps having someone to take over when you get stuck. They can take it in a direction you might not have taken by yourself. Plus we can share the blame and the glory. Or just blame each other. The Hydra did well with more than one head. Til it got burned by a sexy hero in a loincloth...must stay away from sexy heroes.
3. You ladies have several publications under your belt. Tell us a little about them and where we can find them.
We've had nine short stories published and one poem. Two years ago we even did some performance poetry. Nobody was sure how two people could perform poetry together until they saw us do it. A couple of our stories are in obscure places that are probably lost, such as The Pages anthology. Our first short story, End of Innocence, was published by Legend Press, in their Eight Hours anthology. It's available on Amazon. We had to do a book launch in Waterstones for that, which was fun. We've had two published by Dark Fire Fiction, 'Til Death us do Part http://usersites.horrorfind.com/home/horror/darkfire/march11_2.html and Deadly Reflections http://usersites.horrorfind.com/home/horror/darkfire/july11_4.html The Black Kiss and Field of Screams were published on Draven Ames' blog http://dravenames.blogspot.com/2011/10/black-kiss-by-c-l-raven.html and http://www.dravenames.blogspot.com/2011/11/field-of-screams-by-c-l-raven.html Field of Screams also won Writing Magazine's magazine's ghost story competition and was published in their August 2010 issue. Our tenth short story, The Ferryman, is due out in issue 6 of Dark Moon Digest, which is available through Amazon & Barnes and Noble.
4. Can you choose a favorite?
Field of Screams and The Ferryman are our favourites. Field of Screams is a paranormal comedy so it's totally different to our other stuff and we really enjoyed writing it. It still makes us laugh. We wrote it 3 weeks before Writing Magazine's deadline. We like winging it. We've never been good at working well before deadlines. The Ferryman's funny and we really like the characters. It's an updated version of Chiron, set on a train. We mostly remember our stories by the characters.
5. Scott The Zombie, I follow him on facebook and he's been complaining lately about not getting a lot of attention. Any plans for him in the future?
Scott the Zombie is always complaining we don't pay him enough attention! We were in the middle of redrafting his book when NaNoWriMo came so once we've finished writing that novel we'll go back to him. If he hasn't eaten our brains by then. In the novel Scott works in a supermarket. At the time one of our mates worked in a supermarket so he gave us inside knowledge in exchange for a part in the book. His character is Tyler, Scott's best friend. We plan to self epublish Scott the Zombie and release merchandise with it. I ♥ Scott the Zombie t-shirts with his Facebook and Twitter account addresses on the back. We might produce mugs, keyrings etc. We've already got an order from a Writing Magazine writer, Margaret James, who plans to feature him in the April issue of the magazine. A 300 word extract from the novel got a great critique by author James McCreet in Writing Magazine. But we've had no luck selling his short story. He blames us for this.
6.What you are currently working on?
We're currently working on our NaNoWriMo novel - Field of Screams. We hit 80,000 by the time NaNo finished but we're not done with the book yet. We loved the short story and characters and they wouldn't stop nagging us to turn it into a novel. Same thing happened with Scott - he started out in a short story. We've just sent another novel Soul Asylum to an editor in America (we worked with him on The Ferryman). That one's set in a North Wales asylum. We used an abandoned asylum in Denbigh, North Wales for the inspiration but they're demolishing it. We visited it in November and were promptly escorted out for trespassing! Whoops. We wanted photos for the front cover. Another novel, Majesty of Darkness is with a publisher but we're waiting to hear back, though it just got rejected by 5 agents.
7. What is a must have snack while you write?
Red Bull. Vegan chocolate. Red Bull. A bigger Red Bull.
8. Is there a genre that you one day hope to write that you haven't yet?
We like dabbling with erotica, we often put it in our stories and would love to be able to write an erotic short story or novel.
9. Is there anything you guys would like to share?
Our aim was to steal Stephen King's horror throne from him by the time we were 30. We'll be 29 in February and it hasn't happened yet. Hope he doesn't read this. We love ghost hunting and recently spent the night in an abandoned haunted jail. We plan to turn the experience into a short story. But with added ghosts. The only unusual thing that happened was when we were locked in the Dark Cell with our mate, the K2 meter kept lighting up every time we asked if the 'ghost' was executed or if we mentioned murder. We probably should've been scared but we just chastised the ghost for lighting up the machine when we were talking. We blame our family of teachers. It's rude to interrupt. We'd love for Tim Burton to turn Majesty of Darkness into a claymation. We've even planned the action figures. Which is probably creepy. So if anyone knows him, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter...
The photo was taken this Halloween. Lynx is Freddy Kreuger, Cat is Jason Vorhees.
Welcome Heather Wardell. I am super excited that you have stopped by today.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Here are a few things not everyone knows about me. 1) I have four tattoos, one of which features prominently in my free novel "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo". 2) Before becoming a writer, I was a software developer and then an elementary school computer teacher. 3) I am a natural speed-reader, regularly clocked at around 1200 WPM. 4) I am obsessed with crocheting and am nearly always wearing something I've made. 5) I never wear pants unless I'm running. I'm a skirt girl all the time, even in the Canadian winter!
2. You have had an impressive year in 2011. How many books have you released?
Four! I set that as a goal in December 2010 and I'm thrilled to have managed it. "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused" was officially launched in January, "A Life That Fits" in May, "Live Out Loud" in September, and "Blank Slate Kate" in December. I'd love to manage four again next year but it might turn out to be three. Still, that's not bad. :)
3. You actually just released Blank Slate Kate. Give us a little info on this.
Poor Kate wakes up, naked, in a strange man's bed and can't remember her name or how she got there. As if that weren't bad enough, she and the man (Jake) quickly realize she has lost fifteen years of her life. She and Jake work to figure out who she is and where she comes from, but as time passes and she still can't remember she begins to wonder whether she'd be better off starting fresh with Jake instead.
It was an interesting book for me, because I didn't know how it would end when I started! (I usually do.) I had several ideas, but I wrote the first draft until it was about 75% done and all of my ideas were possible and then planned out the ending. It's more of a mystery than I usually write, as Kate struggles to find her history and how and why she ended up in Jake's bed, and that was neat for me too.
4. I follow you on Facebook and you always nickname your work while you write it. I do this too. Do you wait until its finished to name it?
I generally do. I work on more than one book at once (at the moment I am in the second draft of Flying Squirrel and also planning Hippo) so the nicknames help me keep everything straight. I don't usually know what to call a book until it's done and sometimes not even then! (I wasn't sure I wanted to use "Blank Slate Kate" but the feedback of my buddies on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/heather.wardell.author) made it clear it was the right title.)
5. What is a must have snack while you write?
Tea and a glass of water so I have a choice. I work at Starbucks once or twice a week, to get me out of the house, and there it's nearly always a cinnamon dolce latte. I generally don't eat when I work because it's bad for the laptop and the waistline. :)
6. Is there a genre that you hope to write one day that you haven't?
So far, I'm very happy working in women's fiction. If an idea in another genre hit me and wouldn't let me go, I would go for it but would likely publish it under a different name so as not to confuse my readers. But at the moment all my ideas fit with what I've already written, which isn't a big surprise since I write what I love to read: stories about strong smart women getting control of their lives.
7. If you had to choose one, which of your books that you've written is your favorite?
This is such a hard question since I love them all for different reasons. Today I feel like it's "Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many", my story of a woman who signs on for a reality dating show but instead ends up on an island with seven of her exes, because it taught me how to juggle lots of characters and I need that for Hippo!
8. What are you working on now?
This is the first week of planning for my book Hippo, which involves a woman showing up for her cruise-ship wedding and meeting her fiance's brothers only to realize that one brother broke her heart and she broke the other one's heart. She's going to be trapped on the ship for two weeks and her mother-in-law-to-be and her own mother are insistent that the wedding go ahead, but I'm not sure she feels the same way. I'm excited about it and I think it'll be a lot of fun to write!
I'm a little ways into the second draft of Flying Squirrel, which features a "do everything for everyone else" woman trying to overcome this damaging tendency by becoming a marathon runner. It's tough for me because the main character is quite unlike me but I am enjoying it for the same reason.
9. Anything else you would like to share.
Just that my books are available through my site at http://www.heatherwardell.com and that "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" is always a free download. Oh, and also thank you so much to Lacey for letting me chatter away on her blog! :)
Buy links for Blank State Kate: Amazon / Smashwords
Welcome! I have a new release on the 19th of this month and I wanted to share six sentences from the first book in my Hot Bod series, Fool Me Once.
Drew stood, closing in on her. As he stepped toward her, she found herself once again flat against the wall. Shit, how does this keep happening? His mouth was too close for comfort. Her eyes drifted to it for just a second, knowing it was a mistake.
"This is not a good idea," Skylar whispered as desire stirred.
Thanks for stopping by. To visit more, please go to www.sixsunday.com
Please enjoy this excerpt from Fool Me Once, an erotic contemporary romance. This book will be released on December 19, 2011.
What the hell was he doing there? Skylar was finished with her aerobics class. Grabbing a bottle of water and squirting some in her mouth, she checked her schedule. She had an hour before her next class. That meant she had an hour to figure out what he was doing at this gym.
Taking a towel, she wrapped it around her neck and wiped off the sweat. She headed out of the room, intent on finding him. He was easy to spot. He was in the cardio area, in the back row like a typical man, watching the ladies' butts jiggle as they worked out. Rolling her eyes, she started his way.
"Hi, Drew," she said sweetly.
He turned off his machine and grabbed his water bottle. She watched as he touched it to his full lips, taking in a long sip.
"If you're done, do you mind following me so we can talk a minute?" she asked. She knew a confrontation in the middle of the gym wouldn't look good for either her or the business.
Spinning around, she headed toward the staff only break room. Once there she stepped aside so he could come in. Luckily the place was empty. She shut the door and locked it.
"What are you doing here?" She placed her hands on her hips, trying to portray she was irritated by him, when all she really wanted was to feel his mouth on her again.
"Honestly, I had no idea you would be here."
"Yeah, and I should believe that. I haven't seen you in a month until last night and then today you show up at my work place."
He took a seat, clearly worn out from his run. "My company just switched gyms. I was having a tough morning, so I wanted to blow off some steam by taking a run."
"Sounds convenient," she retorted.
"Shit, I didn't know you would be here. It's a plus though." He eyed her belly, and she imagined his tongue there, licking her sweat off.
Silence filled the room. She didn't know whether to believe him or not. His explanation sounded logical, and she would hate to think fate worked this out. Fate was what she first thought brought him into her life to begin with. He seemed so perfect for her. When they made love, it was so hot it almost seemed like sparks were flying off their bodies. At least at the time she considered it making love. Now she knew it was just sex to him, nothing more.
"Come here." He motioned to her.
She snickered. "I don't think so."
"Please, I just want to feel you again."
"Ain't happening, buddy. You had your chance." She knew all she had to do was resist him; that was the hardest part.
He reached out, grabbed her arm, and pulled her to him. Yanking away from him, she took a step backward.
"Come on, Sky, I know you still have feelings for me."
"Oh, I definitely have feelings for you, just not the ones you're hoping for."
He chuckled. "You know, there's a thin line between love and hate."
"That line is pretty thick for me."
"I'm not so sure."
"I am." At least she hoped.
He stood, closing in on her. As he stepped toward her, she found herself once again flat against the wall. Shit, how does this keep happening? His mouth was too close for comfort. Her eyes drifted to it for just a second, knowing it was a mistake.
"This is not a good idea," she whispered. Desire stirred in her.
"I want to have you. I need to have you. You're all I have wanted."
Placing her hands on his toned chest, she pushed him back. "You're not doing this to me again, got it?"
"I will win you back," he said.
I am super excited to have Emma Lai here today. I have read her books and they are great. Please enjoy this interview and giveaway.
1. Tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I'm crazy--though I haven't been clinically diagnosed as such. I hear voices, and when I close my eyes, I witness snippets of other peoples' lives. Seriously. No joke. Where do you think I get all my stories from? :)And I'm also the mother of a precocious two-year old, who sleeps eight or less hours a night and has recently decided nap time is for losers. LOL! So, I'm even crazier than normal these days, but hey, he's great and his hugs and kisses fix all the problems of my world--thought that was supposed to be the other way around, but I'm not complaining if he's not.
2. You write multiple genres. Which is your favorite to write?
My favorite thing to write is action, regardless of genre. This is probably why I write paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and erotic. All have action, and lots of it. I have to admit, I prefer the first three, but they require a lot of thinking to build believable worlds, so my erotic output is higher, for now.
3. Tell us a little about your latest release Riding Rodeo and don't leave out any details. There are two men on the cover!
The last person Amanda Goodson expected to walk into her bakery was Sean Cassidy, the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left without a good-bye the next day. Since then, she'd sworn off one-night stands and cowboys, but one look at the man she called Rodeo leaves her hankering for another ride.
A nasty injury ended Sean's career and left him with nothing but time to contemplate past sins, especially the most damning one...walking out on Amanda, the one woman he couldn't forget. Eager to right the biggest mistake of his life, he finds Amanda--and learns he has competition. Never one to back down from a challenge, he offers to fulfill her darkest fantasy--taking two cowboys for a ride.
When the dust settles, will Sean's plan to win Amanda's trust backfire or will she risk her heart for one more shot at Riding Rodeo?
4. What time of day do you write?
In long ago days, I used to get up and start writing first thing in the morning, sometimes even forgoing breakfast. I'd write all day, until hubby reminded me there was a real world. These days, I write in the afternoon. If I'm not completely exhausted and the boy has decided I don't have to play with him, then I'll even write in the evening. (Yes, my son dictates my life. :) )
5. How do you juggle being a mom and author?
From the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. I am mommy. If I'm lucky and my hubby, who owns his own business, doesn't have any jobs scheduled, then I get to be an author between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. However, if he's working then I only get to be an author between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.--my son's nap time. (Like I said, the kid dictates my life. :) )
6. Must you have snack while you craft a story?
If coffee counts as a snack, then yes! I'm trying to cut out snack food, since all my extra weight is turning into muscles thanks to toting 30 lbs of wriggly worm around. Soon, I'll be able to compete in amateur bodybuilding competitions. LOL!
7. Favorite holiday dish.
I honestly don't have one. Mashed potatoes are always good and salads and any kind of vegetable. :)
8. As tough as this is, what if your favorite book you've written?
It's almost always my most recent one. Writing has been an adventure for me. With each story, I learn new tricks of the trade and polish my skills. So, my absolute favorite is a fantasy adventure that's not even published yet because it's the most recent.
9. Finally, is there anything else you would like to share?
One lucky person who leaves a comment will win a copy of Riding Rodeo, and all comments will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press, Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice).Website: http://www.emmalaiwrites.com
**Leave a comment to win a copy of Riding Rodeo. Giveaway ends tomorrow at noon CST and Emma will announce the winner on
Over the weekend I got the cover art for the second book in my Hot Bods series. Yes I know, all I have talked about it Hot Bods this and Hot Bods that and the first novella isn't even out yet. Don't worry, the 19th is almost here!
So, what do you think of this dreamy cover? Its absolutely perfect and the cover artist Dara England hit this cover head on. In the book before Amy knows her hero's name, she calls him Mr. sandy blond hair, blue eyed, combo number nine. And man, I can so see this when I look at this cover.
More Than Useful has been my most difficult novella to write so far. The characters really gave me a hard time. Now that I see this cover and the beauty of it, I'm so glad I pushed through. I can't wait until this story comes out in either February or March of 2012.
But for now, let's all just stare into his eyes and imagine that is us cuddled up with him.
I'm feeling generous with the holidays approaching, so I have decided to announce not one, but three winners! Thank you to everyone who entered. I love Amber's Muse and it has been so wonderful having this dream come true. My next novella FOOL ME ONCE will be released December 19th, and it kicks off my Hot Bods series.
Now to the winners,
I will be emailing you shortly!
Thank you to everyone who entered.
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