Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Please welcome my guest, Emma Lai

Today I'm interviewing Romance author Emma Lai.
Welcome Emma, I'm so glad you could join me.
    
How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career?      
 
I have always loved writing--from the first moment, my chubby hand picked up a crayon, I’m sure. I’ve always loved reading as well.

Before that time, I wrote for work--technical documents and such--and school--paper after paper for my masters. I also wrote the occasional poem and diary entry. However, it never dawned on me that I could write what I love to read until a little over three years ago.

After I signed my first contract, then I decided maybe I should try writing as a career. Now, three years later, I have seven published short story romances--paranormal to contemporary erotic--and another under contract with several more in the works.

Wow, I wish I was so prolific.  Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?
       
Right now, I have no set routine. Pre-baby, I woke up and wrote until my stomach reminded me to eat then I wrote some more...until hubby demanded my attention, or I got hungry again, or tired. So many stories to tell, so little time.

Post-baby--in a toddler world now--I write whenever I can sneak away from home to the library or coffee shop. I’ve found writing at home to be nearly impossible. I’m always on the alert for the smallest peep during nap time, which makes it hard to become lost in another world.

Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one? 
       
The two broad romance sub-genres I write in are paranormal and erotica. The paranormal series I write spans from the futuristic to the historical and involves science fiction as well as otherworldly beings. The erotica I write spans from the historical to the contemporary. So, I feel like I get to explore a broad range of genres.
 
I hope to write a paranormal novel myself in the near future.      Who is your favorite author?  (I know, an unfair question.  I couldn’t name just one myself.) 
       
I have lots of favorites though the one I’m currently most impressed with is Steven Erikson because of his ability to build such a complex world rich in history, politics and theology.
 
How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse 
won’t cooperate? 
     
I take a break and go see a movie, which almost always inspires me to write something.
 
I love the idea of taking a break and going to a movie.  I might have to try that.  :o)  Do you have a critique partner or partners?  If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc? 
      
I have numerous critique partners, who each help in his or her own way. I have a couple I turn to when I need to brainstorm. Then there are a couple of awesome editors. Finally, they’re all great in terms of moral support.
 
What’s the best writing advice you were ever given?  
 
      Submit. You can write the best story in the world, but if you don’t submit it, then it won’t get published. Of course with self-publishing, that’s not entirely true anymore. So, my advice is no matter what road you take, make sure your work is as polished as you can make it before sending it out into the world.

Good advice.  Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences. 
            
      
     Riding Rodeo is part of The Wild Rose Press’ Cowboy Kink line. With that in mind, cowboys, broken hearts and second chances can present all kinds of interesting situations. 

     Can you tell us a little about your next project? 
          
      Which one? I have four actively vying for my attention: a sequel to the Regency erotica Twice is Not Enough; a contemporary menage; a M/M contemporary western; and the fourth book in the Mates of the Guardians series. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in, on what will get finished first.
 
I know what you mean  I have a couple of projects currently vying for my attention.  Anything else you’d like to share?  
 
Readers can find me...
Facebook: AuthorEmmaLai
Twitter: @emmalaiwrites

Thanks Emma for the great interview.  It was fun learning more about you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Update/Book Review

I'm being interviewed on the You Gotta Read Reviews on Tuesday, 11/29.  You Gotta Read Reviews Blog

On Wednesday, 11/30, I'll be welcoming guest, Emma Lai, here on my blog. 
 ___________________________________________________________

I don't usually post reviews here but I so enjoyed the following book that I'm posting the review I wrote for Goodreads here.


Alyson Reuben’s A Beautiful Cage is a great read for anyone interested in a wonderful story set against the back drop of World War II.  The story is full of suspense and kept me turning the pages wanting to know what was going to happen next.

Rebecca Bloomberg, whose loved ones have been taken from her and sent to a concentration camp, is a gutsy young woman the reader can immediately sympathize with.  She’s thrust into a way of life that forces her to trust the one man she shouldn’t – Gustav Von Furst, a man she believes supports the Nazi cause.   Though she tries to keep her distance, circumstances forces them into close proximity, leading her to see the man behind the fa├žade.

Gustav Von Furst is a man determined to do what’s right even if it could cost him everything he holds dear including his own life.  He works undercover as a Nazi journalist while helping the English government.  Due to the very nature of his work, he is suspicious of nearly everyone he meets, questioning if friends and acquaintances are just that or something more sinister.  The fact that he is willing to risk everything to do what’s right makes him a hero to root for and to fall in love with.

It is apparent from the very beginning Alyson Reuben has done a great deal of research into the time period.  Both Rebecca and Gustav are well written characters that had me wanting them to get their happily ever after from the very start. The nail biting suspense, encounters between Rebecca and Gustav, and the perilous situation in general make this a must read.  I can’t wait for Alyson’s next book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

  I'm a day early but I know I won't have time on the actual day.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with their friends and family.
 
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

When do you write?


I recently had a conversation with a friend who was intrigued with the idea of how a writer gets her/his story ideas down on paper.  She peppered me with a bunch of questions. I've listed a few of them here along with my answers.

1.)   Where do you get your ideas?
Pretty much everywhere.  You’d be amazed at where some of my ideas come from.

2.)   Do you write every day?
I try to write Monday through Friday.  Of course, appointments and other commitments sometimes get in the way of that.

3.)   If you don’t write every day, do you write only when the mood strikes you?
I have to write every day or at least try to.  I can’t wait until I’m in the mood or until my muse decides to make an appearance.  I’ve found if I don’t write on a regular basis, I tend to lose the thread of my story and/or, even worse, interest in my characters.  If I don’t care about them, no one else will either. 

4.)   Do you write a certain number of pages or for a certain amount of time?
My answer:  I try to write at least 5 pages of new material each day but I also am constrained by time, having only approximately an hour and a half to devote to writing each day so I guess the answer is both.

5.)   Do you write in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening?
Ideally, I’d write in the morning.  I’m a morning person so I feel I’m at my best then.  But with a 10 year old to get up and get on the school bus plus get myself ready for work, mornings just aren’t possible.  I tried getting up at 5:00am a few times to write before getting the boy up at 6:00am but neither my brain nor my muse was ready to string anything resembling a coherent sentence together after only 6 hours of sleep.  I usually write from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.

I’d love to hear your answers to the above questions.  I’m always looking for better ways to manage my time so I can devote more of it to writing.

Katherine
__________________________________________________________
Tomorrow, Tuesday, 11/22, I'll be blogging about where I get my some of my story ideas from at Terry's Place.   http://terryodell.blogspot.com

Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Blogging/This I Know For Sure...

Today I'm writing about what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving on Emma Lai's blog "Emma Lai Writes." Please stop by and check it out.  The link is http://emmalaiwrites.blogspot.com. 

This I know for sure...
Participating in NaNoWriMo sounds a lot easier in theory than it actually is.  I've been struggling to write more than 1,000 words within in the hour and a half I have available for writing time Monday through Friday so I guess the fact that I'm not officially participating is a good thing because I'm well behind in word count to come anywhere close to the goal of 50,000 words by the end of November.

Katherine

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I haven't had much time to read lately so I'm still reading the same things I was reading last week.

For pleasure I'm reading A Beautiful Cage by Alyson Reuben. 

For writing related stuff I'm reading Twitter For Dummies.

On a separate note, I'll be blogging on Emma Lai's blog "Emma Lai Writes" on Friday, 11/18/11.  The link is http://emmalaiwrites.blogspot.com. 

Katherine

Monday, November 14, 2011

The First Snow


As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m not a big fan of the winter season.  Here in upstate NY, it drags on much too long with the season beginning in mid-November and if we’re lucky, ending in mid-April though we have had snow as late as May in the past.  The area I live in gets an average of about 110 inches of snow each winter. 

Every October, I always say I’m moving south where it’s warm and has very little snow if any but I’m always still here every year.  I stay mainly because all of my family lives here and I can’t imagine not seeing them on a weekly, if not daily, basis.  It certainly isn’t because of the weather.  I hate the cold, the icy roads, the drivers who drive like speed demons despite the treacherous conditions, and of course, the snow itself.
 
Except for that very first snow of the season where it comes down in fat, fluffy flakes slowly making its way to the ground where it covers everything just enough to make the neighborhood look pristine and beautiful.  I love that first snow, watching it float lazily to the ground, going outside and hearing the silence of the snow fall.
 
I think I’d like the winter season and the snow a whole lot better if I could experience it from inside my home or on my front porch and not have to actually go out in it and risk life and limb to get to where I have to be on a daily basis.  Of course, I’d really like the winter season better if I could just convince my family members to move south with me.

Katherine

Friday, November 11, 2011

This I Know For Sure...


 I can never say thank you enough to everyone and anyone who has served or is serving in the military.


 Today, take a moment and remember our veterans and their families and all they have sacrificed. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

For pleasure I'm reading A Beautiful Cage by Alyson Reuben.  I'm not very far into it and I'm already loving it.  It's very well written.

For writing related stuff I'm reading Twitter For Dummies because I want to set up a Twitter account and actually know how to use it.  :o)

What are you reading?

Katherine

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Revise or To Not Revise


Some authors revise their manuscripts as they go along, others write flat out and then go back and revise after the story is completely written.  Just like everything else in writing, there’s no right way or wrong way to revise your manuscript.  There’s only the best way that works for you.
For me, I seem to alternate between the two depending on the story and how well it’s flowing and how much pre-thought I put into the plot, characters, etc.

Today’s blog post came about as I sat at my dining room table with a hard copy of my current work in progress.  I’m about 50 to 75 pages from completing the manuscript and yet I can’t seem to make myself finish it.  And I don’t know why.  I’ve been at this point for about two weeks now.  Usually, when I get within 100 pages of the end of a story, I can’t tear myself away from the computer.  I’m so driven to see how everything works out.  (Yes, I’m a pantser.)  Instead, I find myself working on another story I've been thinking about.

Thinking if I went through and worked on revising some scenes, I’d get my mojo back, I worked on a few chapters, adding notes in the margins, drawing lines through entire paragraphs that seemed to serve no purpose, adding more dialogue in some places, and taking it out in others.  Pretty soon, I was suffering from “revisionitis.”  This is a term I made up to describe the feeling I sometimes get when revising a manuscript.  Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in following the “rules” we’ve all been told when we first started writing that I feel like I’ve revised the life right out of the scene.  Other times I change a sentence or word only to change it again or back to what I’d originally written.  At this point, I usually stop, knowing I’m not going to accomplish anything productive.

How about you?  Do you revise as you go along or after you’ve completed the ms?

On a separate note - Tuesday, 11/8/11 I'm being interviewed at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews.  Please come check it out.  Here's the link: http://www.sizzlinghotbooks.net

Katherine

Friday, November 4, 2011

This I Know For Sure...

It's always easier to be pessimistic when things aren't going well in our lives.  It's hard to find the good in your situation when you're struggling in certain areas of your life.

As we get closer to the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm finding more and more things to be thankful for from having a job in these tough economic times to having a loving family around me to having the opportunity to pursue my dream of being a published author. 

Do you find yourself thinking of the things you're thankful for more often at this time of year?

Katherine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

Yesterday was the first day of National Novel Writing Month otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.  The object is try and write 50,000 words of a new novel within the 30 days of November.   The official link is http://www.nanowrimo.org

I've always wanted to try and see if I can do it.  If you break it down, it's only approximately 1,667 per day and I usually write 1,250 words 5 days a week but for some reason the thought of trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days scares me. 

I'm going to try and do it unofficially.  I'll be posting my daily page count on my Facebook page each week day. (Weekends are too hectic to try and do any writing.)  You can follow me here: My facebook page link

Are you officially or unofficially participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Katherine