Jaclyn lives in the woods of Maine on a Mountain next to a lake. She shares her version of utopia with her husband, two sons, and furbabies! She’s a recovering English teacher who loves digging in the garden, but seems to kill everything she plants and cooks daily, but burns more dinners than she can count. Good thing she knows how to write!
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Funny you ask this! I never did until this year when a fellow author mentioned that she likes to form her writing year around one word to define her year. So, I decided that I would give this Word of the Year a try and this year it’s Create. To remind me that is my goal and what I am driven to do. Create stories. Create an engaging author platform to connect with readers. I want to share the worlds I am creating and the stories I weave from those worlds. I’m finding that this word is driving me to produce not only books, but also create ways to engage readers in my life and get them interested in my work. It’s also forced me to create a network with other authors so we can help each other and learn from one another.
Last night, I decided another word needs to be in my office and life too. UNPLUG. I’ve been so driven to create I can’t forget about the other things in my life that need attention too. So, I’ve started turning off my mobile and other electronics so I can create and maintain meaningful relationships where I am present and engaged.
I am finalizing edits on my debut – Dark Legends: Curse Breaker that will be released on March 15, 2020.
It’s a novella about the Goddess Isis who is reborn into this century in the body of Kalissandra Doe though Kali doesn’t know it yet. She must travel across the world to a remote Island and break a curse to free not only herself but also the man of her dreams.
Kalissandra Doe has a to-do list worthy of the reincarnated goddess she could be.
Break a curse, or die.
Raise a long-dead god, or die.
Reassemble the Osiris Stone…or die.
But when she comes face-to-face with the man, she has literally dreamed of all her life,
Kali realizes that much more than her life is at stake.
The other project I have in the works is called Charming.-
It will be featured in the limited edition Once Upon Another World: A Twisted Fairy Tale Box Set on October 6, 2020.
It’s a re-imagined take on some of your favorite fairy tales with some wicked twists. If you were a fan of Once Upon Another Time, you’re going to love this series. Charming is about a runaway princess who escapes a dark fate by being transformed into a boy. She hides as a servant in a brothel, where she has a chance meeting with a charming prince who persuades her to follow him on a quest. Will they escape the clutches of evil, break curses, and find their happily ever after?
When I was little the best thing in the world to me was a bookstore. I called them my mecca and being there was heavenly for me.
At 11 years old, I’d walk over two miles from my house just to go sit and read crossed legged in the aisles of the closest bookstore being transported to the many different worlds the author’s crafted. Every detail of that store is etched into my memory; including the way it smelled of freshly printed books and promises of adventure. I’d always buy a book or two with any money I saved up, but there were so many I wanted. I could, and probably, did spend hours choosing the right ones. I traveled the world and through time as a knight, a princess, evil queen and many more in that store.
When it closed, I was sad. There wasn’t another bookstore within walking distance. No longer could I stop in after school or spend almost every weekend with new books to enjoy. That is until I learned how to drive of course. 😉
That’s the best thing about being an author. The potential to one day to be that, do that, for a reader. Inspire them to walk distances and sit on a hard floor for hours reading the worlds I craft. With all the technology now, that looks different than when I was younger, but the sentiment is the same.
Yes, I listen to custom created playlists on Spotify. I have one’s I listen to for each work in progress and a general #amwriting playlist.
When I am distractible and need to concentrate I listen to Ambient Sound Mixer. I love their Scottish Thunderstorms channel and the Ravenclaw lounge. Fun fact – when I was writing Curse Breaker, I exclusively listened to a channel I made myself.
I love the sound of a Diesel Engine most specifically a Diesel Train.
I used to live on Long Island and commute by train 2 hours to Manhattan. I would wake up at 4am getting to work an hour early every day and leaving a half hour later just to take the Diesel train. The whole truth is that I couldn’t nap on the electric trains. Something about the rumble of the Diesel makes me sleepy to this day!!
My husband and kids on the beach. Sand, sun, fun and no electronics or responsibilities. Just hanging out, being present, and making memories with them.
Readers can pre-order both of Jaclyn’s books below. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, you can read two of Jaclyn’s stories for free. Kiss Me I’m Irish , is a flash fiction short story she wrote last year for Charmed Writers and is available here on A Slice of Orange. Another piece of flash fiction, Harvest of Memories, is available in Charmed Writers Presents Flash Fiction 2019. This collection of short stories will only be available for a short time, so down load your copy today.
Pick Six Author Interviews are occasional features on A Slice of Orange. We send a bunch of questions to the author who then picks just six of the questions to answer. This month we are featuring a Pick Six Author Interview with Celeste Barclay.
It was utterly surreal. I remember uploading it onto KDP and thinking, “okay, now I need to figure out what I’m doing.” I had a story to tell, and I did. It wasn’t until after I wrote and published it that I realized I needed to figure out how to market it and all that goes with it.
I celebrated by staring at my screen for a good long while in disbelief that it was done and really for sale! I hadn’t told a soul what I was doing (fear of failure and rejection is mighty powerful), so I celebrated when my author proof arrived. I took a pic and sent it to my best friend captioned, “So I did a thing.” I believe at least one glass of wine was involved too.
All of the above. For years, stories have pranced, or is it scampered, through my mind as I’m trying to fall asleep. Usually, it’s a scene somewhere in the story, not always the beginning, and that begins to give me an idea for characters and plot. From there theme and trope materialize. If my mind comes back to it for more than one night, I know I have a story to tell.
I would like to be a daily writer, but I’m not writing full time (yet), so it’s usually weekend warrior bursts or nighttime writing. I’ve churned out as much as 20,000 words in one day, but average between 5,000 and 10,000 on a good weekend day.
One where no one is asking anything of me! I prefer the beach even though I live near one. The Caribbean and Mediterranean are my favorites, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at Bali or Tahiti. I admit I’m still a sun worshiper, so time spent in the water is what I look forward to, or time in a lounge chair reading.
This one makes me laugh. Why would I keep a diary? All my innermost thoughts are shared with my readers through my stories! I write to escape reality as much as I write to offer others an escape, so stories have flashes of my fantasies or memories which are things many people fill their diaries with. Mine just happen to get published for the masses.
We hope you enjoyed this Pick Six Author Interview with Celeste Barclay.
Pick Six Author Interviews are occasional features on A Slice of Orange. We send a bunch of questions to the author who then picks just six of the questions to answer. This month we are featuring a Pick Six Author Interview with best selling and multi-published author Jennifer Lyon.
Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than twenty books and novellas, won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.
Is coffee a ritual? I like to write with a cup of coffee. I don’t have a lot of other rituals, but I do like to write at my desktop computer in my office. I also have a laptop that I can use when necessary. For me, when a book is going well, I can write anywhere.
I’m neither. I’ve found that word or page counts don’t work for me. I become artificially focused on the numbers, instead of the story. I’ve learned that the first 100 to 200 pages of my book will be painful, slow and awkward. If I can just get through it, no matter how long it takes, then the second half usually goes much faster. For me, my trick is to show up at the computer and try. Some days are good, and some days are not. But what counts is that I keep showing up, and somehow, I’ve managed to write 25 books that way.
I really want to write more Wing Slayer Hunter books (my paranormal series), and I want to tell the stories of the four other members of the Savaged Illusions band. Someday I’d love to try my hand at a really intense thriller too. I always have more books I want to write, it’s the time to do it all that’s in short supply.
I’m currently working on SAVAGED DEVOTION, the final book in the Savaged Illusions Trilogy. Justice and Liza finally get their happily ever after in this book! Writing this trilogy has been an epic rollercoaster ride for me, and I hope readers will love it as much as I do. It’s a rock star romance about the price of fame vs the power of love. SAVAGED DREAMS is book one, SAVAGED VOWS is book 2, and SAVAGED DEVOTION is book three.
I get to live realities I never would in real life. I’ve solved murders when I was writing mysteries, been a witch, fought demons and made an ancient dragon fall in love with me in my paranormal series, and now I’m living the life of a rock star, and he’s falling in love with me too, LOL!
Being an author is a journey into a new and exciting world with every book I write, and ever better, I get to meet incredible characters who overcome huge obstacles to win against evil and find real love. The down side is that coming up with ideas is easy, but writing them into a compelling and emotional book is hard work that keeps me awake nights worrying and trying to find the best way to tell the story. Deadlines are brutal, and juggling writing and promotion is exhausting. But as hard as it is, I loved it and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Usually the only time I listen to music while writing is to get amped up for a fight scene. Hard rock helps me get into that adrenaline fueled state I need to write the action scene. Otherwise, I like quiet. When the writing is going well, I “hear” the voices of the characters in my head. If it’s going really well, then I can’t type fast enough to keep up. When it’s not going well, I resort to wine over music 😊
On the flip side, I sometimes bake to stir my creativity, and then I have music going full blast in my kitchen. Music has a way of bringing out our emotional truths, and that in turn, helps me get to my character’s emotional truths, which many times will solve my writer’s block.
No, first off I don’t know if they have coffee. I mean…shudder. And secondly, I’d miss my family too much. However, if they had French bulldog puppies, they could probably lure me into their spacecraft.
Thank you, Jen for taking time to answer our questions. We think you should get that French bulldog puppy for answering a bonus question.
Pick Six Author Interviews are occasional features on A Slice of Orange. We send a bunch of questions to the author who then picks just six of the questions to answer. This month we are featuring a Pick Six Author Interview with debut author Jenna Barwin.
Jenna Barwin is an author of the Hill Vampire Novels, which blend mystery, wine, and romantic spice into a heady combination. She has degrees in sound engineering, theology, the law, and if a degree was offered, she’d have one in the school of love. She believes in changing careers frequently enough to keep life interesting. She has worked as a circus magician, news video editor, and public law attorney (but not all at the same time). She brings those varied experiences to her writing. When not writing, she enjoys both land and underwater nature photography and is known to occasionally attend a Victorian dance in full regalia right down to pantaloons and a hoop skirt.
Dark Wine at Midnight, the first book in her first urban fantasy Hill Vampire series, was released on April 25, 2017. It’s equal parts mystery, political intrigue, and romance. She’s currently working with an editor on the next book in her series, Dark Wine at Sunrise. You can sign up for Jenna’s newsletter at https://jennabarwin.com/jenna-barwins-newsletter/ or find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The best? Getting paid to fantasize! I love escaping into the fantasy and watching the story unfold. But I also love connecting with readers, learning about them, and why they read. So making connections with readers is also at the top of my list.
I just finished writing Dark Wine at Midnight, and you can read it right now. It’s an urban fantasy romance, and combines mystery and political intrigue with a love story. It’s book 1 in a series, and is set in an exclusive winemaking community of vampires. Here’s the elevator pitch: A research scientist is forced by her people to spy on the vampires she’s trying to help. One of those vampires is an expert winemaker with eyes the color of dark bourbon—and just as intoxicating—who’s hiding his own deep secrets. To succeed, she must convince him to trust her, despite the dark secrets each carries, and the mutual attraction they can’t resist.
I’m currently working on book 2 in the Hill Vampire series, Dark Wine at Sunrise, and it’s due out in late 2017 or early 2018.
Enrique “Henry” Bautista Vasquez is my favorite character. I enjoy writing him. He’s the first character I created in the Hill Vampire series, and I just loved the process of discovery—peeling back the layers to find out who he is. He’s originally from Mexico. He came to California in the early 1800s, where he was turned vampire, and founded the fictional town of Sierra Escondida. So he has a deep backstory, entwined with California’s history, and I like weaving the two together. He’s also an expert winemaker, with dark brown eyes and long black hair, but he’s a bit moody. Because of a dark secret he carries, he’s been unsuccessful at relationships. He’s also very protective of the town he founded. So when Dr. Cerissa Patel arrives in town, he’s suspicious of her, but also attracted to her, and his suspicion is fighting with the feelings she’s stirred up in him.
Absolutely, I’d go. I grew up watching Star Trek, and always wanted to go where no one had gone before, but with one exception. If the aliens had really long, scary-looking, meat-eating teeth, I might reconsider. I don’t want to be the next item on the dinner menu. But then again, if they wanted me as dinner, or for a science experiment, I doubt they’d offer. They’d just snatch me up. So offering a ride puts them in the “likely to be friendly” category.
Dark Wine at Midnight is available right now in Kindle Unlimited, and in ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.
To save humanity, a reluctant spy must convince a handsome vampire to trust her, despite the dark secrets each carries, and the mutual attraction they can’t resist.More info →
I love to connect with readers. To get all the latest scoop, they can sign up for my newsletter at: https://jennabarwin.com/jenna-barwins-newsletter/ Or find me and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
And if you want to see some of the visual inspirations for Henry’s home and Sierra Escondida, I’m on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/jennabarwin/).
Pick Six Author Interviews are occasional features on A Slice of Orange. We send a bunch of questions to the author who then picks just six of the questions to answer. This month we are featuring a Pick Six Author Interview with Vicki Crum.
Vicki writes contemporary and paranormal romance, creating tales full of love and laughter and discovering one’s soul mate in the most unlikely places. Her published works include Loving Luc, a contemporary romance with futuristic elements, and the first two books in her sexy, light-hearted werewolf series, Once in a Blue Moon and Moonspell.
Vicki resides with her husband in a charming seaside community in Southern California. She has two grown daughters and two adorable grandchildren who light up her world. She loves interacting with readers. Connect with her at email@example.com, or visit her at http://vickicrum.wix.com/author and www.facebook.com/vickicrum.author
One: What kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?
I try to write for at least a couple of hours a day, especially on the weekdays, more if I can. It just depends on what’s going on. For instance, I have two young grandchildren, and if I get the opportunity to spend time with them for whatever reason, I pretty much drop everything and go for it! Sadly, I am too-easily distracted these days. A sale at Macy’s, lunch with a friend (or occasionally even my husband!) and I’ll take off and go. I like to be active, so keeping my butt in the chair can be an effort sometimes. Writing is the most fun and the most productive when I am in the middle of a particularly fun chapter or scene, and I’m really emotionally invested in the outcome. Those are my favorite writing times.
Two: How do you stay motivated? What keeps you writing?
Believe me, I’ve thought of quitting, more than once. Just before I found my current publisher in early 2014, I was seriously thinking about giving up on my writing aspirations. I’d been at it for a long time and had suffered my share of rejections over the years. My world had been expanded in the most joyous way by becoming a grandparent, and my priorities were realigning themselves in a lot of ways. Still, writing had become such a part of who I am that I couldn’t seem to give it up entirely. Sooner or later I’d end up right back at the computer with another new or intriguing idea for a story, or an interesting character rattling around in my brain. And I have to say that having a dedicated group of writer friends that I can engage with regularly is great for keeping me dialed in and moving forward. It’s fun to celebrate their various successes, and that helps keep me inspired.
Three: What are you working on now? Can you tell us about your next project?
I’m writing the third book in my “Moon” series. This is the first series I’ve ever written and also my first foray into paranormal romance. It’s been lots of fun. The first book in the series, Once in a Blue Moon, is a sexy romp about a werewolf who doesn’t know she’s a werewolf due to a stubborn case of latent genes. It takes the hero, a seriously hot, motorcycle-riding alpha hunk, to introduce the heroine to her true nature. The second book, Moonspell, was released in January, and I’m just getting underway with the third one, tentatively titled, Moonrise. Both Moonrise and Moonspell have the hero, or the male protagonist, as the dominant character in the book. The books are related through what I hope are a fun and endearing cast of characters. I like a little humor in my stories, and I’m trying to keep that sexy, light-hearted theme going as I write this series of books.
Four: What’s on your To-Be-Read-Pile?
My TBR pile, like so many other writers I know, is quite high. I’m currently reading two books, when I can find the time, Legend of Love (The Muse Chronicles) by Lisa Kessler and Rules of the Game by Lori Wilde. Next on my list is Kat Martin’s Into the Fury, Nora Roberts’ Tears of the Moon, and Frostline by Linda Howard and Linda Jones. There are so many books that I’m dying to read, but it may take me a bit of time to work my way through them since I very seldom allow myself the opportunity to curl up in the sun with a good book. I had a lot more time to do that before I started writing!
Five: In your books, who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character of all the ones I’ve written is from my book, Loving Luc, published in 2014. Luc is the epitome of what I think a romantic hero should be. He’s strong and handsome, with plenty of those alpha-hero protective genes I love so much, but he is also thoughtful and gentle and caring. Did I mention brave and highly intelligent? Luc is one of a kind as far as my romantic heroes goes because he is not of this world. Luc is from a planet in a solar system far distant from Earth. He comes from a world, a race of people, so similar to ours that he can blend in here on Earth almost seamlessly—with a few minor adjustments, of course. His very existence is fated to be intertwined with that of my heroine, Maggie, in every way possible…spiritually, emotionally, and physically. They are, essentially, pioneers on the cusp of a brave new world, and it was so much fun creating them!
Six: If a spaceship landed in your backyard and the aliens on board offered to take you for a ride, would you go?
Absolutely! As long as I didn’t believe they posed a serious threat to my life. I’ve always loved astronomy, especially the study of the moon and stars. It’s fascinating to imagine what other life forms and worlds might exist in the universe. It’s a huge assumption to think we are all alone in the heavens. I refer back to my previous answer about my hero, Luc, who comes from a planet and life form that is parallel to ours on Earth in so many ways. I think it’s a very romantic notion to think of falling for a brave and daring, handsome and sexy alien who happens to be madly in love with you!
Thank you to Vicki for answering six questions for A Slice of Orange.
If you would like to read one or all of Vicki’s books, they are available in the Book Store.
If you would like to be featured in a Pick Six Author Interview, please send us your information through the Contact Form.
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