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Vicki Crum–Author of Love, Laughter and Werewolves!!

August 2, 2020 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , ,

Vicki Crum 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, Once in a Blue Moon, Moonspell, and Blood Moon (Eternal Moon Series). 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.

Connect with Vicki at vickicrum@homail.com, or visit her at http://vickicrum.wix.com/author and www.facebook.com/vickicrum.author

We’re spending time today with contemporary and paranormal romance author Vicki Crum. Vicki’s third book in her paranormal romance Eternal Moon series has just been released.

Jann: Your Eternal Moon series is about werewolves. What drew you to this genre? 

Vicki: A few years ago, my friend and critique partner, Mandy Baker, urged me to try my hand at writing a paranormal romance. I had only written contemporary romances prior to that, and one contemporary romance with futuristic elements. I tried to think what I could write exploring the paranormal world that would hold my interest. I wasn’t really a “vampire” kind of girl, so I settled on a werewolf. I’ve always been fascinated by wolves, and so I figured, why not? I could still create characters that were sexy and mysterious, and they could be awake during the day and eat whatever they wanted!

Jann: You received great reviews for Once in a Blue Moon and Moonspell. For this series, did you start with plot idea, a character or a theme?

Vicki: Oddly enough, I had started a contemporary romance that wasn’t really going anywhere, so I revamped it into what would eventually become Once in a Blue Moon by making the hero a werewolf. Only Jake was meant to be a werewolf in the beginning. I didn’t even know his love interest, Casey, was a werewolf until Jake did! A rare breed of werewolf with a case of latent genes, even Casey doesn’t know about her true heritage until Jake comes along. I can tell you I had some fun with this one!

In Moonspell, I give Casey’s handsome older brother, Reed, his own love story. Due to their odd family genetics, Reed is not a werewolf, but Marin, the woman he ultimately falls for, is. Each book in the series is connected by siblings. In Blood Moon, Austin is Marin’s brother.

Jann: Blood Moon, book three made its debut recently. What can you tell us about your characters Austin and Kat and their journey?

Vicki: Of all the characters I’ve ever written, I think Kat and Austin are my favorites. They completely captured my imagination and took over my life for a while. I love the way they relate to each other, their good-natured sparring, the immense and uncharted chemistry between them that sweeps them along, almost against their will, on an ultra-passionate adventure. The story takes place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Austin serves as Kat’s outdoor adventure guide. Lots of beautiful scenery, wild animal encounters, and plenty of passion-filled nights. And did I mention Kat’s stalker ex-husband, who refuses to take no for an answer? A showdown at the end exposes Austin’s werewolf heritage in a sudden and violent way, causing Kat to reexamine her feelings for him, and what a future with him might look like.

Jann: What do you want the readers to take away from this series? 

Vicki: I want them to have fun, to be entertained above all, to be carried along on a fantasy, passion-filled adventure as the characters meet and fall desperately in love, then struggle with how, despite the odds against them, to forge a future together. 

Jann: Will there be a fourth book? If so, can you tell us a little about it? 

Vicki: The next book (as yet untitled) takes us to Nashville, and yet another sibling of Marin and Austin’s. Ethan Sawyer is a popular country music star who falls for an extremely independent woman, one whose father was a famous, and very troubled, rock star. Due to Skyler’s scarred past, getting involved with a musician is a non-starter for her. She is also half Shawnee, which according to her full-blood grandmother, makes any kind of union with a shapeshifter forbidden.

Jann: Your first book, Loving Luc, is a contemporary romance. Do you have any plans to write another contemporary romance?

Vicki: Loving Luc is a contemporary romance with futuristic elements, as Luc hails from a planet in another solar system that just happens to be very similar in size and scope to Earth. But yes, I’m thinking to finish my Eternal Moon series with Ethan and Skyler’s story, and then I have several straight contemporary ideas I’d like to work on. Also, my daughter has expressed an interest in us writing a book together, so we’ll see where that idea leads.

Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories?

Vicki: I would have to say the main theme in most of my books has been the tried and true “love conquers all”. I’ve paired lovers from two distant solar systems and given them their happy ending, and three of the Eternal Moon novels feature couples with incongruent genetic lines, human and werewolf. You can imagine what kinds of difficulties they might face trying to create a life together! I love the idea of discovering one’s soulmate in the most unlikely and unexpected places, wherever that may be.  

Jann: Are there any words of inspiration on your computer, in your office or in your mind when you write?

Vicki: Honestly, the quote that has always inspired me the most, and I’m sorry I can’t remember who said it, goes like this, “It makes me sad to think of all the truly talented writers who eventually gave up and went away.” When I’m feeling down and discouraged, this quote gives me heart. Never give up your dreams!

Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?

Vicki: You can find my website at: vickicrum.wix.com/author, and catch me on Facebook at Facebook.com/vickicrum.author

Congratulation Vicki on the debut of Blood Moon!! It’s been fun getting a peek into your world of werewolves here on A Slice of Orange.

Books by Vicki Crum


BLOOD MOON

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BLOOD MOON

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
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Chatting with Nikki Prince by Jann Ryan

September 2, 2019 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , ,

Today, I’m happy to be chatting with author, Nikki Prince. Nikki is a mother of two, who always had a dream to be a published author. Her passion lies in raising her children, gaming, reading and writing.  She has two Masters, one in English and the other in Creative Writing concentration in fiction.

Nikki’s a multi-published author with several publishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres but wants to let everyone know to not box her in because there is always room for growth.  Nikki believes that love should truly be color blind and for all.

Nikki’s a member of Romance Writers of America National, DARA, and several online chapters.

Author Links

Website 
Instagram
Facebook Page 
Facebook Group
Twitter

Bakersfield Romance Writers Links

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Instagram 
Twitter 
Website: coming soon


Jann Ryan: Since 2012, you have published seventeen books, earned a BA and MA in English and Creative Writing, active in several Romance Writers of America chapters, moved twice all while raising two wonderful children. Wow—how did you do it all?

Nikki Prince: It’s actually about 25 books and I earned another Masters in Literature during this time frame.  My two teens have been a great help as well as inspiration for me because I want them to know that anything is possible in their life as long as they go for it. 

I went back to school in 2014 and garnered the BA, and two MA’s in a 3-year span and have maintained a 3.9 GPA.  I’ve been wanting to write since I was 11 years old.  I finally made that dream a reality when I turned 43 and realized it is never too late to do what you’ve always wanted to do.  Writing and reading has been a passion for since I first found romance books at age 11.  Before finding my grandmother’s romances, and Johanna Lindsey on my father’s dresser I hated to read. 

Reading helped me in so many ways, you see I had a learning disability.  However, once I found romance books and started reading that all changed for me and the only inkling of a disability that I still have is in math which is another part of the brain.  Reading and writing saved my life in so many ways and knowing that I can bring joy to someone else from reading the worlds and characters that I build is so satisfyingly wonderful.  Another shining part in my writing and real life is belonging to RWA it is a wonderful community where writers of like minds can be together to nurture one another.

Jann Ryan: It’s Complicated debut in April of 2018. A reviewer declared it was a “steamy, intriguing romance.” Another said it was “friends with benefits until it goes sideways.” You have two great characters, Ashton Locke and Keiko Jarrett. For our readers who may not have found this incredible book tell us about it.

Nikki Prince: I’ve had this thought of creating a bunch of friends for who all intents and purposes are the best of girlfriends with great guy friends.  Three sets of friends and the desire to be together and yet there is something holding them back.  Ashton and Keiko’s love story has a few twists along the way to get to the HEA, because everyone deserves a happy ever after.

Jann Ryan: When can we read the next Nikki Prince novel?

Nikki Prince: The last story that I had come out is a short called Blurred Lines, and it came out June 2019.  I am working on edits for the second book in the Undeniable Series with  Áine Reid and Darian Tisdale in a story called “It’s Work” and following that the next story which is Emmerson Collins and Royce Hanson’s story called, “It’s Real.”  Beyond that I have a lot of stories still left in me to write.  Stories that may be paranormal, contemporary and love between the same gender, opposite gender, interracial mix or same racial mix as I believe everyone’s story should be told.

Jann Ryan: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?

Nikki Prince: Indeed, I have.  I know there are some that say that writer’s block is imaginary.  In some ways I think that is true because there is inspiration to write everywhere.  However, there are times when the brain doesn’t want to function and let you put out the stories as you have before.  Because let’s face it, life can be messy it is one of the reasons most of us read romance is because it lets us get out of our own heads, our own lives and for a moment in time live a life of beauty. 

How I get past it is I game (I play World of Warcraft have since 2006), I spend time with my children, Travel somewhere different , read something else and sometimes a nap will rejuvenate the mind and spirit.   When I moved to Dallas last year in 2018 it was hard to get a chance to write and for me that was a block, however if it is in you to write and to create it never goes away so here I am.

Jann Ryan: What are you doing now between writing and life?

Right now I am working on putting together a writing community here in Bakersfield, California.  I knew when I moved here that RWA wasn’t represented here and I want to change that.  So far I have about 7 other people within the group.  I hope to gain more so that I can apply for Bakersfield Romance Writers to be a full chapter of the Romance Writers of America.  I am also in grad school for a third Masters.  This is a Masters in Marketing and Social Media.  I’m taking my time with this MA as I already have two and there is no rush, besides I have plenty of stories within me that I want to share with the world.

Jann Ryan: What’s your writing day like?

My writing day really depends.  Between having two teens in High School, being in grad school and looking for a full-time job here in Bakersfield (I’ve only been here since June), I write wherever and whenever I can.  That has always been the way of it since 2012.  I love writing and creating so I will write at night, in the afternoon, and in the morning.  Whatever it takes to get the stories done, I’ll do it.  One of the ways to do that is I love to do National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo) every November so that I can just immerse myself in my stories for a whole month.


A Few Books by Nikki Prince

#Me Too

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#Me Too

IT’S COMPLICATED

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IT’S COMPLICATED

ON ANGLE’S WINGS

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ON ANGLE’S WINGS

PURE ADRENALINE

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PURE ADRENALINE

SWAGGER

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SWAGGER
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All You Can Read Buffet by Veronica Jorge

July 22, 2019 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , ,

I relish tasting cuisines from around the globe and trying similar foods prepared in different ways. A gourmet meal might be my dish of choice, but I never pass up a pizza, burger, or hot dog.  I reach for the fruit…and then the pretzel rods and strawberry twizzlers.

So why isn’t my reading menu as varied?

Writing a number of book reviews these past months made me realize how many flavors of life I have been missing.

While the human experience and its range of emotions are universal, the individual perspectives which explore and reveal our moments in time are vast and diverse.

Like my multi-ethnic mix that connects me to others in so many ways, reading a broad selection of works can connect me to others in the realm of ideas, and in the secret places of the heart.

The books I have been fortunate to read and review have given me a broader view of this wonderful and magical world we inhabit.

Thank You Dear Writers

So, thank you dear writers for jolting my brain to solve riddles, and for teaching me a new Jell-O recipe, (yum).  Thank you for making me feel indignant at every injustice. I vow to be an agent of change. Thank you for sparking more compassion in me, for making me cry and laugh; for helping me to see my neighbor with greater tenderness, and for reminding me to value my friends…even when they try to take over my life.

Mostly, thank you dear writers for trusting me with your precious words. I may have written reviews, but your words have filled my heart and enriched my life.

Now I need time to digest, reflect and internalize it all, so in the words of the 1960s song…

“See you in September when the summer’s through.”

(On the 22nd).

Veronica


Editor’s note: Read some of Veronica’s Book Reviews.


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Slow Burn an Interview with Aviva Vaughn

February 2, 2019 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , ,

Aviva Vaughn is the author of BECKONED—slow burn women’s fiction inspired by food, travel, and Jane Austen. A lifelong bibliophile, she enjoys a wide variety of genres from historical fiction to science fiction to non-fiction, and loves reading, and writing, hot—scientifically accurate—sex.

As a young adult, Aviva rejected the romance genre. “My mother had at least sixty of those old-school romances with the Fabio-esque covers. I didn’t like the way they depicted women or sex,” she says. However, after becoming a mother herself, she recognized the potential power of fiction as a force for female empowerment.

Her series—BECKONED—features strong, educated, diverse characters, with heroines who speak their mind and heroes who respect them for doing so. She writes so that her daughter will have inspirational, multicultural book characters to identify with, and a depiction of what a healthy relationship looks like both in the power dynamics and in the sex itself.

Aviva is not afraid to try new things, which has made for an interesting—although not always straight forward—life. Her favorite “two truths and a lie” line is: I have ridden bareback in the Navajo nation, I have jumped out of an airplane over New Zealand, and I have gone spelunking in Costa Rica. The answer appears at the end of BECKONED, Part 4: From Barcelona with Love ;^)

For a list of her favorite books, visit AvivaVaughn.com/about

Jann: Let’s welcome Aviva Vaughn to A Slice of Orange blog today to chat about her series BECKONED.

Jann: When did you start writing? Why romance?

Aviva: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write creatively. I’ve written songs, poetry, and fiction at least since I was thirteen, if not before. I’ve always been fascinated with books and words, and have been an avid reader my entire life. Although my writing covers a variety of genres, the first book I decided to publish was a romance, and the reason why was because it told me to. My slow-burn contemporary series, BECKONED, has been a very bossy master. It wouldn’t leave me alone … it beckoned to me. However, it makes sense that I would start with a romance, because my favorite stories are always the ones where the human relationships are the focus, and the challenges that come up are the all too real challenges of human interaction and miscommunication. I mean, I like plot too, but what makes stories pierce your heart is not plot, but the human relationships. What would Star Wars be without the angst of Darth the wayward father, or the war-torn love of Han and Leia? It’s the relationships that hold one captive, and the stories that focus on them are the ones that I return to again and again. Authors like Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and Margaret Mitchell, who create characters that just seem to keep missing each other over and over, those are the stories I love, but I wanted to give them a modern twist.

I often describe BECKONED as “a modern story told in an old-fashioned way.” By “modern story” I mean that it’s set in contemporary time, and the characters are diverse, and the heroines are strong. By “old-fashioned” I mean that the language and scene setting are very descriptive and literary feeling. My tagline for BECKONED is “slow burn, second-chance romance inspired by food, travel, and Jane Austen.” If your readers would like to read my series starter for free, they can sign-up for it at SmartURL.it/BeckonedLondonFree

Jann: Your series BECKONED–how, when, or where did your idea for the series come to be? Do you have a goal for the series?

Avivia: BECKONED was birthed by a couple of ideas. The first was that as a multicultural reader—I’m of Asian, Polynesian, Hispanic, and European descent and I was born and raised in Los Angeles—I was never able to find a character that looked like me, not even one. I wanted to create characters that my own mixed child could relate to and look up to. So I fashioned Angela: an aspiring entrepreneur putting herself through MBA school who just happens to be of a mixed background. The second idea was kind of inspired by one of the parameters Stephenie Meyer uses in TWILIGHT; in her books, vampires’ personalities are fixed when they become vampires, so her hero, Edward, has the values of someone from the early 1900’s. I liked the tension that it created having her modern heroine fall in love with a old-fashioned guy. I also wanted to have a hero who was the complete opposite of my fiery, multicultural Angeleno, and so I looked to Denmark which is a very homogeneous society and is famous for its gender equality and it felt perfect. So I created my hero, Soren Lund, who is a humble, polite real estate heir that has lived a life of boring privilege until he meets fiery Angela—who melts his heart—and realizes he doesn’t want to live without her.

Those twin inspirations, along with my love for food and travel, are what inspired the series. As far as my goal for the series, I want women to feel inspired and empowered by BECKONED. Many readers have said that they look up to Angela and I think that’s wonderful. I happen to know many women like Angela, so she’s not aspirational, she’s inspirational.

Jann: Beckoned Part 6 – Adrift in New Zealand makes its debut on May16th. What can you share with us about this new book?

Avivia: Hhhhmmmm … all I can say is that books 1-4 are kind of like “The Bachelor,” where there is a love triangle, and the man who doesn’t get the girl becomes the focus of Books 5 and 6. Readers have loved that I’ve been tying up the loose end of the guy who “lost”. Part 6 will be a very satisfying conclusion to this part of BECKONED.

Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?

Avivia: The best writing advice I’ve received can be summed up in four points

  1. Keep a writing calendar (I like the tiny business card size ones), and highlight every day you write and note the number of words. It motivates me to keep going! (Jerry Seinfeld does something similar for writing jokes.)
  2. Find your most productive time of day (for me that’s morning) and type without any sort of self editing (vomit onto the page).
  3. STOP writing before the end of the scene so that you have a place to pick up the next day (I heard this is what Hemingway did).
  4. Once you are done writing for the day, give your new words a quick edit for typos, etc. (I can’t remember who told me this, but it’s a good tip! Helps make later editing easier.)

My tip: I carry a Bluetooth keyboard so that I can “write on my phone.” This lets me write everywhere. I’ve had this $20 keyboard for four years and it’s still as responsive as ever and it weighs nothing. https://amzn.to/2TpmMli

Avivia: I’m working on a collection of steamy slow-burn stories as a way to introduce different couples to my readers and get their feedback on whom I should turn into my next full-length book. I’ll also have some previously unwritten scenes for Angela and Soren to introduce new readers to BECKONED. This collection might come out as early as March 2019, so stay tuned!

Jann: What’s the funniest (or sweetest or best or nicest) thing a fan ever said to you?

Avivia: I don’t think I can pick just one! Some of my favorite quotesfrom reviews are:

  • “I found myself stealing away to read this book”
  • “This book gives a new meaning to the word sizzling!”
  • “Read this is one sitting and left me wanting more”
  • “The series has been fascinating and captivating”
  • “Singed my eyebrows and melted my kindle”
  • “You can’t deny the connections of writing styles between Aviva Vaughn and Jane Austen”

Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?

Avivia: Choose your favorite way to follow me! I love interacting with readers. If you are in the Southern California area, I have a bunch of readings and signings coming up.

Jann: Thank you Avivia for chatting with us here on A Slice of Orange.


Aviva’s BECKONED Series


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TWO Interviews with Rebecca Forster

October 2, 2018 by in category Interviews tagged as , , ,

We’ve taken over Jann Ryan’s column this month, but don’t worry, she will be back in November.

 

Rebecca two | Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of Orange

TWO Interviews with Rebecca Forster

 

 

These two interviews first appeared on Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Rebecca has graciously updated them for inclusion on A Slice of Orange.

Rebecca Forster marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall, and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured.   Then she wrote her first book and found her passion.

Now, thirty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon best-selling author and writes full-time. Most recently, she released the Finn O’Brien crime thrillers – three books about a shunned cop and his single-mother partner who work the meanest streets of Los Angeles while the Witness series continues to enthrall readers and listeners. Hostile Witness, the first book in the popular series, was released by Tantor Publishing and was voiced by Anne Marie Lee who most recently narrated Gillian Flynn’s, Sharp Objects.

She is a popular speaker at writing conferences as well as women’s and business groups and has taught at the acclaimed UCLA Writers Program. She is married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and is the mother of two grown sons. Alex is a talent manager and producer, and Eric who has been living overseas researching a book. Rebecca spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.

Marianne: Did you grow up knowing you wanted to write? If not, when did you realize you were an author?

Rebecca: No, I didn’t even think about writing until I was in my thirties and then I only began because someone dared me to try. After going to college and graduate school, I worked in advertising. My client was married to an author I had never heard of–Danielle Steel! When I found out who she was, I made a comment to a colleague that “I could do that (write a novel).” My co-worker dared me to do it, and the rest is history. I had no idea I had it in me. However, I don’t think I really thought of myself as an author until my eighth or ninth book. I kept thinking each published book was a fluke. Then one day I realized how deep my commitment was to writing and how passionate I was about becoming the best writer I could be. That was the day I became an author. 

Marianne: You started writing contemporary romances and now write thrillers. How did that happen?

Rebecca: I look back on my romances and contemporary women’s fiction novels and realize almost every one of them dealt with a lawyer or some aspect of the law. I guess I thought writing about the law was really for men and especially men who were lawyers. I found my stride when I gave myself permission to write what I really loved.  Well, that and my editor at Kensington basically fired me from romance. He said, “You can’t keep killing everyone before they fall in love.” That was a good hint I should change genres. 

Marianne: You are not a lawyer, yet you write gripping legal fiction. What happened to the “write what you know” advice writers always seem to get?

Rebecca: The truth is I sort of ‘write what I know.’ My husband has had an amazing career, first as a federal prosecutor specializing in organized crime and terrorism, and then as a judge who handles high profile cases. Our circle of friends includes DEA agents, police, private eyes, court reporters, and lawyers of every ilk. Pretty much I’m a legal voyeur. I read the legal newspapers, watch the news. I love everything having to do with the law, but I never had a desire to actually become a lawyer. As much as I love the technical aspects of the law, I never forget a book is about characters. There is nothing more exciting than pitting a single person against a system. The justice system makes for great personal drama.

Marianne: How much research do you do for your books?

Rebecca: It really depends on the storyline. If it’s a courtroom drama, I do a lot of research including seeking help for appropriate cross-examination and how to explain a legal premise without it coming across like I’m presenting a research paper. Some of my books are more character driven and inspired by some aspect of the law but are not procedurals. When my characters don’t spend much time is spent in the courtroom, then the research is limited. My favorite research, though, was for Eyewitness. I researched the legal system in, of all places, Albania. My son was serving in the Peace Corps, and when we went to visit his village, I came away with an incredible story about the centuries-old system of cultural justice that I combined with our modern judicial system. I love that book.

Marianne: Tell us about your current book. Where can we buy your books?

Rebecca: I’m working on book number eight of The Witness Series and book number four of the Finn O’Brien Crime Thrillers. I actually hadn’t planned on writing Lost Witness but fans kept asking me “what happened to Billy?”  I thought they would enjoy using their imaginations to determine an end for that character. Now that I know they want to know how I would handle his ending, I’m hard at work figuring it out. I hope everyone is happy when they finally find out what happens to Billy. The next Finn O’Brien book is Intimate Relations.  Finn and his partner, Cori, are turning into a wonderful duo. Instead of writing about Los Angeles in general, I am setting the crimes in the pockets of Los Angeles many people don’t know about like Little Ethiopia. It’s very exciting. And, of course, the big news is Tantor producing all seven of the current Witness Series books for audio. I just heard the first one and it’s so exciting.

You can purchase digital, paperback and audio copies of my work on every online bookstore – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and so many others. You can also visit my website and find sample chapters, book club guidelines and, of course, link buttons.

Marianne: For over 25 years and 25 books, you were traditionally published. Why did you decide to launch your indie career?

Rebecca: One of the reasons was because of a book I wrote called Before Her Eyes. I truly wanted that book to have an audience. Good or bad, I just needed to put it out there.  The book was inspired by my dad and my father in law’s illnesses. They passed within three months of one another, and I was privileged to witness what did pass ‘before their eyes’ at the end of their life. For me, there was no question but that book needed to be published and that I was going to have to do it myself. At some point, I think all authors have a ‘book of their heart’ that pushes their creative envelope. This was mine.

Also, the publishing world was changing. Bookstores were disappearing, publishers were not buying as much as they used to. I really felt it was my time to either move forward or retire after twenty-five years in the business. That was three years ago. I am so happy I moved forward. The creative freedom, the ease with which I can engage with readers, the ability to price my books reasonably are all reasons why being indie has been so fabulous.

Marianne: What do you know now that you wished you’d know before you went indie?

Rebecca: I wish I had created a better work model earlier so that my writing time was not given up for marketing time. Writers truly need to understand that whether they publish traditionally or as an indie, this is a business and not all about creativity.

 Marianne: What advice would you give to emerging writers?

Rebecca: Develop your unique voice. The best compliment I ever had was when a reader said, “Even without a cover, I would know I was reading one of your books.” That’s what I think every author should strive for: defining and perfecting their voice. It takes a lot of trial and error, but when you ‘hear’ it, you’ll know.

 

~~~~~~~~Beginning second interview~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Marianne: What’s the best thing about being an author?

Rebecca:  Every experience, emotion, bit of knowledge, and dream I ever had or will have is relevant to what I do.

Marianne:  What’s your writing day like?

Rebecca:   I am up at 5:30, read the paper, clean at least one room in the house and then take my computer to Coffee Cartel and set up at my favorite table near the fake suit of armor. I’ve been going there for 17 years, almost every day. I write from about 8:00 a.m. To 2:00-3:00 p.m. I pack my lunch. In the evening I answer fan mail, emails, Twitter, Facebook and anything else that comes my way.

Marianne:  Do you listen to music when you write?

Rebecca:   I listen to talk radio and Pandora.com while I write. I have everything from Classic Baroque to Johnny Cash and show tunes on my playlist.

Marianne:  In your books, who is your favorite character and why?

Rebecca: Here are two. Hannah Sheraton, the sixteen-year-old ward of attorney Josie Bates in The Witness Series is one of my favorites. She is beautiful and flawed; a kid and yet incredibly wise because she has had to fend for herself for so long. She is fiercely loyal and holds hope deep in her heart. I’d like to be as brave and loyal as Hannah. The second is Tessa, the heroine in BEFORE HER EYES. She’s a woman who objectively looks at her life – full of hard knocks, mistakes, misunderstandings – and forgives herself. As death closes in, Tessa understands that she played the hand she was dealt as best she could. Now that Finn and Cori have come on the scene though, I’d have to include them. I suppose, bottom line, an author can’t pick a favorite any more than a mother can pick a favorite child.

Marianne:  You’ve written both romance and thrillers –very different genres. Why?

Rebecca:   At the beginning of my writing career, romance/women’s fiction had guidelines that gave me parameters.  I can’t thank the women’s fiction editors I worked with enough for their guidance. Because of them, I learned the craft and eventually found my true voice in thrillers. Really, though, it’s a matter of emphasis. Each of my romances had a thriller element, and each of the thrillers has a solid relationship.

Marianne:  What’s your all-time favorite book?

Rebecca: For an indie book I would pick Eternal L.A. by Eric Czuleger (yep, my son). I love the vision for the future in this collection of short stories but what I really admire is that they are each about compassion and love in a time when the world seems to be all about technology

Marianne:  What‘s on your To-Be-Read pile?

Rebecca:   Eric Larsen’s, THE GARDEN OF THE BEASTS (nonfiction), BRAINRUSH, another Indie fiction by Richard Bard. THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly. A zillion magazines for research and for fun. I could go on.

Marianne:  What’s your favorite song?

“Danny Boy.”  When Johnny Cash sings it, I cry. “Ring of Fire,” of course.  “Happy Birthday” because everyone smiles even though no one can sing it well.

Marianne:  What’s your favorite movie?

Rebecca:  These questions are hard! Prelude to a Kiss. Yep, a romantic comedy. Oh, and Beetlejuice. And Legally Blond.  And Zombie movies.  We see a lot of Zombie movies.

Marianne:  You tell the funniest stories, why don’t you write humor?

Rebecca:   I have a secret.  One day my mother asked me “Why don’t you write books without bodies”. So, for her 89th birthday, I wrote the Bailey Devlin trilogy about a young woman who is struggling to make her way in the world and just as all her hard work is going to pay off, someone appears on her doorstep that changes her life. The Day Bailey Devlin’s Horoscope Came True is the first book and it’s free. It’s a sweet, funny, charming trilogy. No sex, lots of love, some laugh-out-loud moments.

Marianne:  What’s the funniest (or sweetest or best or nicest) thing a fan ever said to you?

Rebecca:   That if John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline had a literary child, it would be me!

Marianne:  If you could be on a TV reality show which would it be.

Rebecca  Project Runway!

Marianne:  If you could travel back in time, who would you like to meet and why?

Rebecca:   A pioneer woman who walked beside a wagon across the desert in a long dress and high-topped boots, set down roots in the middle of nowhere, raised children without benefit of a ‘village.’ I would want to ask her if she was ever afraid, what did she love, who did she love.

Marianne:  If a spaceship landed in your backyard and the aliens on board offered to take you for a ride, would you go? Why or why not?

Rebecca: I’d go in a snap, but they would have to take my husband and boys, too. We all love adventure. Recently, I landed on an aircraft carrier via tail hook and spent two ‘Top Gun” days on the U.S.S. Nimitz. If I can do that, I’d certainly head off in a spaceship!

 

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