Tag Archives: Interview

The Little Blue Lady from Mars – Day After

Free_Fridays!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Yawn.

[Stretch]

Jennifer13There you are.

Where have you been?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Sleeping.

I’m tired.

Jennifer13Tired?

From what?

.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Do you have to ask?

Planning to take over the world, of course!

What have you been doing?

Jennifer13I started my new book, Optimal Red.

Oh, and I signed a contract

for Paper Wishes.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You need to get out more.

I mean, seriously,

you need a hobby.

Jennifer13Like what?

Taking over the world?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Yes!!!!! That’s the best hobby ever! 

And then we can have tea and crumpets and make totalitarian plans!

Jennifer13Umm,

How about we just do an interview first.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Piff. You are just not fun.

But I guess I have no choice.  Who’s here today?

Jennifer13Emi Gayle.

You’re gonna be nice, right?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387What’s that supposed to mean?

I’m always nice.

Jennifer13Umm—

Yeah whatever.

Hello Emi!

Hello!

Do you know there is a little blue lady on your table?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Who are you calling little?

How dare you waltz your tallness in here and…

Jennifer13So, Emi,

I hear you have a new book out this week.

What’s it called?

Yes I do!

It’s called Day After and it came out just this Monday.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Piff! 

I bet it’s a tall book about tall people who…

Jennifer13So, Emi, I know this is book two of a series.  How hard is it to know that you’ve gotten it just right, and book two is good enough to follow book one?

An author never thinks her book is good enough, but sometimes, it’s time to let go and let the public have the story. I love the story, I love Mac and Winn, so now it’s time to share what’s been in my head.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Lame Response! Sounds like one of those lovey-dovey books.

Why would anyone want to read it?

Because it has a hot guy on the cover. Or a nerdy one.

Either way, *I* think he’s hot.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, I’ll give you kudos that he at least has a head.

I hate novels with headless men.

What?

.

Jennifer13Don’t ask.

.

.

Okay…

.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387I’ll be deciding if it is okay or mot MISSY.

Does anything explode?

Only my head when someone compliments my book.

.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387[turns to Jennifer]

She has an exploding-reappearing head?

.

CJennifer13ould be.  You never know.

I have an alien on my table doing author interviews.

You never know what the stink is going to happen on this blog.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Hmm. 

Okay Missy too-tall with an exploding head.

Tell me what this book is about.

I’m going to give you the blurb because honestly, it’s the best way to describe Winn’s side of things …

Demon crypts. Vampire lairs. Glowing angels. Sexy sirens. The stuff of fiction.

Or so Winn Thomas always thought. Since being accepted into the fold of the supernatural, he knows better. None of what he imagined is true, but everything he feared is, and binding himself to his Changeling girlfriend until her nineteenth birthday will give him an education far beyond what he’d get at his human high school.

Luckily, Winn’s not giving up, he won’t back down, and he definitely isn’t going to run away with his tail between his legs. After all, only werewolves have tails. Right? In this, the second of the 19th Year trilogy, Winn’s facing the challenge of one lifetime. If he doesn’t learn the truth about mythological creatures, his girlfriend Mac Thorne won’t either. That means, in six months, when she chooses her final form, she won’t know what to pick. Winn, though, has his own ideas about Mac’s final selection—plans she knows nothing of. He intends to have her pick human.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Hmmmm.

.

Well?

What do you think?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387I think I’m angry,

Because I actually want to read this.

You do?

Yesssssss!

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Miss Too Tall and Exploding. 

Let’s be real.  Has your head actually ever exploded?

Well, no

But…

PKO_Alien 3 0003387I thought Not.

Have you even ever tried to explode anything?

No.

That sounds dangerous, I…

PKO_Alien 1 0003414Silence,

Too Tall!

Have you ever tried to take over the world?

Did she just get bigger?

.

Jennifer13Yes. 

Answer quick!

She’s getting mad!

Umm… ummmm… Yes! I have already taken over the world. Don’t you know that?

This is actually my interview and you’re just my pawn.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Whaaat?

.

Ha!

Gotcha!

.

Alien PKO_0003428Gotcha? 

Gotcha?

I’ll show you Miss Smarty Pants!

Wait a minute.

Is that a ray gun?

.

Jennifer13Emi quick! 

Get under the table!

PKO_Alien 2 0003417ZAAAAAAAAAAAAP

Ha Ha! No more Too Tall Lady’s book!

[Dances away merrily]

My Book!

She blew up my book!

.

Jennifer13Errr, yeah, that happens sometimes.

Did you remember to bring an extra?

I didn’t know I was supposed to bring an extra.

[Picks particles of half-disintegrated paper from her hair]

.

Jennifer13That stinks, because Day After sounds awesome.

I’d love to read it.

Shoot I wanted to give away a copy!

Well, there is still a Raffle Copter.

.

Jennifer13Oh great!  Can I sign up to win a copy there?

[brushes some book dust off Emi’s shoulder]

Sure.

Here is the link.

.

Jennifer13Great!  Here you go everyone.  To sign up to win a free copy of Day After by Emi Gayle, click on over to Rafflecopter to win

She’s… errr,

not coming back,

is she?

Jennifer13Luckily, not for a few more weeks.

We’re safe for now.

Since I don’t have a copy to give away here,

You guys can also leave a comment on my website for a chance to win.

Jennifer13Awesome! 

Thanks for coming, and I’m sorry about your book.

[picks up remains of charred cover]

It’s been an interesting experience.

.

If you’d like to learn more about Emi Gayle and her books, click on over to http://www.emigayle.com

Alien Zig ZagAlien Zig Zag*The Little Blue Lady from Mars Copyright Jennifer M. Eaton

#free #ebook copy of Torn by Keri Neal and a handmade Crochet eReader cover

Free_Fridays!

Yay!  It’s Freebee Fridays time!

First of all, Congrats to last week’s winner:

You’ve received a free copy of “A Heart Broken” by Sara Barnard.

If you’d like to find out more about Sara Barnard and her books, hop on over to www.sarabarnardbooks.com

.

Alien Zig Zag

Alien SmileYee Haw! I had fun last week.

Great. 

Hey, where have you been?

Alien SmileTexas!  I was out with Sara Barnard explod’, stuff.

Oh, umm, that’s nice. 

I’m glad you made a friend.

Alien SmileSo what’s on tap for this week?

Kerri Neal is waiting outside. 

Are you ready?

Alien SmileOf course!

What kind of host are you, making her wait?

One who likes to make sure her Little Blue Lady is in a good mood first before subjecting visitors to her.

Alien SmileWhat?

Nothing.

.

Alien SmileHmmm. Well, okay.

Ms. Neal?  So nice to meet you. I am the Little Blue Lay From Mars.

How are you today?

Oh, ah, good. 

Is this where I talk about my book Torn?

Alien SmileYes oh yes!  I love to talk about books, but only if they are worth reading.  So let’s cut to it.  Why would someone want to read a torn book?  Isn’t that a little hard?

Huh?

Oh, not… the book isn’t torn. 

The title is Torn.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, if the title is torn, how will anyone know what it’s called?

.

No, it’s umm…

.

.

You know what, ladies… next question.  Let’s just leave it at that, okay? What makes your novel great, Kerri?

It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s a nail biter.

What more could you want?

 

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Sexy?  Is it human sexy or Martian sexy?  I really don’t get into all the half-headed men on this planet.

I think everyone is Kerr’s book has whole heads.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Are you sure?

Pretty sure. 

Go ahead, move on.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, if there are no sexy Martians, why would anyone want to read it?

.

Did I mention it’s fun, sexy and a nail biter? 

Well, ok then. It’s also a love story. And there is some violence for you adrenaline junkies.

Alien SmileOh!

What kind of violence?

Does anything explode?

Why, yes. Yes something does explode.

Your heart! There’s also an actual explosion, but I don’t want to give anything away.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Jennifer, she’s talking about exploding hearts.  Is this a horror book, because that sounds really messy.

I don’t think that’s what she meant.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Are you sure?

Keep going see what she says.

.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Okay, so, what exactly is it about?

.

After Agent Shane Baxter’s last mission failed both professionally and personally, he fled the States and changed his name. When Dixie Peterson re-enters his life, he has a second chance to make things right. Dixie is determined to find out the truth about Shane’s departure from her life two years ago, but someone else from her past is seeking revenge. Shane and Dixie are forced to confront the past, while their future is still unclear.

Alien Huh CloseThat doesn’t sound like anything explodes.  Hey, is this a squishy Romance novel?

 

It’s a nail-biter! 

It’s exciting.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387She doesn’t sound very convincing.  I have a bad feeling about this one. How do I know she can be trusted?

Ask her some trust-worthy questions.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Okay, Ms Neal:  Would you like to take over the world?

Um…YES! Disney World! 

Cuz I’ve never been there and it sounds awesome!

Is that too many exclamation points?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Disney world?  What the heck are you supposed to do with Mickey Mouse and a bunch of dancing animals?

But I like dancing animals.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Erghhhh.  Are you making fun of me?  I don’t like it when people make fun of me.  Last chance, Neal:  If you could explode just one thing, what would it be?

Ok, what’s your fascination with exploding?

I wish I could blow up a watermelon.

Seriously, I only blown up things in my head.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Ugh!  She’s done.  Exploding watermelons and dancing fruit.  I have nothing in common with this woman!  Where’s my ray gun! Once I get rid of her, let’s go out and get something to eat.

Wait!  Ummmm… Kerri, quick, she’s hungry describe your favorite dessert. 

See if you can distract her!

Well, I love white chocolate lemon cheesecake. Let that soak into your brain for a minute. The buttery white chocolate, the tangy lemon, the melt-in-your-mouth creamy cheese. Then when it’s all gone you have those little ooey-gooey graham cracker crumbs that stick to the plate and the fork. That’ll satisfy your sweet tooth.

Alien PKO_0003428Ooooo.  You would have had me if you didn’t include lemon!  I tried lemon a few weeks ago.

What is it with you authors and lemons!  Disgusting!  Prepare for your demise!

Wait! Stop… just blow up her book… don’t blow up her!  Quick, Kerri, do you have a bribe?

How about a hand-crochet cover for her e-reader?

  I’ll make it myself! 

A pretty blue to match her hair!

Alien Smile Close[[Sniff]]

You’d make me something?

Sure.  You look like a nice little blue alien… when you’re not painting that ray gun at me, that is. 

You can even use it as a comfy bed. 

It would fit you perfectly.

Alien Smile CloseSniff.

[Powers down ray-gun] Okay.

I’ll pretend you didn’t say anything about lemons.

Awesomesauce!  And how about we give away a handmade crochet eReader cover to a guest today with a copy of your ebook of Torn?

Sure. 

They can even pick the color. 

As long as it’s not gray.  I don’t do gray.

There you have it!  Comment below for a free copy of Torn by Kerri Neal, and a bonus custom handmade crochet eReader cover.  How about them apples?

Thanks for coming Kerri!

If you’d like to find out more about Kerri Neal check out her blog kerineal.com/author or check her out on Twitter twitter.com/@authorkerineal or Facebook facebook.com/authorkerineal
JenniFer_EatonF

The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.

#FreeFridays Giveaway! #Win a #free copy of “HUSH, LITTLE BABY” Everyone loves #freestuff and #freebooks!

Yay!  It’s Free Friday!

First of all, congratulations to last week’s winner. Celestine Nudana chose my anthology “For the Love of Christmas” as her title.

Enjoy, Celestine!

Free_Fridays!

Now this week, we are happy to have….

PKO_Alien 1 0003414

Me!

Jennifer13Umm, no.  Actually we have Deborah M. Piccurelli here today.  She’s an author.

No!  You will interview me!

Jennifer13No no no!  Not this time.  You don’t have a book to give away.

Alien Huh Close

Huh?  Since when do you need to give away abook to get on here?

Jennifer13It’s new.  This is Freebee Friday.  I’ll interview someone, and then give away their book.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387

For nothing?

Yeah.  Pretty much.

Well, what fun is that?

It’s great fun, if you win.

Alien PKO_0003410

Hmmm.  Can I interview her?  I’ll be good.  I promise.

I don’t know.

Pleaaaeeeeeese

Jennifer13Ergh.  Okay, but BE NICE.

This is a very nice author with a nice, wholesome book.  Pretend to be a good girl. Okay?

.

Alien SmileYay! Okay, here is my very first interview!

Cheer me on, Earthlings!

.

Alien Zig ZagAlien Zig ZagAlien Zig Zag

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So, who are you and what do you want?

Like Jennifer said, my name is Deborah M. Piccurelli and I am an author who writes about controversial issues. My goal is to help stop heinous acts performed by evil people. I plan to give a portion of the proceeds from every book published from here on out, to a charity that works against them. It is one way for me to contribute to Kingdom work.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Why do you think your book is good enough to talk about with someone as great as me?

Because it’s for a worthy cause, and I put my whole heart and soul into it.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh!  I know about putting heart and soul into things… Like taking over the world!  Is this about taking over the world?

No. Sorry.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387No? Then why would anyone want to read it?

It has unique characters, a unique story, and it contains humor, romance, and suspense.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, I guess those things can be fun, too.

So, entice me.  What’s it about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Investigative journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Wow.  That sounds really really deep!  Are you sure she doesn’t blow him up at the end?  Because that would be a great ending.

No.  Sorry, no explosions.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Are you sure?  Would you consider writing one in?

No.

.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Come on!  I have to get at least one explosion story out of you.  Have you ever fantasized about exploding things?

Not really. 

Am I boring?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Do you really want me to answer that?

.

Jennifer13Hey!  You said you would be nice!!!!!

Not everyone wants to explode things!  This sounds like a great, really tense story!  What an interesting and kinda Creepy premise.

Thank you, Jennifer.

.

Jennifer13Okay, Deborah, let’s give her a taste of your writing.  That should win her over. 

Oh!  I know! Describe your favorite dessert to her.

Right now, I’m thinking of Olive Garden’s Lemon Cake. The lemon custard filling is smooth and silky on my tongue, almost melting away as it passes through the mouth and down the throat. The taste is simultaneously slightly tart/slightly sweet. The delicate layer cake that sandwich’s the filling is light and airy. It, too, seems to melt on the tongue, and the discreet vanilla flavor comes together with the fine sugar powder that’s sprinkled over top of the cake to create a quick burst of sweetness before it’s swallowed, and then it’s gone . . . until you fork up the next morsel.

Alien Huh PKO_0003376Okay okay!  You win!  Is there an Olive Garden I haven’t exploded yet?

Yes!  Here it is!

Now, how does one use one of these map things…

Jennifer13Okay, Deborah, quick, while she’s distracted, what are you giving away this week?

.

I must say this has been a truly DIFFERENT experience.  I’m giving away a copy of my book, Hush, Little Baby or if the winner prefers, a .pdf version.

Jennifer13Awesomesauce!  Thanks for stopping by, and I’m really sorry for the Little Blue Lady.

Okay guys, comment below for a chance to win Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli in your choice of paperback or PDF.  If you want to know more about Deborah, Check out her web site here.

Don’t forget to comment!  A random winner will be chosen on Monday.

Good_Luck!

JenniFer_EatonF

Yay! My First Character Interview! Jump into the head of Emily in Last Winter Red.

Are ya looking for Romancing Your E-Reader? 25 Ebooks Up for grabs! Click Here to Enter!

ChristmasFiligree

Oh My Gosh! I am so excited for today’s post because I’m not being interviewed today… my character Emily from Last Winter Red is being interviewed by Susan Rocan. I’ve never done this before, and I am so excited to sit down and get into her head, and answer questions from someone living in this century.

This was such a hoot! I really hope you enjoy it. Please hop on over and step into the mind of a woman who lives in my Dystopian world of Last Winter Red from the Make Believe Anthology.

Oh! And if you’d like to see Susan’s Review of Last Winter Red, you can check it out Here. Two for the price of one! Yay!

Enjoy!

ChristmasFiligree

Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

ChristmasFiligree

Hop on over and send me some love!

Click on over to see Emily’s interview on Mywithershins

ChristmasFiligree

Visit my Anthology buddies! They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Janelle Lee

Dani-Lyn Alexander

JenniFer_EatonF

How’d I get in trouble when I was a kid? Do ya like bugs?

We’re just burning up the pavement… err… internet on this blog tour!  Today I’m hanging with Terri Rochenski at Scribbler’s Sojourn with a big interview about bugs, exercise, auto-biographies, and bad habits.

ChristmasFiligree

For The Love Of Christmas CoverMake BelieveWhy?  Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles!  Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too.  So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

ChristmasFiligree

Click on over to find out more than anyone should know about me

***smacks herself in the head***

Why did I answer that one about my nails?

Teleport me to Scribbler’s Sojourn

JenniFer_EatonF

A Devilish Combination – working the tour buddy style

What’s it really like getting your stuff out there for the first time?   Was the experience different for me than others?  What’s the promotion been like?  Who’s sweeter, me or J.K. Ford?

All these questions and more are featured on Julie Catherine’s blog today in a combination interview with myself and Jenny Keller Ford.

Please hit a like below so I know you were here, and hop on over to Julie Catherine’s so Jenny and I don’t get lonely.

Oh Yeah!   During the blog tour through the month of December, I will be giving away ebook copies of the Make Believe anthology to random commenters both here, and commenters along the road.

The more you comment, the more chances you have to win.

http://juliecatherinevigna.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/muse-sings-december-2012-special-feature-giveaway/

See Ya there!

ChristmasFiligree

Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

ChristmasFiligree

Hop on over and send me some love!

ChristmasFiligree

Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Road to Publication #21: Completing your first interview

Okay, to be honest, I am writing this up after completing many interviews.  The questions just keep flooding in.  Such wackiness, I swear!

If you were on a train in Alabama, and the lights went out and the sky turned green, what would you do?

Seriously?  You really want me to answer that question?

Okay, I made that up, but some of the questions are like this.  A lot of the questions are very much the same though, and it’s hard to keep them sounding “Fresh”

While I was filling out a set of questions last night, my son (The Monomanical Middle Grade Reviewer) Leaned over my shoulder and told me I was boring.

I read it over, and decided he was right.  I thought about some of the interviews that I’ve done here, and laughed at myself.  Boring interviews are the reason that the Little Blue Lady from Mars was created… to add a little spice and fun into it.

He pointed out the last question, and told me I didn’t even really answer it.  I looked it over.  Yep, he was right.  I danced around it.

“Okay,” I said.  “I’ll answer it.”

With a big smile on my face, I answered the question… I answered it with him in mind… Using all the magical powers of a science fiction author.

Within a few keystrokes, my son was chuckling.  I was too… and I found that this time, I really DID answer the question.  And it was funny.  More “me”.

“You are just too cool, Mom,” the MMGR said.

You know what?  I AM COOL Dernit!

Why hadn’t I done all of my interviews like that?  It made me want to go back and re-do all of the interviews I’d already done.  Unfortunately, I’d sent them all out already.

Lessons Learned.

For you guys… when you do your interviews, don’t get all “tight” and “boring”.  Remember your “voice”… remember who you are.  You only have about 250-500 words to get someone who has never heard of you to like you.

Use those words wisely.  Have fun and be yourself.

What do you like/hate about guest posts and author interviews?

Work in Progress Challenge. Yup, I’m actually gonna do this one. Why?

Oh, goodie.  I’ve been tagged.  – If you didn’t catch that – there was an intentional little snark there.  Part of me grins with glee when people think of me.  Honestly, I usually thank the person, and move on. [She hangs her head in shame] because there are just not enough hours is a day to do EVERYTHING I need to do.  Nor are there enough days in a week to post all the stuff that bubbles out of my brain.

But this one caught my attention.  This particular tag, I believe, adds value for my readers, and also for myself.

Here’s why:

Recently I started doing interviews in preparation for the Blog Tour for the release of the “Make Believe” Anthology.  (by the way –shameless self-promotion warning—I’m doing interviews now if anyone would like a guest-post – [Wink] :-) )

Anyway… I found myself looking at some of the questions and thinking.  “Duh… I have no idea” and moving on to something simpler.  The problem is, when you have five interviews in front of you, and dinner burning in the kitchen, and laundry piling up, and a kid crying with a skinned knee (you get the point) you just want to finish FAST and not think too hard.  So I didn’t answer the hard- hitting questions that more accomplished authors tackle all the time.

What the Work in Progress Challenge is… is a list of questions very similar to many that I came across during the interviews.  Some of them are hard.  Some questions like this I skipped over because I was embarrassed of the answer, and I was afraid to admit it.  Here, (among my 600 or so best friends) I will force myself to answer them honestly.

For one thing—so when you guys get to that point, you don’t feel alone and stupid.  Secondly, so you can think about this for your own works, because you might have to answer these questions yourself someday.

I’m going to post this “introduction” now, and then go back and answer the questions.  This is mostly a prod to myself to make sure I don’t skip any because “I don’t wanna” answer them.  This is me… putting it out there and forcing myself to do it.

Hopefully, going through this exercise will help me be better prepared for the harder questions coming up this tour, and for the next round of interviews when my novel hits the world.

Stay tuned tomorrow.  :-)

Score! Author Claire Gillian talks about “Voice” in The P.U.R.E. Yes! She agreed to the interview!

Yes.

No.

Yes

No!

.

.

You promised!

Oh!  I’m sorry but not today.  I have a super important guest!

.

.

I’m not important?

Of course you are, but I managed to score an interview with Claire Gillian, and she’s going to talk about the Voice in her novel THE P.U.R.E..

.

I have a voice.

I know, but all you want to do is…

.

.

Take

Over

The

World!

Okay enough of that.

Without further ado, I am super-excited to have Claire Gillian, the author of THE P.U.R.E. with us.

If you haven’t seen  my review of THE P.U.R.E. please check it out so you will understand why it is so incredibly cool to have her here today.

Hello Ms. Gillian!

Claire:  Hi there, Ms. Eaton! Thanks for inviting me to chat today.

Me:  As you know, I loved THE P.U.R.E. which was a surprise, since I really don’t like mysteries.

Claire:  I’m thrilled I managed to hook you on story outside of your usual genre. Thank you, thank you! I’ve had several reviewers make similar preface comments, which makes me both worry and rejoice. Worry because how many will never give The P.U.R.E. a chance, and rejoice because for those who were brave enough to try, I accomplished what I set out to do—convince readers that even CPAs could be sexy and have intriguing stories.

Me:  Ahem… Ummm… I think you managed to do that… I mean, Dang, Girl.  (If you’ve read the book you’ll know what I mean by that)  Anyway, how the heck did you manage to hook a Fantasy reader into a Corporate Murder Mystery?

Claire:  I think most novels are mysteries really, otherwise, why would you read them if you already how everything unfolds (other than for analysis of writing techniques)? I know when I read a story, no matter what genre, I’m always thinking along the lines of, “I’ll bet she does such and such next.” In that sense, the only difference is that with a mystery, the reader is working on figuring out two stories at once—the protagonist’s own story and the mystery she is trying to solve.

Me:  Hmmm.  I guess that’s ture to some extent.  I think what sold me on it was that I felt completely enveloped in your world, even though it was a boring office environment (at least to start).  How’d you do that?

Claire:  I’m not used to analyzing my own writing style, to be honest, but what I think you’re keying in on is probably my “voice”.  At least this is what I’ve gathered from my four years of feedback. Even when my writing was and is utter crap, it has had a quality people seemed to like. I’m still not 100% sure what “voice” is because I have yet to give it any sort of boundaries. I assume it’s like a signature, with its own loops, swoops, slants, and sizing.

Me:  You definitely have your own style, which I have found off-putting in some novels, but in The P.U.R.E. it was part of the “warm and cozy” feeling, I felt like I was experiencing it with her, like I could totally relate.

Claire:  I tried to make Gayle relatable–a flawed but appealing character with a bright, funny side to overcome the “Oh, no, a CPA as the heroine? Seriously? Just kill me now!” She’s both naïve and brash, curious and cautious, blasé and hyperconcerned, confident and hesitant. I also attempted to poke a little fun at corporate America—the posturing, hierarchy and HR double-speak. Office types will hopefully get and appreciate it. Non-office types will probably skim over it to get to the good stuff. No harm, no foul.

Me: So how did you come up with this magical “voice”?

Claire:  I think my writer’s voice is just how I talk. I like to make people laugh. I like non sequiturs, innuendoes, dirty jokes, and the ridiculous. I watch a lot of romantic comedy and comedy in general and there’s a rhythm there that I try to imitate and even use as a template. It really is like telling a joke. You have to know where to pause and where to have long sentences that leave you out of breath, and when to put in a series of choppy sentences with these pauses for the audience to “get” the joke and laugh.

Me:  I noticed that, and it didn’t seem forced, it just seemed like part of the character’s personality coming out in her thoughts.

Claire:  Sometimes those pauses are filled with a character’s observations or a snippet of internal monologue. I like internal monologues but they are easy to overdo, especially in a first person point of view book. I mean, we’re already in Gayle’s head because she’s the narrator, so the only difference is in tense. Her monologues are in present tense and her narration is in past tense. Too much jumping back and forth I think would feel herky-jerky and confusing to the reader. .

Me:  I didn’t find it overdone at all.  In fact, they seemed natural.  Some of them were so simple, like her looking at her hot boyfriend and saying simply: “Yummy”.  Tee Hee.  It looks odd here, but in the context of THE P.U.R.E. it totally worked.

Claire:  Thanks. Some authors use internal monologues to contrast to what the character says, but I tend to see internal monologues as telling vs. showing. Rather than have Gayle say out loud to Jon, “Oh gosh, golly, I’m so sorry you broke up with your girlfriend” but think, “Yippee-skippy! Ask me out! Ask me out!!”  I’d rather have her “show” the reader how she feels with narration like “I hoped he couldn’t see me grinning like an idiot into my coffee cup.” Both convey that she’s not the least bit sorry but doesn’t want to show her hand. A few monologues are fine, like a dash of salt for seasoning. Too many is telling vs. showing and that ruins the meal.

Me:  Yes.  I think it worked because it was only here and there.  I think it would have gotten monotonous if she was always talking to herself—you know—cliché and all.  How’d you know when you had it right?

Claire:  If it felt forced or out of rhythm with the story, I zapped it into the cornfield. In my head, I remembered movie scenes I liked and used them as templates. For example, one scene I built on the bones of a scene from When Harry Met Sally. In the movie, Sally tells Harry about a recurring dream she has where some faceless man rips her clothes off. Harry asks if the dream ever varies and Sally says, “Yes.” He says, “What part.” She says with this totally serious face, “What I’m wearing.” Same back and forth rhythm with Gayle’s narration to convey Jon’s straight man reaction.

Me:  Yes, this is the kind of cadence that really helped me to relate to her.  It’s brilliant.  I could totally relate to her, like she was in my own mind

Claire:  Great, then I guess I did my job!

Me:  Tell us about the editing process.  I’ve heard it can be pretty painful for an author to be ripped and shredded by a professional editor.

Claire: My editor did a fabulous job tightening up the manuscript, cutting out bits that were just clutter. No disagreements at all over those edits, because I know that is a writing weakness I have.

Me:  Awe, come on!  You must have disagreed with your editor some time or another.

Claire:  Well, no one can ever understand an author’s vision of the story and its characters better than the author herself. When I felt we were drifting from the point of the narration or dialogue, I pushed back. Some bits I felt were really clear, but my editor disagreed. That’s when I had to acknowledge that while no one else could ever step into my shoes, I could never step into my readers’ shoes either. What’s that saying? “Strive not to be heard but to be understood.” Sometimes an author’s “darlings” need to be killed (or at least be given a little plastic surgery) if they are confusing or add no value from the reader’s perspective. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received, that I did not fully understand or appreciate at the time, was, “tell the reader what she needs to know, not what you want her to know.”

Me:  Yeah, I’ve heard that too.  But only the author knows what the reader needs to know.  Sometimes you are leaving breadcrumbs that might seem pointless to an editor, that won’t make sence until later.

Claire:  Yes. There were a few places where I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to do battle because I felt passionately about the suggested changes, mostly my red herrings in danger of being cut altogether.

Me:  Red Herrings?

Claire:  [[Grins]] If you read many mysteries, they all have red herrings—tidbits that blend seamlessly into the story but throw the protagonist and the reader off track. If they seem too arbitrary or random to a reader (or editor), they aren’t written properly. I had to tweak a few of those to make those seams less ragged.

Me:   This is your debut novel.  How long were you querying before you found a publisher?

Claire:  I queried The P.U.R.E. with about twenty literary agents who all sent fairly prompt and succinct form rejections except for one who asked for a partial but then passed because she didn’t like Gayle. Queries, synopses and blurbs are not my strong suit, unfortunately.

Me:  Ugh!  Me either.  It’s easier to write a novel.

Claire:  I also entered The P.U.R.E. into the RWA Daphne du Maurier contest but it received mixed reactions. One judge gave it high marks and compliments while another felt it was unrealistic how the CPA heroine’s work situation was portrayed—ironic because I modeled those parts after my own real life CPA experiences.

After that and similar feedback when I sought critiques on my query letter (“CPAs are sooo not sexy; no one will read this.”), I accepted that a CPA-centered romantic mystery was an impossible sell, especially from a debut author. Although I loved The P.U.R.E. and so did my beta readers, I trunked it and moved on to other projects. The P.U.R.E. was only the second novel I’d ever written, so I just counted it toward paying my dues.

Me:  Holy cow!  So you almost shelved this?  What a waste!  What made you pull it back out again?

Claire:  Well, I went on to publish a few short stories and I also wrote other novels and novellas. I had never submitted nor even considered submitting The P.U.R.E. to any indie publishers previously because I thought it was literary agent / NYC publisher or nothing. A writer friend encouraged me to try that route after she had some success, and so I did.

Me:  Why do you think this worked out?

Claire:The timing was right for me, and I think indie publishers, especially newer ones, are more willing to take chances on debut authors who are a little outside of the box.

Me:  So, what’s next for you.  Can I convince you to explode something?

Claire: I promise you I have multiple explosions, shootings and chase scenes in an in-process manuscript called Sins of Our Mothers.

Me:

Yay!

Claire:  [Laughs]  One day I’ll finish that puppy. The bits I’ve shown off have piqued a few interests so I have high hopes for it if I can ever buckle down and finish it.

Me:  What else?

Claire:  I have a couple of submissions I’m waiting to hear from the publishers on within the next three weeks. One is a superhero romantic suspense novella called “Prometheus Unstitched” and guess what? There are hand grenades and snipers in that one!

Me:  Wahoo!

Now we’re talking!

Claire:  [Giggles] I also have an urban fantasy series I pull out periodically and fiddle around with. It has nuclear weaponry of my own design, used for dispatching all evidence of dead supernaturals. Since that one’s probably going to be part of a trilogy of novels, I need to write or at least lock down the plots of books two and three before I shop book one. Hard to do for a pantser like me.

Me:  So, what can we see soon?  I’m impatient, you know.

Claire:  In terms of pending publications, I have a short story to be included in a steampunk anthology called “Conquest Through Determination”, releasing any day now from Pill Hill Press. At the beginning of June, I will have a short story in an ocean-themed paranormal romance anthology called “Tidal Whispers” coming from J. Taylor Publishing.

Me:  Awesome!  I’ll be looking for them.  Okay, the rule is that you need to be open for questions after an interview.  Are ya up to it?

Claire: Sure! As long as there’s no math. Kidding. I’ll take the math questions too.

Me:  Okay, here we go.  I now leave Ms. Gillian in your capable hands.  Ask away oh seekers of infinite knowledge.  Don’t be shy!

Oh!  I almost forgot!  Leave a comment below, and one lucky random winner will get an ebook version of The P.U.R.E. (any format) for free!  Totally Cool!

But for those of you who can’t wait, pick up a copy at one of the links below.

Buy The P.U.R.E. online at Amazon (Paper or Kindle)

Buy The P.U.R.E. online at Barnes and Noble (Paper or Nook)

You can also buy The P.U.R.E. online at All Romance, Powells, Books on Board and Diesel.

Published Author Brinda Berry takes on the Little Blue Lady from Mars: (An Interview)

I want an interview

Sorry Little Blue Lady from Mars.  I don’t have time to interview you today.

Unacceptable!  I will be interviewed!

Wow!  Did you just get bigger?  Ummmm… Will you answer questions?  Give helpful comments?

Ha Ha!  No!  I am here to take over the world!

.

.

Ummmmm.  Maybe next week. 

Today we are talking to the lovely and talented Brinda Berry

Hello, Brinda!

(Imagine Brinda waving madly)

Your first novel, The Waiting Booth was published in 2011.  It was your very first published piece, right?

 Yes, The Waiting Booth was my debut novel.

Do you have an agent? 

I don’t have an agent.  I have experience in querying agents but not in obtaining one. That was supposed to be funny. If you are an author, you should be smiling. 

A brave lady.  Publisher direct, Huh?  So, How many publishers did you query before finding Etopia?

I have a spreadsheet with the exact number and details, but I’d say I queried a dozen before receiving the offer from Etopia Press.

What was your funniest/most memorable rejection letter?

Most of what I received were form letters. I don’t remember any specific letter that stands out. It’s all a blur.  You begin to feel that you can recite the first paragraph of a rejection letter before you read it.

How did you settle down with Etopia press?

I participated in an online conference with authors and publishers. This conference, Digicon, accomplished two things for me. It gave me tons of information about digital publishing as opposed to traditional publishing. It exposed me to the changes taking place in publishing. It also gave authors the opportunity to participate in online pitch sessions with requested publishers. I received two offers as a result of the pitches. I chose Etopia because of the quality of their published works and their input on my manuscript. 

I have a fifty pound poodle that could eat your cairn terriers.  Either that, or she’d roll around with them making a mess of the lawn.

I hope she’d roll around with them.

Chloe is licking her chops looking over the screen.  Don’t let her bows fool you.

Brinda:  One of my  cairns believes he is a bull mastiff.  If challenged, he acts like a lunatic.

Sounds like a two-on-one puppy derby!

Okay, back on topic.  Your first novel, The Waiting Booth, was told in “mostly first person” you switched to another POV in a few chapters.  New writers are told to shy away from this.  How’d you get away with it?  Did the publisher have any concerns?

Although I felt this was the right thing for me to do in my story, I did have reservations. I quizzed my editor about the risk in another POV, and she whole-heartedly supported it. She had no reservations and I trusted her instincts. You will see this again in the second book of the series, Whisper of Memory.

So, interdimensional portals hidden in the woods, huh?  Where did that concept come from?

I have a wild imagination. What can I say? Actually, I’ve always loved stories about portals. Also, I spend two hours daily in a car for my commute. I enjoy listening to NPR podcasts about string theory, black holes, and alternate dimensions.

Sexy government agents are always a hoot too.

One of mine is a hoot. The other is just sexy.

Just sexy works for me :-) Let’s see… If you had a choice between a pound of Godiva chocolate, or a week’s free Starbuck’s coffee, which would you take?

Could I take 1/2 lb of Godiva with the 3.5 days of Starbucks?

Nope.

You are drill sergeant tough. I guess the chocolate. One Christmas, my husband gave me a 5 lb. box of Godivas. The man loves me.

Yeah for thoughtful hubbies!

I hear you’re an internet junkie.  What’s your favorite internet site?

I spend most of my time reading blogs. I like Amazon a lot because you can find anything there. I spend a limited amount of time on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

Yeah, I’m not much for Twitter or Facebook either, although I have met some interesting people on Twitter. 

Your new novel, Whisper of Memory,  is out on March 16.  How long have you been working on it? 

I worked on it for approximately three months. That does not include time editing after it was submitted to my editor. After submission and contract signing, you can add several additional months.

Because I work a day job, I’m a slow writer. I hope to get faster at some point (or not require a day job).

Quick Brenda Run!

Aaaaaa!

Okay, I just blocked her with my cyber-super-blog-o-blocometer.  We’re safe.  Quick, before she breaks back in, tell us about your new novel.

Are you sure it’s safe?

Yeah, I’ve got my finger on the blocometer button. go ahead.

Okay.  Whisper of Memory is Book 2 in the Whispering Woods series. It was actually more fun to write since I knew the characters so much better. I like to have lots of action, and it was interesting to create problems for my characters.  Mia Taylor, the main character, is a high school senior who is a synesthete. Her sensory perception is different from the norm.  Beyond the typical synesthesia experience, Mia is able to sense portals. In Book 1, The Waiting Booth, she wanted to find her missing older brother. This book still includes that goal but adds the tension of a romantic relationship.

Did you have this plot in mind when you finished book #1, or did that come later.

I already had this book plotted when I finished Book 1. Otherwise, the first book might have ended differently.

 If anyone wants to get a taste of Brinda’s first novel, here is the trailer.  You can pick up book one now so you are all ready for the release of book two in a few days.

Check out the book trailer here!

 

Just curious, did your publisher ask you for another novel, or did you wave and say “Hi, I have more!”

When I pitched my story for the first book, I let them know that I had plans for three in this series. I was asked to give the details for the entire series arc.

What is one bit of advice you can give to “soon to be published” authors?

One rejection does not a failure make. Seriously.  Also, authors should be open to new ideas and challenges.

Great!  Thanks, Brinda.  As you know, Q & A is a prerequisite to stopping by here.  Are you ready to answer questions?

Sure

There you go guys.  Brinda is now all yours! 

Buy the Waiting Booth

On Amazon

On Barnes and Noble