Author Interview – Lizabeth Scott!

Read through this interview, then enter the giveaway at the end for a chance to win copies of A Cowboy for Mary (Book 3 of the Hearts of Gold Series) and Sweet Destiny (Book 6 of The Royal Vow Series).

Who is Lizabeth Scott? A voracious reader and a full-time writer for about 4 months!  Liz is a wife and mother of two grown children and the proud grandma of the sweetest little baby ever. She is the personal assistant to a terrier terror named Moxie who she occasionally takes to the drive-through for a burger. Liz is a Carolina girl who loves sand between her toes as frequently as possible. At the prompting of a friend, Liz began living her dream of writing in 2013 and is now the author of The Royal Vow Series, The Hearts of Gold Series, The Dirty Ankle Series and The Love Kissed Series.

 

What was your favorite subject in school?

Believe it or not, Creative Writing and Biology!

Assuming you like to read, who or what inspired you to love reading?

When I was in second grade I had the measles, mumps, and chicken pocks one right after the other! Lucky me! My mom read Heidi to me to keep me from focusing on how miserable I was. I can remember being so immersed in the story that I could feel the snowy wind on my face and sheep calling to each other in the pasture.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

Writing was always something I wanted to do but wasn’t brave enough to try. In 2013 at the prompting of a friend I tried to write just a paragraph to see if I could. It didn’t stink, so I continued until I had a chapter! If I could write one chapter, maybe I could write another. Over a three-month period, while holding down a fulltime job, I wrote my first romance book, Sweet Surrender.

What is your favorite story or character that you have written?

LOL! My favorite story is usually the one I’m currently working on, but my all-time favorite character would have to be the hero in Sweet Surrender, Ki. He’s so dreamy and demanding and he loves Mari with a passion. I loved them so much that I couldn’t end the series until I gave them one last story, Sweet Destiny. I’m still not sure I’m finished with them.

What are your future plans – do you have any new releases coming up?

Yes, I do! The third and final book in the Hearts of Gold Series, A Cowboy for Mary released March 7th. This book has been a long time coming and I know my readers were about to give up on reading Mary’s story.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. I published my first book in 2014.

Do you write full time or part time?

In September 2016 I made the transition to writing fulltime.

What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several genres, what do you like about each one?

I write contemporary romance which usually leans toward southern, small town and rural, and romantic comedy.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I write most of the day, I seem to be most productive in the afternoons so I do promoting in the mornings and then write or edit in the afternoon.

Do you have a special writing space?

Currently I have commandeered the dining room table. I have two big monitors so I need the space. My daughter and I are in the process of redoing a bedroom into my office. I can’t wait to finish. Did I mention we’ve been working on it for six months?

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

Yes. I outline somewhat, but that doesn’t mean the story will listen to the outline.  I’ll have an idea of scenes or an ending and then outline around those. Then when I start writing the characters may take me in an opposite direction. I’ve learned to listen to them.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

I have several stories going at once. If I get stuck on one, then I move to another until I’ve figured out what the characters are trying to tell me. Do I sound crazy?

Who are your favorite authors?

I have sooo many. All time fav. Elizabeth Lennox. The authors I buy without reading the books descriptions are, Lori King, Chelle Bliss, Cheryl Douglas, Kathleen Brooks, Sawyer Bennett, Zoe York, Olivia Thorne, Susan Ricci, Christy King, Ruth Cardello, Melissa Foster, Sydney Landon, Melody Anne, Vivian Arend, Christina Tetreault, Vanessa Vale, Elizabeth Marx…do you want me to stop yet? I can keep going.

Liz loves to connect with readers and invites you to join her on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM. Be the first to hear about updates and get your hands on free bonus chapters by joining Liz’s NEWSLETTER. Be sure to stop by her WEBSITE and browse through all her books.

Lizabeth is graciously giving away a few copies of her most recent works, A Cowboy for Mary (Book 3 of the Hearts of Gold Series) and Sweet Destiny (Book 6 of The Royal Vow Series). Enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview – Elleby Harper!

I love your retro setting – what made you want to write books set in the 80s? And did you have to do a lot of research?

I know, it’s crazy to set it in the 80s! But when this idea of the prince falling in love with the president’s daughter took root I became fascinated by what would go on behind the headlines for two such powerful and glamorous families. It was the absolute glamour of their collided worlds that drew me to the 80s. It just seemed an era synonymous with over the top glitz and glam. Think Dynasty and Dallas, if you can remember that far back! The more I investigated the 80s the more the characters felt at home in that decade, with flashbacks to the 50s, which was another glamorous era (as opposed to the 60s or 70s which had very different vibes). It was also an era of big personalities – think Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev on the political stage, big hair, big shoulders and bold colors on the fashion front.

And yes I had to do a ton of research. Although its only a few decades ago, there have been massive technological and social changes since then that have impacted how my characters relate to each other and connect! I want the series to be as authentic as possible to the time frame, so I’ve been very fastidious and if something was around in 1986 but not 1985 then I haven’t included it. And I’ve tried to be really careful with the language because there are phrases that we take for granted now but they just weren’t around in the 80s.

In hindsight setting the series in the 80s has probably made it more difficult for me to connect with readers, but the characters absolutely rebelled when I tried to make them contemporary!

What is your favorite story or character that you have written?

For different reasons I love all of the books in the series, but I guess if I had to choose it would be number 4, Love & Lies, probably because it’s been on my mind most recently. As to characters, I love them all, both the bad boys and the righteous dudes! Some of my favs include the minor characters like St John Rhodes-Ross, partly because he makes himself so easy to hate, and Grandpa Paddy because he’s such a feisty, manipulating senior citizen!

What was your favorite subject in school?

Definitely English, but art was a close second. In fact in high school I dithered between the desire to be a writer and wanting to be a fashion designer. I think you might be able to see that passion in my character Nikki Cassidy!

Assuming you like to read, who or what inspired you to love reading?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading. Even before I could read words, I would look at comic books and make up stories to go with the pictures. It was probably my mother who inspired me because she loves reading too and that’s why it’s such an organic activity for me.

How long have you been writing?

I was always a word nerd. At school, I was the kid with the weird hobbies. I used to make my own dictionaries and I collected girls’ names – my friends must have been nerds too because we’d have competitions about who’d collected the most “Z” names and we’d trade unique names and so on! For actual stories, I wrote my first novel at ten and it was a full-on Gothic romance. At twelve I wrote a feisty heroine-fuelled action adventure which did the rounds of my year 7 class – so that was my first “published” experience!

Do you write full time or part time?

Writing fiction has always been part-time, fitting around work and life, but for several years I made a free-lance living writing non-fiction for magazines and newspapers and doing lots of interviews. This year, with my husband’s support, I’m taking a year to dedicate to writing fiction full-time to see if I can actually make a living from it.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

I knew as soon as I wrote my first novel at ten that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Unless I became a fashion designer first!

What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several genres, what do you like about each one?

I think I need someone to tell me exactly what genre I do write in because Heirs is such a crossover! It’s historical but it’s romance, it’s romance but it’s suspenseful. I love thrills, intrigue and action and that’s what I’ve included in Heirs! Because I read and enjoy many kinds of genres depending on my mood at that moment, from thrillers to chick lit and all types of romance to science fiction and fantasy, I’m sure I will be trying my hand at other genres now that Love & Lies has been released. That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to Heirs as I have lots more ideas and I haven’t finished with Maixent, Charley, Declan or Aurelie, but I might spread my wings a bit with a new series.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I’m freshest in the morning, but actually I can write at any time of the day. I have to stop by 9.30 at night though otherwise I can’t turn my brain off enough to sleep and then I’m just downright cranky the next day.

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

I wrote the first three books in the Heirs series just going for it. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I showed it to a friend who loved the concept and said I should publish. So I invested in an editor. And after a lot more work, including a huge rewriting process, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish. When I started book 4 I did a rough timeline to outline the plot as I planned for Declan’s story to overlap with events in the first three books. That meant a lot less rewriting at the end of the process – hooray! And now I’m working on a prequel novella for the series which I have mapped out even more thoroughly. So basically, I’ve used all approaches. Definitely, as I get more publishing experience under my belt I think, for the sake of efficiency, the outline approach works best for me, but the pantster approach sometimes takes you to unexpected places which I love!

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes, of course! I usually take a break from writing by doing something related but not directly creative, such as reading someone else’s book or plunging into more research. Sometimes research uncovers an idea that I can then use in my work. Usually these two things get the juices flowing again.

Thanks so much for answering some questions! Check out Elleby’s New Release Love & Lies – in stores now!

Author Interview – Mary Crawford!

So I read your author bio on Amazon and I have to say, especially since it’s Valentine’s Day, can we start there? Tell me how your husband and you met! And how did he propose?

My husband and I met at  Camp Easter Seal where he was the manager of the equestrian program and I was a camper. He told me the first day that we met that he was going to marry me and be father to my children. Need this to say, I laughed at him. At twenty-one, I was not impressed with his green polyester pants and white snap up cowboy shirt. However, he eventually won me over with his sense of humor and huge heart. We just celebrated our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. Leonard asked me to marry him a week after we met and I told him to ask me when it was reasonable. We actually got engaged five months after we met and I was facing a life-and-death surgery. At my bedside in the hospital, Leonard said, I love you so much, I can’t let you go into surgery without knowing whether you’ll marry me.” I finally relented and said, “Okay, fine. I love you too. So, I guess I’ll marry you.” That is how I gyped myself out of big fancy romantic proposal.

In your bio, you also mentioned that you’ve volunteered toward a variety of causes, and I noticed your new release (that’s out today!), Tough, deals with sexual abuse. Have you ever volunteered or worked to aid women in abusive relationships?

 Yes, I have been in several positions where  I have helped at risk populations including as legal counsel for a domestic violence shelter. However, unlike Love is More Than Skin Deep,  Tough is not based on a specific person. It is purely fiction.

You have such an interesting background working in social services and being a Civil Rights Attorney – have you drawn any inspiration from your work/volunteering for your stories?

I think my role as an advocate, clearly colors all of my writing. My characters are a little banged up and have many of the same flaws as all of the rest of us. They struggle with life and things are not always perfect.

Are any of your characters inspired from real people?

Yes, in Love is More Than Skin Deep, Shelby is my main character.  She is an ongoing fight with skin cancer. I was inspired to write this story by Judy Noble Cloud. Judy very bravely shared all of her pictures of her personal battle with skin cancer on Facebook and I knew when I saw those pictures, I needed to help her spread the word about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning beds. So I wrote and asked her for permission to fictionalize her life story. The result of that conversation is Love is More Than Skin Deep. Judy chose the  Skin Cancer Foundation as the charity involved. If you purchase Love is More Than Skin Deep, 15 percent of my net profits go to the skin Cancer Foundation.

What is your favorite story or character that you have written?

I don’t have a favorite story, it’s like choosing between your children. It’s impossible. However, it has been fun to watch Mindy the child from my first book Until the Stars Fall from the Sky grow up through all of my books. For all of you who are wondering, Mindy will soon have her own book. It is tentatively titled,  Tempting Fate. With any luck, it will be out at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

Where do you draw energy and inspiration from? How/When do you come up with ideas for stories?

Some writers have difficulty coming up with story ideas, I am not one of those people. Story ideas come to me from everywhere. It can be from a conversation  I overhear in the grocery store line to a song on the radio. I suffer from too many story ideas and not enough time.

What was your favorite subject in school?

Hands down without question, my favorite class in school was art.

What or who inspired you to love reading?  

Believe it or not, Judy Blume books turned me into a bookworm.

How long have you been writing?  

I have been writing for about 2 ½ years.

Do you write full time or part time?

I write full-time.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

I started writing pretty much on a dare. I was beta reading for another author and she told me that my story ideas were pretty good and I should write them down. So I did. If you had told me that I would ever be an author, I would’ve told you you were crazy. When I was in the seventh grade, my English teacher told me I was the worst writer he had ever taught. I believed that about myself for decades.

What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several genres, what do you like about each one? 

I typically write what I like to read. So, most of my stuff is contemporary romance.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I generally am most productive later at night when I have less distraction.

Do you have a special writing space?

I have severe cerebral palsy. For the most part, I am pretty much  bedbound. I have my whole writing station set up here.

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it? 

I am a complete and unabashed pantser. It’s me and a blank sheet of paper.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Typically, I start another story.

Who are your favorite authors?  

Linda Kage, Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson, Shiloh Walker and Marie Force

I’d like to thank Mary Crawford for taking the time to answer some questions about her and her work – thank you!

 

Author Interview – Laurie Breton!

I read Coming Home by Laurie Breton some time ago, and the charming characters stuck with me. I love a good love story set in the music world. You can get Coming Home for free here: myBook.to/ComingHome_LaurieBreton

coming-home_lb-copy

I reached out to Ms. Breton and she agreed to do an interview! Here it is:

      What was your favorite subject in school?

In grade school, English. In high school, French. In college, psychology. I find psychology fascinating, and think it’s a great foundation for a fiction writer.

      Who or what inspired you to love reading?

That’s a hard question to answer. Both my parents were voracious readers, although my WWII Marine father liked historical romances and my mother preferred non-fiction. I can remember my mom reading to me when I was very small, and I had a collection of those little Golden Books. I don’t have any memory of learning to read, but it was always my favorite pastime.

      How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. Before that, I used to make up stories in my head while I was lying in bed at night, waiting to fall asleep. One day, I picked up a pen and started writing them down. I’ve been doing it ever since.

      Do you write full time or part time?

I write part-time. My goal has always been to quit the day job and become a full-time writer. I’m making enough money now from self-publishing that I might be able to do that in a year or two…now that I’m almost at retirement age (I’ll be 62 in November). LOL

      When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

It was simply part of who I was, right from childhood. I submitted my first really bad short story to American Girl magazine when I was about nine. They turned it down. I can’t imagine why! I wrote another really bad story for an English class assignment in junior high school. Embarrassingly bad, florid and angsty. By the time I was thirteen, I was writing longer stories…novels…which I never finished. I’ve lost track of how many I started and then let wither. But there were always stories in my head, fueled, I’m sure, by my love of reading. Eventually, my stories got better. I sold my first short story to Modern Woodmen magazine for $50 at some point in my mid-thirties. That was a huge thrill! Writing is really the only job I ever wanted to do, once I got past the teenage dream of being a rock star. Instead, I wrote a book about a rock star. Probably a much better option!

      What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several g enres, what do you like about each one?

I write love stories. I hesitate to call them romance, although some are more romance than others. Anybody who’s read Coming Home should understand why I say that. My stories are reality-based, and bad things sometimes happen. People who don’t read romance call them romances; people who DO read romance, and know the expectations of the genre, will say they’re not really romances, for very specific reasons. I hate to categorize, but if pressed, I call them women’s fiction. And I didn’t decide to write in that genre. I sat down with a pen and a pad of paper, back in the day, and that’s what came out. I’ve learned to listen to the voices in my head, because so far, they’ve never steered me wrong. Before I returned to writing about Jackson Falls after a fifteen-year hiatus, I wrote seven romantic suspense novels, which was fun, but even my editor at the time told me, “You don’t write romance. You write relationship stories.” I think most writers follow their obsessions, and return to the same themes, over and over. For me, I think that theme is finding out who you really are and where you’re supposed to be in life. Watching how life molds and shapes people, how they grow and change. These are the stories that haunt me. To paraphrase a quote attributed to Stephen King, when asked why he’d chosen to write horror stories: “What makes you think I have a choice?” 

      What time of day to you prefer to write?

Whenever I can squeeze it in around the day job. When I was in my twenties (and happily unemployed), I would pop the baby in the playpen and write for twenty hours straight, sleep for four or five, and go back to writing. That baby is now 38 years old, and those hours would KILL me now. Sometimes I can stay up a little later than usual, but generally, the best time for me is first thing in the morning. I’m awake by 4 every day anyway, and after getting up so early and working all day, by evening my brain is too fried to write fiction. So I’ve found that 4-6 a.m. is a good time for me. Then I can head off to the day job feeling as though I’ve actually accomplished something

      Do you have a special writing space?

Yes, but it alternates. I have a spare bedroom that I’ve set up as an office, but I also have a sort-of-finished room in the basement that I’ve dubbed the Bat Cave, and some of the time I write down there. It’s actually my painting studio, but I’ve been too busy to do any painting the last couple of years, so I set up my laptop down there. It’s a good place to escape from hubby’s 50-inch flat screen TV.

    Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

If you sat me down, held a gun to my head, and told me I had to outline my next book, I would take the bullet. I am a 100% pantser. I’ve read multiple books on different outlining methods, thinking this would make writing easier for me. It doesn’t. I simply cannot do it. I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, and I can’t. My theory, for what it’s worth, is that this is because my books are character driven instead of plot driven. I don’t know everything that will happen until it does. For me, plot arises from character. So planning ahead is pretty much impossible. This doesn’t mean I have no idea of what’s coming next. I write pages and pages of notes before and during the writing, and at some point, usually halfway through, I’ll sit down and make a list of scenes I know will happen. But the writing, especially in the early stages, is organic. I’ve always written to entertain myself. Learning what’s going to happen when it happens, surprising myself, is part of the charm of writing for me.

      Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Although I hate the term, yes, I’ve had spells when the writing just wouldn’t come. And I’ve heard all the arguments that plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, doctors don’t get doctor’s block, they just show up and work, boo-hoo-hoo. And while I agree to a certain extent, all I can say is that the creative process is not plumbing or doctoring. Sometimes, the ideas, the words, simply aren’t there, and it’s maddening. I’ve had books that pretty much wrote themselves (I wrote Black Widow in 36 days). And I’ve had books (including my current WIP) where the words flowed like massive, knife-edged boulders mired in quicksand. How do I deal with it? I drive around a lot on the back roads of Maine, thinking, thinking, thinking, trying to work it out in my head. Or I do something else creative, like painting or photography, to try to knock the words loose. Sometimes, I’ll take a day trip to Boston, where I always seem to find inspiration just walking around. But sometimes, when I’m really, truly stuck, instead of beating myself up or trying to force it, I step away for a while and refill the well. Because I think that writer’s block is really a form of burnout, and the best solution I’ve found for burnout is time away from the project. Eventually, the ideas begin to flow again, but if I try to force them, it always makes things worse.

Who are your favorite authors? 

I don’t read as much fiction as I used to. Most of my reading now is non-fiction (books about writing, art, photography). But I love Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Lisa Gardner. I adored Robert B. Parker, and went into mourning when he died. I’ve recently discovered Louise Penny and Kristan Higgins, and love both of them. One of my all-time favorite authors was LaVyrle Spencer. Her books could always make me cry, and I always wanted to write books that made people cry. Because to me, ultimate success as an author is to be able to touch people’s emotions.

What was your favorite story or character that you have written?

My favorite character, by far, who has now appeared in all my Jackson Falls books, is Rob MacKenzie. He started out as a minor character, but that didn’t last long. He just waltzed onto the page one day and took over. I’m so very glad he did!

Where can we get your books?

 

They are all available at Amazon.com

The first in the Jackson Falls series is available for free here: myBook.to/ComingHome_LaurieBreton

Do you have a website?

www.lauriebreton.com

300 Word Flash Fiction Contest

CONTEST CLOSED

Write a 300 word flash fiction piece about this picture:

  • The story should have a beginning/middle/end
  • Copy/paste the story in the comments below.
  • Make sure you title your story please.
  • When I receive 3 entries, I will create a poll on twitter so people can vote for their favorite (voting will stay open for 1 week)
  • First place will get a $5 amazon gift card.

 

Black Postcards by Dean Wareham

blackpostcards

This memoir was a charming little blast from the past. It is the telling of Dean Wareham’s life – what formed his ideology, both politically and musically, and the events that shaped his career, starting in his teenage years in the 70s to the final days of his 90’s band Luna, which broke up in 2005. It is surprisingly detailed – I wasn’t expecting a rock star’s account of drug-tinged memories to be so thorough. Apparently he kept a diary. At times, he mentions specific quotes people said, how they said them, and where they were to create snippets of frozen moments, usually humorous ones – like when he recalls a conversation between Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and his girlfriend in a hotel gym concerning buying workout equipment for their guest house.

The intimate tone of the book blossoms from the sometimes painful details Wareham shares. Besides the somewhat gory description of Galaxie 500’s breakup, Wareham also discloses blow-by-blow tellings of his affair with Luna’s bass player, Britta Phillips (his now wife), and a few other instances of infidelity to his first wife.

I originally bought the book for research into the music industry for my Ana Marie series (first book Call MeAna). I waited until the end of the book to youtube songs from the memoir – I’d never heard of Galaxie 500 or Luna. I really like their sound. In fact, I like it so much, I may have to write a scene to it. I was also pleasantly surprised there are some songs offered on Amazon Prime music.

Wareham’s major bands: Galaxie 500 (87 – 91), Luna (91 – 05), Dean & Britta (07 – current)

A sample of music videos:

Dean performs Galaxie 500 music live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwnjKikqS8M

Dean & Britta – Mistress America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhNueiqeqvw

Luna – Lost in Space from Penthouse album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn0IM86uC5U

Luna – Rhythm King from Penthouse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztbNMUslr4w

An interview with Dean Wareham:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEF6LU-074M – Be warned, there is political chatter for about the first 10 minutes.

Author Interview – Maggie Fenton!

.

In the mood for some historical romance, I recently read “The Duke’s Holiday” by Maggie Fenton and loved it. (If you have Amazon Unlimited, you can read for free here: myBook.to/TheDukesHoliday )

new-dh-ebook-cover.jpg

I was delighted when Ms. Fenton agreed to do an interview. Here it is!

What was your favorite subject in school?

I hated grade school and high school—I was perpetually bored and disaffected (child of the nineties here). I was a major bookworm, though. I spent most of my school life reading books under my desk that I’d brought from home.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you like to read – who or what inspired you to love reading?

I think it helped that my mom is a schoolteacher. Self-education was always a priority, and she did everything she could to keep me in books. She’d take me to the library at least twice a week.

What was your favorite story or character that you have written?

My favorite character is the Viscount Marlowe. He’s been a side character in the first two books of the Regency Romp Trilogy, but in the third book he is the star. His story’s been building up over the last two books, and I can’t wait to reveal all! He’s not exactly the model romantic leading man, but never judge a hero by his cover—or his beer gut!!  I also have a soft spot for Aunt Anabel, who is featured in all three books. She just seems to get more irascible and vulgar every time she appears on the page.

How long did it take you to write “The Duke’s Holiday?”

The Duke’s Holiday wrote itself, pretty much, in about two or three months. Then I put it away in a drawer and didn’t take it out for about six years. When I decided to dust it off, I did another few weeks’ work on it before I self published it.

Did you hit any walls or periods of writer’s block while writing “The Duke’s Holiday?”

I sort of vomited up The Duke’s Holiday—but not in a gross way. It was the easiest book I’ve ever written—probably because I wrote it with no real intention of ever publishing it, so it was all just a labor of love. The last few books I’ve written, both as Maggie Fenton and Margaret Foxe, my alter-ego, have been the first time I’ve ever struggled with writer’s block. I am definitely not one of those people who can be disciplined about daily word counts. If it’s on, it’s on. If not, then…well, I’m still working on that in between binge-watching Supernatural and Sherlock.

What keeps you motivated to write when you do hit a wall?

I’ve been hitting a lot of walls in the past year, which is a new experience for me. I think one of the reasons is because writing is my actual job now, not just something I do for fun. I am still working out strategies that work for me, but the thing that motivates me the most to keep on trucking through my current project is my fans. And Viscount Marlowe. He really deserves his HEA.

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

What are outlines? 🙂

Do you have a special writing space?

I write on my couch or my bed. Or sometimes in the car on the back of a napkin when I have a burst of inspiration.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I’m a night owl. Mornings suck.

Do you write full time or part time?

I am lucky enough to write full time these days. I have been thinking of getting a part time job anyway, just to get out of my pajamas the house. Before my success as a writer, I had at least two or three jobs going, so it’s been kind of a shock to the system not to be running around like a madwoman all day. Not that I’m complaining. I have the best job in the world.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

I’ve always written. I wrote my first book about a mouse named Patches when I was seven. I never thought I would actually make a living doing it, though. It was always just a hobby—an obsessive hobby, but a hobby nevertheless. I went through university and graduate school with the intention of being an English professor. However, midway through my PhD, I decided to take another route and return to my other love, music. I made a living for many years as a piano and violin teacher (and a cheesemonger, and a server, and a line cook…). Just before I started to self publish, I went back to school and got my MM in Piano Performance with the intention of teaching music at the university level. But after the success of The Duke’s Holiday, I was able to make writing my “real” job.

What made you want to tell your own stories? What made you decide to write in your genre?

When I was in my late twenties, I discovered the historical romance genre. I suppose I’d always steered clear of any “romance” genre fiction because I’d been told that it had a (very unfounded) stigma attached to it for being anti-feminist. I was quickly proven wrong. The books I began to devour were filled with strong women and intelligent, witty writing—and happily ever afters, something I really needed in my life. Discovering this genre felt like coming home, and I couldn’t get enough. I still can’t. I was so inspired and empowered by this genre that after reading what seemed like thousands of these books, I decided to write my own.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. Self publish. Years ago, right after I wrote The Duke’s Holiday, I was so proud of what I’d done that I queried the crap out of agents and publishers. No one wanted it, however, which kind of destroyed all of my mojo. I gave up on trying to be a published writer for about six years after that. Then a friend mentioned self-publishing, and I decided to try it out. I didn’t even publish The Duke’s Holiday at first either. Instead, I published my steampunk book, Prince of Hearts. It was hardly a smash hit, but it got my feet wet and built up my confidence. About a year later, when I was writing my third steampunk book, I decided on a whim to publish The Duke’s Holiday, just to see if it could make me a few extra dollars. Because of all of its rejection in the past, I didn’t expect it to do well at all. I even made up another pen name because I was afraid of it tainting my Margaret Foxe brand. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, and the success of The Duke’s Holiday has allowed me to become a full time writer. I learned two important life lessons from my journey: don’t let rejection get you down, and don’t wait on others before seeking your own success.

Who are your favorite authors?

The writers that inspired me most in my genre are Loretta Chase, Tessa Dare, Georgette Heyer, Connie Brockway, Liz Carlyle, and Eloisa James.

What do you enjoy doing besides writing?

I love playing my Baldwin grand piano and hanging out with my two miniature schnauzers, Emma and Pearl.

Where can we get your books?

virtuous-scoundrel

www.amazon.com/author/maggiefenton

www.amazon.com/author/margaretfoxe

www.audible.com

www.barnesandnoble.com

You can buy my books, audiobooks, and ebooks, both as Maggie Fenton and Margaret Foxe, on amazon.com. My print books as Maggie Fenton are also available on barnesandnoble.com, and my audiobooks can also be found on audible.com.

My website is www.maggiefenton.com

I will be signing books at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Atlanta, GA, on Oct. 1st.

http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/mm-conference/

Author Interview – Elizabeth Davies!

Recently, I read The Spirit Guide by Elizabeth Davies.

the-spirit-guide-360x540-website

I downloaded it one day, and I was glued to my phone until I finished it the next. It’s a great historical paranormal romance about a girl, Seren, who can see spirits and spirit guides – special spirits who help ghosts to cross over to the other side. Seren has to find her place in two worlds and struggles to keep them separate. Ultimately, the worlds collide and her life is forever changed.

After reading this book (which you can pick up for free here), I was delighted to discover Elizabeth Davies is friendly and approachable – and she agreed to do an interview! Here are her responses to some questions that offer a glimpse into her background and what she’s up to these days:

What was your favorite subject in school?

I loved the creative stuff – art, pottery, needlework, and English (reading rather than writing, though). I also wanted to do metalwork and woodwork, but when I was in school those subjects were for boys only. How unfair! 

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you like to read – who or what inspired you to love reading?

My mother. Actually both my parents loved to read but it was my mother who took me to the library every week to choose books, and it was her who read to me. I’ll always remember those tiny chairs and the smell of books, and the sheer excitement of wondering which ones to pick. To my mother’s disappointment, I normally insisted on the same Noddy story! I think it drove her to distraction. 

What made you want to tell your own stories?

I honestly don’t know. Over twenty years ago I had a story in my head, but it was vague and I didn’t really do anything with it except scribble a few notes. I’ve since learned that that’s the way I write, but back then the idea of writing so many words scared me, so I never did anything with it. 

How long have you been writing?

Probably twelve years. I wrote my first novel around about then – a horrendous 300,000 word monstrosity. But once I’d done it, I realised I could do it again. But it took me another eight years to write a novel I was happy with and thought I could publish. 

Do you write full time or part time?

Part time. I have a day job which I haven’t got the courage to give up. Maybe one day. 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

It was a gradual decision over any years, and lots of ideas and false starts. 

What made you decide to write in your genre?

I read Twilight and loved it – but wanted a vampire story more for grownups. I also wanted one that wasn’t supernatural but still retained most of the accepted attributes of vampires. So I wrote my own. 

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I have to have absolute peace and quiet to write so my favourite time of day is early morning before I go to work. I try to get at least an hour in, and maybe more. Any other time free during the day is spent on marketing or talking to readers on social media, or research. 

Do you have a special writing space?

My armchair, with the laptop balanced on the arm of it. Not very professional but it seems to work for me. Though sometimes I curl up in it so much I need a crowbar to get me out of the chair. 

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

It depends on what I’m writing. For my upcoming release (Fall from Grace, out on 13th October 2016) I had an inkling of what I was going to do with it before I put pen to paper, but as what usually happened, happened – my characters took off in another direction entirely. 

res-4-fall-from-grace-360x540-website

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes. Sometimes I seem to paint myself into a corner and can’t see a way out.  My solution is to walk away from the manuscript for a while – which I can easily do as I don’t have a publisher breathing down my neck. 

Who are your favorite authors? 

Stephen King. To me he is the ultimate story teller, but there are lots of other too. Sometimes my favourite depends on the mood I’m in. For instance, if I want a good thriller, I go and lose myself in a Felix Francis. 

What was your favorite story or character that you have written?

Caitlyn– but no one will have heard of her yet. She’s going to feature in a forthcoming series the first of which will be published in the autumn of 2017.  She turns into a cat, and she’s not happy about it! 

Where can we get your books? 

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Scribd  – here’s a universal link to my author page on Amazon.

You can also grab the first book in the Resurrection series, State of Grace for free here.

res-1-state-of-grace-360x540-website

I’d like to say thank you to Elizabeth Davies for doing this interview and I’m looking forward to digging into the Resurrection series!

Happy reading everyone <3