An Author Special Q&A Post …

gifs websiteGood Day and thank you for stopping by. While I was down with my health issue, I had few people ask me questions about writing and being an author which is how this post came about. This may be a new once a month group Q & A for romance authors who would like to briefly stop by to answer a few questions via a google form.

Comment below if you would like to see more of these types of posts. While you are commenting on your thoughts, you can add a group topic(s) or question(s) you would like to be answered in the coming months if this post is to continue.

 

This month our guest authors are

Author Special 2

Each author answering only questions they feel comfortable sharing/answering. At the end of this post each author will have their bio and other info for you to learn more about them.

Writing your first book, tell us what made you decide to write it.  Did someone inspire you? How did the idea come to you?

Lori King

Honestly, it was a combination of a recurring dream about two firemen and my 30th birthday four years ago. I realized on my 30th birthday that I’d spent the last twelve years focused on my family and I hadn’t done a single thing that I wanted to do for me. So I set a mini bucket list as my birthday gift to myself. I had a goal of writing a book, and I was able to complete the rough draft in about 3 weeks. I sent it to a publisher and I was shocked when I got an acceptance in less than two weeks! It was a dream come true, and I haven’t looked back.

S.J. Maylee

The characters had been in my thoughts for some time and one day the idea became a crazy need to write. They wouldn’t leave me alone until I got that first scene down. The reprieve was short, however. Soon I had chapters and then some. I’ve written the same way ever since. I follow my character’s lead.

Jessica Subject

I had started another story, and was sharing excerpts on my blog in a weekly author meme. Another author involved in the meme told me about a new line at her publisher and suggested I write a story for the line that includes my sexy aliens. So, I put the other story on hold and wrote Celestial Seduction according to Decadent’s guidelines for the 1Night Stand line. Plus, I read a couple of the 1Night Stand stories already published to get an idea of the kind of story the publisher was looking for.

Gracen Miller

That’s been so long ago, I can’t remember what originally inspired Elfin Blood’s story. I can tell you that storylines start from dreams, song lyrics, pictures, a random discussion with a real life friend, and sometimes headline news.

An Anonymous Author

I was reading so many books (and spending a lot of money) that my husband suggested I write a book. I figure how hard could it be? (Ha, ha, joke was on me)

LA Remenicky

I’d been thinking about it for a while & then a friend introduced me to NaNoWriMo.

Joe Cosentino

After college I acted in theatre, movies, and television opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Jason Robards, and Nathan Lane. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give playwriting then fiction writing a try. An Infatuation is loosely based on my high school years and ten-year high school reunion. A Shooting Star is loosely based on my years as a theatre major in college. I was thrilled when An Infatuation won Second Place in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll Award for Favorite LGBT Romance Novel of 2015. In An Infatuation, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again at their ten-year high school reunion, the old flame reignites. In A Shooting Star, new college theatre major Jonathan meets the gorgeous, muscular, tantalizing, and mysterious upper classroom and theatre department star aptly named David Star. As David grooms Jonathan for college life and for stardom, Jonathan falls deeply in love with him. This leads Jonathan on an inner and outer journey, where he learns some shocking secrets about David, and about himself.

Sofia Grey

I loved books about sporting heroes, and at the time, was horse-mad myself. Add in a plot set in my favourite holiday location, and it all came together beautifully.

What was the intention of writing that first book? Was it nerve-wracking and insane or were you confident you could do it? What about your other book(s)?

Lori King

I don’t remember being nervous, because while I was writing it I never imagined I’d actually do anything with it. I was just trying to get it out of my head so that I’d stop dreaming about the characters at night. Once I wrote it, other characters began popping in and out of my brain, and the stories just started spilling out of me. I don’t usually get nervous about a book until a few weeks before release day when it’s all ready to go and we’re just waiting for readers to get their hands on it.

S.J. Maylee

I never think about others reading my stories while I write. It would drive me crazy with nerves. I only think about my characters and showing their story.

Jessica Subject

The intention was to get a book published. If Decadent hadn’t offered a contract, I’m not sure what I would have done with it. After I submitted the story, I was a basket case until I heard back from the Submissions Coordinator at Decadent Publishing. I get a little less nervous with every submission, but I’m more nervous about how the readers will respond to my story with each release.

Gracen Miller

I’ve never doubted that I could write the book, but I suffer from doubt all the time that readers’ will like it or that it’ll meet long-time readers’ expectations. I don’t want to disappoint my readers, so I always worry that I will.

An Anonymous Author

I think I was too naive to know any better. I spent a year on it, but I hadn’t learned about goal, motivation or conflict at that point. I “made” the characters do what I wanted in order to move the plot along. Motive? What was that?

LA Remenicky

I had no idea if I could even write an entire book – now it’s “will anyone want to read it?”

Joe Cosentino

It was easy for me to see the characters in In My Heart and hear their voices in my head. The same held true for all of my books. My Nicky and Noah mysteries, Drama Queen and Drama Muscle published by Lethe Press, are comedy mysteries, where the theatre professors use their theatre skills (including impersonating other people) to solve murder mysteries on campus. As a college theatre professor/department head, it was great fun to write these stories. Thankfully nobody on my campus has been murdered! I was ecstatic when Drama Queen won Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll Award for Favorite Mystery, Crime, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of 2015. My beach series, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward published by NineStar Press, was created from my childhood memories on the New Jersey Shore.  In the novels, however, Cal Cozzi runs a gay resort in a beautiful cove. A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press) is loosely based on my trip to the gorgeous, romantic, and magical island of Capri, Italy. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press) is my gay take on my favorite fairytales (Cinderella, Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, and The Snow Queen). Finally, my straight (with gay supporting characters) mystery series, the Jana Lane mysteries, came from my love of the old child stars like Shirley Temple and Hayley Mills. Grown up and making a film comeback, Jana solves murder mysteries in Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press), Porcelain Doll (The Wild Rose Press), and Satin Doll (The Wild Rose Press).

Sofia Grey

I *always* wanted to be a writer. Or a librarian. I didn’t know much about the craft of writing back then, and so I just wrote it. Longhand. No worries about pacing, or characterization, or grammar. The words flowed and the story grew, and then one day I wrote ‘The End’. It was an amazing feeling 🙂

Did you show anyone sections or drafts of your manuscript as you wrote the first book? Thoughts on beta readers, content editors…

Lori King

I showed my mom and my sister the first book, and they helped me tweak it a little, but neither knew I was submitting it to a publisher until it was done. They were my first Beta readers, but now I have a team of them each with unique abilities. They’re an amazing help to me because they not only point out simple errors, but they also point out plot holes or conflicting story lines based on earlier books. I adore them, and I don’t think my books would be as well-written and polished without them.

S.J. Maylee

Through social media, I found my first beta reader. Her recommendations reinvigorated my need to getting the story right. My next beta tore my manuscript apart. Best thing that ever could have happened. It was the advice that pushed me and helped me to get the story in shape for hitting send and that was the send that got accepted.

Jessica Subject

Yes! I started out in a local critique group. But, as they did not write in the subgenre, or even genre I wrote, I parted ways with them and found some online critique partners. Now, I send to a couple of critique/beta readers, and then the story visits my editor before anyone else sees it.

Gracen Miller

I rarely show anyone sections or drafts of my manuscript while writing it. I might post on Facebook snippets/teasers from a day of writing, but I only go to my beta readers once the book has been finished and edited at least a couple of times by me. Beta readers are magical creatures! They find the holes in the storyline, the areas that need more to finish out the scene. They’re indispensable to me, and I value their opinion.

An Anonymous Author

I didn’t belong to a writers’ group until later on. I went to my first conference and via a drawing had an editor look at my work. She was kind, but basically told me it lacked a lot! That didn’t stop me though.

LA Remenicky

No. Didn’t have time. Beta readers are great if you find someone who will tell you their honest opinion

Joe Cosentino

I generally get a great idea at about 3am. I jot notes on the pad on my night table. If I can read them in the morning, I write the first draft. The second draft goes to my spouse for notes. The third draft goes to the publisher. The publisher assigns the editor and cover artist.

Sofia Grey

Editors? Nope. It took me MONTHS before I told someone (a close friend) that I’d written a book. An entire book. By this time, I’d typed it all out, and I could hand over my precious manuscript. Now *that* was nerve-wracking. She came back a few days later and said she loved it. Phew!

Ideas, as good place to get a great idea is… How I came up with the idea for my first book came from…

Lori King

I get my best ideas in the shower…LOL

Jessica Subject

I get ideas from all over the place. A picture, a dream, a conversation with someone, television show and movies, staring up at the sky, music, a news article…. The hard part is putting the ideas away to focus on the story I’m working on.

An Anonymous Author

My husband. He was in the computer field (many years ago) and was talking about hard drives that would be solid state–no moving parts. That seemed so sci-fi to me, so my characters had stumbled upon the blueprint for making one and the bad guys wanted it. That’s all I remember about it. That was back in 2000.

LA Remenicky

My dreams (I had been dreaming about the story for years)

Joe Cosentino

As they say, write what you know about. That’s been my motto.

Overcoming obstacles, types of challenges you faced while writing (title(s) if you would like to mention) and how did you overcome them to move forward?

Lori King

I’m a mother of three boys, as well as a wife, a member of the school PTO, and at the time I published my first book I was also working full-time at a bank. Trust me, it’s a HUGE challenge to come home after a long day of work, feed the kids, do the chores, get everyone settled into bed for the night, and the start writing so that you can go to sleep before dawn just to do it all again the next day. The only thing I can say about overcoming them, is that if you are determined to write, you’ll make time. Instead of watching my fav TV show on its weekly night, I would allow myself to binge watch it online AFTER the rough draft was written but not before. If you want to finish the book, you have to make the time for it.

Jessica Subject

When writing The Star Princess and Her Alien Hero, I became blocked, in that I had no idea what to do next with the story. I didn’t want to finish the story, because I had no place to go. I knew how it had to end, but I couldn’t get there from the point I was at. As a pantser (someone who doesn’t plot out their stories), I had this happen often. That’s when I started planning out my stories. I don’t plot, but I write a basic overview of what needs to happen and how I’m going to get there. It saves me a lot of time and frustration. In the case of the two stories mentioned above, I had to scrap what I had written and start over. The second time around, I did plan them out.

Gracen Miller

Writer’s block is my worst obstacle. I usually counter it by doing a ton of reading. Sometimes I just have to weather the block until it runs its course.

An Anonymous Author

I kept writing, entering contests, sharing my work with critique partners, and developing a thick skin. I now take criticism well (or as well as one can when one’s heart is crushed). I was told crying for 24 hours was okay. After that, you needed to pick yourself up. That’s what I do.

LA Remenicky

My biggest obstacle is finding the time to write – I have to make a schedule and stick to it.

Joe Cosentino

Time! I’ve never had writer’s block. I can sit at my computer and disappear into the world of my books, loving the romance, humor, mystery, exotic locations, gorgeous and fascinating characters, plot twists and turns, and surprise endings. As a college professor/department head, the problem is finding the time to write. When I told my mother I write late into the evenings, she said, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that. Hah.

Sofia Grey

Writing the early books was relatively easy, and I drafted six full length novels over the space of a couple of years. Back then, I didn’t have a publisher, or an agent, or even an editor. There was no website to maintain, or anything to do other than write, and so that’s what I did. These days, there are more calls on my time: editing, blogging, promoting, all competing with my precious hours of possible-writing-time. This is where the challenge lies now. And sleep, as an occasional luxury * grin *

That first book from beginning idea to selling/publishing, how long did it take?

Lori King

I was one of the lucky ones, I started writing my book February 4th, and published it July 29.

S.J. Maylee

From the day I wrote the first sentence to the day I signed my first contract was 2 1/2 years.

Jessica Subject

With my first book, it took approximately five months from the time I started the story until the story released. But, that is unusually fast on my part and the part of the publisher. Since that first story, nothing has moved that fast, even for my indie titles.

Gracen Miller

Roughly a year for the first book. I can usually do it faster now.

An Anonymous Author

My first written book was never published. The first book that was published took a year to write.

LA Remenicky

From the first word to publishing was almost a year

Joe Cosentino

Believe it or not, it took only three months to get it to the publisher. It took another six months after that for the publisher to publish it.

Sofia Grey

This might surprise you… I first wrote Pole Position around 1987. Almost thirty years ago. It was HUGELY different, as a story. It had a different title. No real secondary characters, and the storyline was a lot straighter. It was also around half the length it is now. I put it to one side for years, and then started writing seriously again, in the late 90’s. I knocked out two more full length drafts, then paused again. Those two haven’t been published (yet). I guess it was a long time before I had the confidence in myself, and the determination, to make it happen.

By the way, Pole Position has been completely rewritten around four times, to say nothing of MANY rounds of editing. There’s very little resemblance to that first draft, and that’s probably for the best!

Any advice, you would like to share about writing, being a published author or anything you would like to share to help inspire…

Lori King

The hardest part of being an author is the marketing side of the business. If you’re determined to be a published author, don’t just focus on writing classes–although it is extremely important to learn the craft–you should also consider classes about social media, marketing, graphics, branding, accounting, advertising, and so much more that comes with being the CEO of a business. As an author that’s exactly what you are. You’re the CEO of your company and every decision should be made with a business mind. Even if you’re with a publisher, you still have to market yourself. So start learning early, and don’t stop.

SJ Maylee

Read in and out of your genre, study your craft, and never give up. It takes hard work and dedication to get that first release and that’s just the beginning.

Jessica Subject

Write the book you want to write.

Be prepared for rejections and bad reviews. Not everyone is going to like what you write. But, don’t let that stop you from writing.

Always be willing to learn. This industry is constantly changing, and you have to learn in order to improve your writing and keep up with the market.

Gracen Miller

Write what comes from the soul and what you love. What speaks to you will speak to the reader.

An Anonymous Author

Develop a support network and be open to what others have to say.

LA Remenicky

Don’t give up & write the story YOU want to read (if you don’t want to read it neither will anyone else)

Joe Cosentino

I love reading and writing stories with engaging characters who I want to spend time with. Just as I did improvisation as an actor, I recommend letting your characters talk to one another and seeing what happens! An outline is simply an outline. Don’t be afraid to deviate from it. When a reader finishes a book, he/she should be satisfied that the various parts equaled the whole, rather than the author pulling an ending out of the hat. Finally, while a sad ending is fine, don’t forget the humor! I also love shocks and surprises along the way.

Sofia Grey

Don’t give up. Writing, like anything, takes time, and effort, and is bloody hard sometimes. There are skills to be learned, but it gets better with practice. You wouldn’t sit down at a piano and expect to play Chopin, note perfect, on the first occasion, would you? And it’s the same with writing. The more you write, the easier – and better – it gets 🙂

About the Authors …

Lori King’s first book was Fire of the Wolf

Visit LoriKingBooks.com to discover more…

gifs website
SJ Maylee’s  first book was Taking Chances

gifs websiteGetting lost in a book is one of her favorite things to do. In early 2011, the characters in her head, which were normally well behaved, started to scream so loud that she pushed past her nerves and started to write.

She loves almost any kind of story as long as it contains a love story. She’s a sucker for romance, loves happy endings. Two of her all-time favorite authors are Jane Austen and Cherise Sinclair. Their brilliance sparked a change in the plots that had so often filled her imagination. Once her heroines began to see where they could fly, they demanded she write their story.

S.J.’s stories are not for the young at heart, as they reach deep into erotic romance. However, you will always find a happy ending.

She believes hearts are meant to come together and find love. As a writer, she has a tendency to break hearts, but she always glues them back together.

Jessica Subject’s first book was Celestial Seduction

gifs websiteJessica E. Subject is the author of science fiction romance, mostly alien romances, ranging from sweet to super hot. Sometimes she dabbles in paranormal and contemporary as well, bringing to life a wide variety of characters. In her stories, you could not only meet a sexy alien or two, but also clones and androids. You may be transported to a dystopian world where rebels are fighting to live and love, or to another planet for a romantic rendezvous

 

 

Gracen Miller’s first book was Elfin Bloodgifs website

Mistress of sassy, sexy and alpha characters

 

 

 

 

An Anonymous Author
My first book will never see the light of day. It was called Password Ecstasy, but it wasn’t erotic. Back then, I had no idea what erotic romance was.

LA Remenicky’s first book was Saving Cassie.gifs websiteAn avid reader all her life, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during NaNoWriMo in 2012

 

 

 

 

gifs websiteJoe Cosentino‘s first book was In My Heart (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star anthology)
Visit http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com for more information

 

 

 

Sofia Grey’s first book was called Pole Position.gifs websitePole Position  is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pole-Position-Sofia-Grey-ebook/dp/B019X66D2A. Sofia Grey had around 20 other solo titles published before it.

Visit http://sofiagrey.com

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