Thursday, 28 February 2013

Interview with Robin Leigh Morgan

Today we're pleased to welcome author Robin Leigh Morgan who's here to talk about her book, I KISSED A GHOST. Robin is a retired New York City civil servant who is married and has two cats.

Welcome to We Do Write, Robin. How long have you been writing?

I wrote close to 500 items can best be described as commentaries for a community newspaper from 1995 until 2006 which had been done without any pay. This is basically where I learned how to write.  However, becoming an author I now had to learn how to write fiction, with its own set of rules on how it should be done. The transition itself has been a fascinating and interesting experience from that of writing non-fiction.

Tell us about I KISSED A GHOST. What’s the story about?

Mary gets a new classmate named Jonathan who’s a great baseball player and to get on the team, he needs Mary’s help to improve his grades. Six months later when she learns she’s moving, she decides to give him something special--a first kiss.

Moving into her new home she soon discovers it has a ghost named George, her age, who takes her on numerous trips to the past of a hundred years ago. As she meets children her own age, everyone teases her about her house being haunted, but no one will go inside.
Mary likes his help doing her math homework, writing her reports, and taking her back in time. George and Mary’s interaction grows and she eventually gives him a quick peck on his lips while they’re in the past, which is the only place George is a real boy, for having done something special for her.

In an attempt to get her classmates/friends to be willing to come inside her house, she has a Halloween party designed to confuse them as to what is real and what is not.

Can Mary kiss George a second time, at the special date and time he needs to be kissed? What happens afterwards if she does? The answers are all in the book!
How did the idea of the story come to you?

To tell the truth the whole story has been one of pure imagination, as I wrote it, I saw different ways of letting the story develop, and chose one which I felt could be built upon. In the beginning I did have a skeleton of an outline for the storyline and nothing more.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

Selecting a title for a book had been a very challenging experience for me; but after racking my brain over it, I decided to merely summarize the premise for the entire story in as few words as possible until I had something which could be used as the title for my book. Hence, since the story is about a girl [Mary] and her kissing the ghost [George] she had living in her house, the story had to be called, “I Kissed a Ghost.”

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I don’t have any critique group/partner, etc. And even though I had re-read my manuscript several times and made edits along the way. I still had someone else to the actual editing; after which I did a few more re-reads, concentrating and tweaking the manuscript for different categories of items.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’d probably say a little of both. As I said in the above, I made a skeleton of an outside, writing down the basic plot points I’d like to hit as the story unfolded; and as a sculptor starting with a wire base of what they’d like to have, I added material, then took some away, until I had the finished product I had in mind.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Is overcoming the dreaded writer’s block, which all authors/writers come down with from time to time, of not being able to write next; and I also find it hard not to be overly descriptive of scenes, the excess of which had to be deleted in one of my re-reads.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Like many authors I know some background music to help muffle other outside noises.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

As far as my writing is concerned it would have to be the ability to type 20 pages in an hour. This way I could type a FULL LENGTH novel in two days.

What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?

One of them would definitely have to be to find out what a “Spotted Dick” is.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: kissed, sensory, and reptile.

The scent of prey kissed the wind, alerting the sensory organs of the reptile of its presence.  [and I  wrote this sentence without changing the order of the words you gave me.]

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

would be going crazy trying something else to do. [One thing about being retired…you don’t really want to find another job, even if it’s only part time; but you must find something to occupy all the free time you now have.]

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

THANKS to all of my followers on the blogs I’ve got for their feedback [both posted and private] regarding my blog entries as well as the UNEDITED SNIPPETS I’d posted from my then uncompleted manuscript as I travel on my maiden journey to become the author I am today.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

My book is available on Amazon at:
The book is also available on
The book has just gotten a 5 ***** Star review, and has 45 “LIKES” [as of the time I’m answering these questions.]
If you'd like to check out some UNEDITED SNIPPETS from the book, just check out the “GHOSTLY WHISPERS” entries on any of these blog sites: or or   [this is also my website]

I also can be found on

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Interview with Mat Nastos

Today, we are pleased to have Mat Nastos, author of THE CESTUS CONCERN, here to discuss his novel.

Welcome to We Do Write, Mat. Tell us a bit about yourself.

People know me for one of three reasons - either as artist for the cult-classic independent comic book, ElfQuest, back in the 90s, or as one of the guys who writes those really awful B-movies for places like the SyFy Channel or Cinemax, or, if someone has kids, as a writer who has worked on Phineas & Ferb at the Disney Channel.
In other words, I'm a professional nerd.
Well, I guess I fall into the someone-with-kids category. My kids and I love Phineas & Ferb! It's such a smart and well written show. You seem to have a lot of experience in the industry. How long have you been writing?
Professionally, I've been writing for about 15 years. I started out writing comic books and then moved to film. From there it was into television for the Disney Channel and now prose. I was lucky enough to have a strong grounding in storytelling from my work as a comic book and storyboard artist. That training, and having worked with hundreds of scripts from other writers, helped me more than anything else.
What a fun way to get started. I imagine your journey has been very helpful in your writing career.
So, tell us a bit about THE CESTUS CONCERN.

The story is about a US Army Ranger who is shot down while on a mission in Iraq and comes to with a year missing from his life. It's a hardcore action/sci-fi story about a man on the run from a government who wants information that is locked away in his head. I've been describing it as "Johnny Mnemonic meets Wolverine."
That sounds seriously cool!  How did you come up with the story?
I am a completely unabashed, unrestrained, and unapologetic fan of action flicks. I love every shape and every variation of them - the iconic 80s actioneers, hardcore Asian action, crappy 70s Chinese martial arts, Blaxploitation, Hong Kong action cinema, and everything in between. 

I love action.
With my first full-length novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN, I wrote what I like to think of as my love-letter to my favorite action films. It was everything I ever wanted to read in an action/adventure/sci-fi novel. After writing so many films with low budgets, it's great to be able to sit down and write something with an unlimited one.
I totally get the love affair with action. I was raised with those 70's Chinese Martial Arts movies playing in the background while I played with my ninja Barbies. I can even do a mean English-voice-over impersonation.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I have a few beta readers that I trust and I work with a couple of different editors once things get closer to being finished. It's always good to have another set of eyes check out your work before it is released out into the wild - there's nothing worse than being called out on the Internet for crappy work!
Too true! So, plotter or pantser?
I'm definitely a plotter. I always start with a synopsis to solidify the story idea for myself, then go to an excessively detailed outline (20-30 pages for a screenplay and 10,000 words for a novel) before getting in to the "real" writing. It's all about making sure I have a strong foundation when I start.
As a full-blown pantser, I'm always impressed by those who plot. It must make writing so much easier to have it all figured out before you start. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting over that hump in the middle - that point where you're in the center of the ocean and can't see a shore on either side. Inevitably, getting from the halfway point to the last quarter of every story kills me, regardless of its length. It happens to me with short stories, movie screenplays and novels. 
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
My Star Wars Slurpee cup and my phone. I've decided along the way that checking my email or Twitter while I'm writing doesn't count as slacking off as long as I'm doing it on my phone.
Ha! I think I need to adopt that philosophy! And learn how to tweet with one hand and write with the other.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Well, I've already got the super power of dance...aside from that, I'm a flight guy. The idea of soaring through the air is pretty intriguing. 

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
I'm going to refrain from answering that for fear it might damage any hope at a future political career. :D

Oh, darn! Well, how about you finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 
...Googling something really weird and highly inappropriate.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
The biggest shout out goes to my wife, Athena, and my kids who put up with a crazy guy who spends way too much time sitting at his desk working. Beyond that, my best friends (Marc, Alden and Jimmy Jay) who are supportive beyond what I deserve, and my editor, Arlene Taylor, for polishing things up very nicely.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?
THE CESTUS CONCERN is available at in print and e-formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and a few other places. I am all over the Internet and easy to find. 

My home page is at
Thank you, Mat, for joining us!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Happy Book Birthday: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Today is the day! Dualed by Elsie Chapman struts into the world of the reading public wielding a knife and a gun! Seriously, this cover rocks!

The Hunger Games meets Matched in this thrilling high-concept YA where citizens must prove their worth by defeating the other version of themselves--their twin.Two of you exist.

Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

Sounds exciting! You can pick up your copy of Dualed at one of the links below.
Barnes & Noble

Congratulations, Elsie!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Interview with Andy Gavin

We're happy to be the next stop on the Untimed blog tour. Let's get to know author Andy Gavin a little better.

Welcome, Andy! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There I created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. I sleep little, read novels and histories, watch media obsessively, travel, blog (a million hits last year!), and of course, write.

Untimed is my second novel.

How long have you been writing?

I started in ninth grade. In high school, I won several national literary awards for my short stories and I was an editor and contributor to our high school literary magazine. In college, despite being a diehard science guy, I took creative writing classes (sometimes I was the only guy) and submitted stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy magazines (not that they ever bought any!). I co-wrote the stories for many of my best selling video games. But video games aren’t as story driven as novels, so don’t judge these in the same light .

But it was in 2008 that I really got jamming in my current literary mode.

Tell us about UNTIMED. What’s the story about?

Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.
As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.
Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.
When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.
And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!

How did the idea of the story come to you?

Typically, Untimed began from a fusion of ideas. Lingering in my mind for over twenty years was a time travel story about people from the future who fell “downtime” to relive exciting moments in history (until things go wrong). I worked out a time travel system but had no plot or characters. Separately, in 2010, as a break from editing The Darkening Dream, I experimented with new voice techniques, especially first person present. I also read various “competition.” One of these was The Lightning Thief (the first Percy Jackson novel), which has an amazing series concept (if a slightly limp execution).  I love mythology and history, and liked the notion of something with a rich body of material to mine. I wanted an open ended high concept that drew on my strengths, which brought me back to time travel.
Some of the mechanics from my earlier concept merged well with a younger protagonist, voiced in a visceral first person present style. I started thinking about it, and his voice popped into my head. I pounded out a chapter not too dissimilar from the first chapter of the final novel. Then the most awesome villain teleported into the situation. I can’t remember how or why, but it happened quickly and spontaneously. Tick-Tocks were born (or forged).

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I use a lot of resources, because feedback and editing are crucial to good writing. I have 2-3 people (one is my wife) that read everything I write hot off the presses. It then gets quick tune ups. I self edit at least once or twice at that stage, then again after I finish a draft or a big section. Whole drafts go off to my editor, Renni Browne, who has 50 years experience and is totally amazing. Lots of redrafting then ensues, followed by more self-editing and finally an extensive line edit. All in all, I suspect I read each novel on the order of fifty times.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Personally I find the two different modes: plotting vs. just writing, to use different sides of the brain, and therefore useful to stagger. I can only handle a few days of plotting before I need the release of getting it out there. There really isn’t any rush in writing as good as just pounding out a great scene that’s already gelled in your head, and it’s even better when the scene and characters take on a life of their own and bring something novel to the process. Looking back on it, I realize that as a computer programmer I took this same exact alternating approach (between designing the algorithm and just coding) and that the rush and rhythm were nearly identical.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

With Untimed, the hardest parts had to do with the time travel. First of all, I had to come up with a unique new system that allowed multiple visits to the same time period, but wasn’t too overpowered. If your characters are too powerful, there is no jeopardy. So I had to invent all the restrictions and deal with the issues of paradox (and I think I have a crafty new solution there). Then I had to figure out how to make returning to the SAME action actually interesting for the reader. That was even harder.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

iTunes and my water bottle.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I’ve thought about this a lot. Probably I’d be a telepath/pusher like Professor X. The combo of reading minds and controlling them would be totally badass, if horrifically unethical. And I’ve always been keen on having all the information. A vampire wouldn’t be too bad either if I didn’t have to kill my victims, only snack a bit.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

I’m absolutely NOT going to answer this question truthfully. But I do google a lot of weird stuff. Once I spent a while trying to find a reference I remembered from some book for an ancient Roman curse that involved shit and a lead tablet.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: hybrid, bride, and disinfect.

The priest that married us went mutant from this hybrid virus, so after I killed him, my bride had to disinfect the rings.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

Playing World of Warcraft.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

First up are my support team: my wife, my “story consultant” Bryan, my mom. Then my beta readers and my pro editors: Renni, Shannon, and R.J. are massive contributors. But even after the book is done, there are so many professionals that help make the finished product awesome. To name a few: the cover artist, Cliff Nielsen, the interior illustrator, Dave Phillips, my book designer, Chris Fisher, my agent Eddie Schneider, and my publicist, Kimberly Kinrade.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

All my books can be found at

and Untimed specifically at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special Announcement!

We Do Write has a fun announcement to make. Back in the summer of 2010, I interviewed a writer named Elizabeth Holloway. Since that time, lots has changed. Beth and I became critique partners. We were there for each other when I landed my publishing deal and she landed her agent. Now, I’ve invited Beth to co-author the blog, and she’s graciously accepted! I’m so happy to have her join me in this project, and I just know she’s got great things to escalate the value of the site.

And now, let’s hear an intro from Beth. :)
Thank you, Dorothy, for your kind words and for your seriously awesome offer! 
I have to admit, when Dorothy asked me for that first interview, way back when, I was so tickled. Someone liked my concept so much they wanted to interview me? Me? What? I felt like a real writer, like maybe I had something. Then I learned how very, VERY far I still needed to come. Fast forward two and a half years and I can safely say we have both come a long way.
Dorothy's novel, My Sister's Reaper, a story I am proud to say I had my greedy little hands on from the beginning (yes, you should be jealous), is soon to be published! And I was fortunate enough to find an awesome agent who works tirelessly to get my novel, Call Me Grim, out into the world.
It only makes sense for me to take this next, slightly terrifying, step in my journey (blogging) right here on We Do Write. I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Interview with Shannon Duffy

Today I'm happy to host fabulous author and fellow pub sister Shannon Duffy. Shannon's here to chat about her middle grade adventure novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA, as well as give us some insight into her writing.

Welcome to We Do Write, Shannon. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me. Well, I live in Ontario with my husband, son, and three dogs. I have two German Shepherds and a tiny Yorkshire terrier. I love writing as you know, reading, traveling, and shopping. What girl doesn't like shopping? And not the grocery kind. =)

I'm totally with you there. And I used to have a German Shepherd and a Yorkie too! Just not at the same time. ;) How long have you been writing?

Seriously writing? About 5 years.

Tell us about GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA. What’s the story about?

This story is about three best friends who find a magical crystal, get sucked into a dying parallel world, and who are given magic powers and sent on a dangerous quest to save this world--Valta. Add in a pain in the butt nemesis, talking creatures, some viral produced evil ones, a dark duke, evil shadows, ghosts, and Death Mongers and you get a fantasy story that I'm hoping kids will like.

Sounds amazing! How did the idea of the story come to you?

It's kind of weird when I think of it because at the time the idea was just there. As in, I didn't really think about it. It was the story that was in my mind that I wanted to tell. I wanted to write a story for my son, Gabe and it was like, BAM! And well, I changed some things after I was done, and the words edit, edit, edit, comes to mind, but overall it was just the story that had been laid in my overactive brain.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mostly a pantser. I kind of think of the story in my mind and run it through like a movie, think about the characters, then go with it. Along the way, I take notes re what questions I may need to answer, or ideas for a point further ahead in the book etc. I'd love to plot out a book sometime and I know this works amazingly for many people, I'm just not sure I could do it with the way my thoughts bounce around.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Well, I have to admit I have an internal editor living in my brain, and it's hard for me to write more than a paragraph without wanting to go back and edit. A little obsessive I know. Some people can fast draft books and plow through them, but that would make me crazy thinking about how many errors there would be. haha. So shutting that off is hard. I try to not edit until I'm done a chapter though.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Hmm well I remember googling the distance from an airport in Russia to the one in Venice for my book Spectral. Not overly weird, but it felt kind of strange at the time.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: divinity, decimal, and dingy.

Gabriel wished Piper would help inflate the dingy so he could snatch the floating Divinity, but instead she rambled on about stupid decimals.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

With my family, or reading.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Georgia McBride first for loving this story from the beginning. She's an amazing person and pioneer for other writers. To Kelly Simmon for setting up the blog tour and pimping me--thanks! Of course my critique partners, who for this story were, Rachel Harris, Trisha Wolfe, and Brenda Drake-- and the rocking editors at Month9Books who edited, too! Thank you! And my husband for finding the first few pages that I'd abandoned of this story and encouraging me to finish it, and my son, Gabriel who is the hero of this story and the reason I wrote it in the first place.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Chapters/Indigo.

Shannon, thanks so much for chatting with us. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. First I'm going to read it, then I'm going to give it to my son. :)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Interview with Rita Arens

Friday, at last! Hooray! Let's kick off the weekend with an interview. Author Rita Arens is here to talk about her novel, THE OBVIOUS GAME.

Welcome to We Do Write! Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rita Arens. I blog at Surrender, Dorothy (, I'm the senior editor at, and in addition to THE OBVIOUS GAME I edited a parenting anthology called SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK, which came out from Chicago Review Press in 2008. I am married and have one daughter who is eight. I live in Kansas City.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing bad poetry and short stories when I was in elementary school.

Tell us about THE OBVIOUS GAME. What’s the story about? 

Ultimately, it's a coming-of-age story about a girl with more than the usual set of obstacles. Her mom has cancer, she's got a best friend with a mean streak, she's falling in love and she's facing an eating disorder. THE OBVIOUS GAME follows her for a school year as she figures out how she's going to handle her problems.

How did the idea of the story come to you? 

The novel is semi-autobiographical. I had a mom with cancer and an eating disorder. The tricky part for me was making this NOT be my life story. I wanted to write about those issues, but I wanted it to also be fiction. I had no desire to write a memoir. So I took concepts I wanted to write about and re-imagined them happening to someone else who would deal with things differently than I did.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I had beta readers. I rewrote THE OBVIOUS GAME at least eighty-seven times and continued editing it up right up until InkSpell made me hand it in.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a plotter. I need quite a bit of preplanning before I sit down to write or the writing session feels extremely unproductive and I get panicky. I don't have very much time to write because I have a family and a full-time job, so when I do sit down to write, I need a solid three-hour chunk and a pretty good idea of what the scenes I'm going to write are going to be about.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Unspecific rejection. I love writing, and I like re-writing and editing based on constructive feedback. This novel is so much better than it started out being because I had a lot of agents and editors and beta readers be very specific with me about what wasn't working. What I don't like is vague rejections that don't offer any clue as to what didn't work for the reader. I'd rather they said, "I stopped reading on page 37." Then at least I could look at the first 37 pages and try to guess at what was not working. I take reader feedback very seriously.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Headphones. I have a really hard time writing without them, even if no one else is around while I'm writing. I think it helps me feel more in my own little world to have the music directly in my ears.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Flight. I hate driving.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

What haven't I googled?

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: obviously, velociraptor, and serious.

No serious velociraptor would eat that, obviously.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

reading. Reading makes me a better writer, and I read a lot.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

My husband and daughter are my biggest supporters. My eight-year-old daughter made me a bookmark that said THE OBVIOUS GAME a few weeks ago. She knows she's too young to read this novel, but she's so interested in the steps involved in the writing and publishing process. My husband has been through the publishing wringer with me before and is so understanding about how hard it is and never makes me feel stupid for persisting. And thank you! The people who are using their little corner of the Internet or writing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and Shelfari and everything else will make or break this book. It's very difficult to be heard amidst all the books coming out every month, and I can't thank everyone who reads my book and talks about it enough. Word-of-mouth referral is everything to an author.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

At my website,!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Interview with Rebekkah Ford

Today we're chatting with author Rebekkah Ford about her novel, BEYOND THE EYES.

Welcome to We Do Write! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, when my parents were married, they were the directors of the The UFO Investigator League in Fairfield, Ohio. They also investigated paranormal activity and Bigfoot sightings. After they divorced, and my mom remarried, she moved my sister and me to Phoenix, Arizona where I grew up. And although my mom was no longer involved in paranormal investigations, talking and dealing with the “unknown” was still a constant source in our household. I think that's why I'm fascinated with the paranormal world and love writing about it. Not to mention, growing up in that environment, has given me an edge to the genre I write in.

That's awesome! How long have you been writing?

I started writing off and on since the age of seven, but I didn't knuckle down and truly focus on it until years later.

Tell us about BEYOND THE EYES. What’s the story about?

It's about an ancient battle of good versus evil, with many shocking and heartbreaking secrets revealed along the way. I take the reader on a journey with the main character Paige Reed, into a world where nothing is quite as it seems. The story is packed with romance, heartbreak, a love triangle, friendship, horror and suspense.

17-year-old Paige Reed's life changes after she receives a haunting message from a ghostly voice. Unexplained things begin to happen to her, and she doesn't understand what is going on. But then she meets Nathan Caswell who is no ordinary guy. He tracks dark spirits and becomes alarmed when he notices they have an interest in Paige. Her life is in danger, and Nathan does everything in his power to protect her. And then there are two power-hungry dark spirits who wants something from Paige. They want her to find King Solomon's ring. When her father was alive he was close to discovering its whereabouts, and Paige is the only one who can find it. Whoever possesses Solomon's ring and has his incantations, can control the dark spirits and ultimately rule the world. If Paige refuses to help these malevolent beings, they'll kill her. She is then forced to deal with her emotional baggage she's kept bottled inside of her as she searches for clues on what her deceased father might have known. She discovers shocking information about him and his bloodline while trying to act like a normal teenager and hide what she's dealing with from her best friends. Time is running out, and Paige needs to make a decision that will not only change her life, but the fate of mankind as well.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

At the suggestion of my husband, I took what scares me the most, which is possession, me wondering if there are soulless people walking among us, and my love for history and the paranormal, gathered all those ingredients along with some other seasonings: romance, friendship, heartache, and created this story.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

Yes, I have a critique partner. She's wonderful. I also have an editor who is awesome.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

What's a pantser? Hold on. I'll look it up. It's not in the dictionary. Wait! I'll Google it. I found it! It means: fly by the seat of your pants when you're writing your novel. LOL. To answer your question, I'm a plotser—I do both. I have a plot; however, I allow room for the creativity to flow into my story. That's where the magic happens. :)

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Second guessing myself, thinking it's not good enough, even though my editor and other people tell me otherwise.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A dictionary and thesaurus.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?


What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

What's it called when you get really nervous and have to poop?



Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: beyond, yoga, and giant.

While I was doing yoga, I had an out-of-body experience and drifted towards a giant, shimmering ray of light and saw beyond it, lush green hills and snow capped mountains.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

If I'm not writing, I'm probably at my day job or reading or spending time with my husband or doing the mundane things life requires of me.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I want to thank the following people for their support: my husband Kevin, my dad and step-mom, my editor Chase Nottingham, Nancy Maddock, Felicia Tatum, and my fans, which still blows me away I have fans, but it's so cool! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. All of you guys are awesome!

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

They can find Beyond the Eyes here:

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Interview with G.P.A. (Marc Livingston)

Today we're chatting with The Mind of a Poetic Unsub author G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive) a.k.a Marc Livingston. He's here to talk about his new book, which comes out in April.

Due to the sensitive nature of the book, I've hidden it behind a cut. If you're not of sensitive mind, an adult, and/or can handle adult themes, feel free to read on.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Thundering Luv by LM Preston

THUNDERING LUV (Short Story-YA Romance)

Jewel has always been able to get the guy she wanted. The starting jock on the football team, the team captain on the basketball team, and the lead swimmer on the swim team. Problem is, she didn't find them the least bit exciting. Was she cold or a she-wolf for guys? Colin thought so, and he'd do anything to bring her down a peg or two. When these two collide on the sandy beach during their mixed up summer vacation, sparks fly, making this a summer neither will forget.

Release Date: June 1st, 2013
Format: Ebook Only Release, but will be part of a print book in 2014 that includes 3 short YA Summer Romances by LM Preston to include (Flutter Of Luv, Thundering Luv, and Double Trouble Luv)

Details: Book 2 in 'Luv' series. It is a stand alone. The first book in the series is Flutter Of Luv. If you want a taste of this series before you get your copy of Thundering Luv, just pick up a copy for $0.99 at all ebook retailers.

Goodreads link:

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Happy Book Birthday: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Today marks the book launch of Kiersten White's MIND GAMES!

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Congrats, Kiersten! Can't wait to read this!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Guest Post by Liz DeJesus

Today we have a guest post by author Liz DeJesus. She's got a great post for us with her top ten bits of advice for new authors.


I want to take a moment and thank Dorothy for having me on her blog today. I really appreciate the time she has taken to be a part of my mini blog tour.

Anyway, today I’m going to talk about writing advice for new authors. Hopefully you can learn some of the tricks I use to help me with my writing.

Top ten bits of advice for New Authors.

  1. One of the things I get asked the most is where I get my ideas from. That’s easy. Everywhere. Everything. Anything. Dreams. A song on the radio. A commercial on the television (which is where I got the idea for First Frost). A poem.

But my favorite way to get inspiration is from my dreams. It’s a treasure trove for me. Sometimes I get the most strange and random dreams that sometimes I wonder where they came from.

  1. Another question I get asked a lot is how I overcome writer’s block. Normally when the weather allows I go to a nearby park and walk. I tend to let my mind wander and more often than not I’ll either get a new idea for a story or I’ll find a way out a certain plot hole. Another thing I do (when it’s too cold for a walk in the park) I’ll doodle on my notebook or write silly sentences like ‘The black cat sat on the mat’ anything to get my hand moving. Anything to have a pen in my hand. Or I listen to music. My favorite singer is Imogen Heap and she has a way of getting my mind to a dreamlike state. I’ll latch onto a certain lyric and just write a story based on that. Anything to get me back to what I love…writing.

  1. A challenge I face on a regular basis is time. I’m a stay at home mom to two little boys (a four year old and a 1 ½ year old), I also take care of my two nephews three days a week. So it’s safe to say that time is an issue for me. What do I do? I carry my notebook and a pen with me everywhere I go. I’m never without it. I write while I’m in the kitchen cooking. I write while I’m waiting in the parking lot for my son to get out of preschool (ditto for when I’m picking up my nephews). I write while I’m folding laundry (a lot of character development happens that way). While I’m washing dishes (my characters have a lot of snarky comebacks and are often hilarious). I even write while I’m driving.

And after I’m done writing on my notebook I transfer it all to my computer when my husband comes home from work. I usually take an hour after dinner to get this done. I try to make sense out of my crazy handwriting. Somehow it turns into an entire novel.

What I’m trying to get to is that if you love something enough, if you’re passionate about the actual craft of writing, you make time for it. You do anything you can to carve out time for it no matter how busy your schedule is.

  1. Once you have a short story or your novel written don’t just send your first draft to agents and publishers. Your first draft is exactly that…a first draft. You need to revise it. There is no such thing as a completed novel, trust me even after it’s in print you will always want to go back to it because you will never ever be able to let your novel go. Best thing you can do is go over it a few more times and have a beta reader look over it. Not your friend because they’ll just pat you on the back and tell you how great you are. You need someone who will be honest with you. You might want to try joining a writing or critique group. I joined one once and that’s where I met my best friend (who is awesome by the way) but I also came across this really mean person who basically hated everything I wrote and had no useful critiques for me. There is a difference between pointing a few things out and being criticized. So be sure you find a group that works well for you.

  1. Read. Read. Read…and oh yeah…read some more. I spend most of my time in the reference section at Barnes and Noble. I buy books on how to become a better author because I’m always learning. I read books on how to write dialogue, description, setting, and character development. I’m subscribed to The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines. Why? Because I want to learn as much as possible. I want to be a better story teller. I want to entertain my readers. I want their full attention and more importantly I want them to have fun while reading one of my stories.

  1. Before you submit your work, be sure to read the agent’s or publisher’s submission guidelines. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Take your time and work on your query letter and/or synopsis (if one is required) you don’t want your work to be rejected because you couldn’t follow a few simple rules.

  1. Should you get an acceptance letter? Rejoice! Do a happy dance! Eat chocolate. Celebrate.

And once you get all that out of the way come back to reality, sit down and read your contract before you sign anything. Trust me. I lost a novel this way. Can’t get the rights back. The publisher won’t answer my emails. So please, take my advice and read the contract before you sign anything. And if you don’t understand what you’re reading, then have someone else sit down and explain it to you.

  1. Once you’ve signed your contract, it’s time for you to learn the ins and outs of marketing your book. Depending on the type of publisher you’ve signed with (especially true if it’s an indie publisher). This means printing out business cards, sending your book to be reviewed and building a platform for your book. Things you need to work on:

  1. Website. Keep it simple. No crazy colors that might give someone a seizure.
  2. Social media. What does that mean? It means getting on facebook, twitter, goodreads, livejournal, wordpress, etc. The point is to get your name out there.
  3. When you submit your book to reviewers, be sure to read their guidelines. Don’t send your nonfiction book to a reviewer that prefers young adult/fantasy.

  1. Help other authors and they will help you. I often invite other authors as guest bloggers on my livejournal blog (it’s the one that’s most active). If they have a book being released, I do the best I can to share their links on my facebook page and tweet about their book. Why? First of all, it’s the nice thing to do. You should help other authors out. And second? They always return the favor. Every week I’m on someone’s blog sharing my thoughts about writing or an excerpt of my book.

  1. Don’t give up. Never, ever give up. Trust me, I had days when I would wake up wondering if this was what really what I wanted to do with my life. But then I’d get a positive review for my book or a letter from a fan saying how much they enjoyed my book and that gave me the biggest burst of energy. Sometimes it’s exactly what I need to get me to pick up my pen and get back to what I love doing the most. Writing. It’s just what comes naturally to me. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I couldn’t write.

Anyway thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you found some of this information helpful and if you have more questions please feel free to email me at

If you would like to find out more about Liz DeJesus please visit her website