Blog Archives

Kayelle Allen’s space opera: filled with characters you’ll never forget

Today we welcome Kayelle Allen, who I met on her site, Romance Lives Forever-  reading her story, I see we have a lot in common! I hope you enjoy meeting her and finding out about her books.

 

boc1-2-nik-smile-read450Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me! I write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Space Opera, YA, and in the past, have written erotic romance. I’ve moved toward a more PG version of story these days.

I’ve been published since 2004. Believe it or not, no one had ever heard of a Kindle back then. We published eBooks, which people had no idea what to do with. Indie publishing was in its infancy. At that time, people still thought “self-published” meant you weren’t good enough to get a “real book” published. They had no idea the number of years it could take to get a book released, if you could even get someone to read your submission in the first place. Compare that to a turn around of a few months if you are indie.

The publishing business went through a revolution, and some of the biggest publishers from that time are gone. Mostly, they failed to keep up with the changing times and embrace the new technology. I’m a dinosaur in the indie world, but I’ve loved seeing the changes as they occur and applaud the freedom it has given writers. Currently, I am 100% indie published.

What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

I live north of Atlanta, GA in the rural area of the state. No pets, but I have dog-grandbabies if you know what I mean. Married forever, three grown children, five grandchildren. Huge extended family of people I have heart-adopted.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I like coffee, but my doctor doesn’t want me imbibing caffeine, so I drink decaf. My drink of choice while writing is water or a caffeine-free Diet Coke.

What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

I went to college but as far as writing goes, I am self-taught. A lifetime of reading and writing, studying, taking online courses, and polishing my skills has given me a much higher polish than someone with formal education and no experience.

 

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Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

The Bringer of Chaos series is currently two books and a short story, but it will be bigger before I’m done with it. I have two more books in mind and another short story. Currently, readers can download the short story, Lights Out, free when they join one of my reader groups. I’ll leave a link at the end. Here’s the blurb for book 1 of the series.

Bringer of Chaos: Origin of Pietas

Exiled to a barren world, the immortal king Pietas must learn to humble himself and ask for help–politely. Without assistance, he might spend an eternity alone, never finding the people he has already died over a thousand times to save.
The problem is, the only source of aid is a human, the very one who caused his exile in the first place.
Immortal. Warrior. Outcast. Traitors took everything. Except his honor.

What inspired you to write this story?

I had written a book about Luc, a popular character in my story universe, and was working on a sequel. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the villain to be the villain. I literally rewrote the entire book nine times. Finally, a friend sat down with me and started asking me questions about my so-called villain. Turns out, Pietas wasn’t a villain at all. I was looking at the wrong aspect of the story altogether. So I decided rather than finish that book, I’d write a short story about the “villain” so I could understand his motivation. Two books later I’m still writing about Pietas. Turned out he was a hero who masqueraded as a villain in order to accomplish a greater purpose. That’s how the entire Bringer of Chaos series was born. I should mention that Pietas is immortal, so he has appeared in books that range thousands of years in date.

What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I learned that there was a human at the center of the story that I had never considered before. I wrote Six as a convenient walk on part to get the story where it needed to go, but the more I wrote, the more I saw an opportunity to develop Pietas by reflecting him off the human. Six’s origin story is told in Lights Out, the free book I mentioned before.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?

The wry humor. Pietas starts out as a downright jerk in the first part of the story, but as you move through the tale, you start to see that his “jerkness” is part of an act, a shield to guard his heart. He’s honorable and just, opposite of what he perceives humans to be. Until he gets to know Six. And because Six refuses to take life seriously, and Pietas is all about duty and honor, the friendship that develops between them is one hot mess.

Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I had a lot of one-on-one chats with a friend over this book. She guided my creation of Pietas and Six both. I’m forever grateful for her influence.

How would you best describe your books?

I write space opera with larger than life, unforgettable characters. Read one of my books and you will remember the people you met while you walked in my world.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Space Opera/Science Fiction. I grew up on it. One of my best friends writes historical westerns. She has to often stop and look up a word to see if it was in use back then. I have to stop and look in the lexicon that I created to see if the word I need is one I already created. Like “Imperinet” — the imperial internet in one period of my story world.

To read?

You might laugh, but one of my favorite reads is Regency Romance. I just finished one by Alexa Aston that I absolutely adored. I also read suspenseful stories by authors like Michael Connelly, JD Robb, and Lee Child. I read in my genre too. I want to know what trends are being followed. I plain love any good story.

What do you most like about writing?

World building I think, although when I can figure out how to layer in a character from another book into a new one, I get a kick out of that too. I wrote a lexicon of Felis, the language used by feline-humanoids in my books. There are only a handful of words in any book, but I have nearly forty pages of text I can choose from to create a sentence or phrase when I need one. For example, kahmay t’hahr means “hero of my heart” and it’s a term of endearment.

Least like?

About the writing process? The time it takes. I wish I could dump stories from my head straight into the computer. What a timesaver that would be!

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I was about four or five. My mother loved to write and she was an artist. I learned to write the word cat in school, came home and told my mother that now I could write a story about cats. Fast forward many years, my first book featured a hero who was a HalfKin, a mix of human and feline-humanoid. Didn’t even make the connection until a few years ago.

Do you belong to any writing groups?

I’m in several. I am currently studying Derek Murphy’s Guerrilla Publishing, which includes both writing and marketing, plus I’m the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group for authors. We help each other find promotional opportunities and serve as a sounding board for questions about the writing business. We also promote for our members. It’s 100% volunteer run, so there are no fees.

Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I read the blog posts on Romance University, Save the Cat!, and many others. I’m always up for suggestions on good sites for writers.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing?

It’s listed as Epic, Sweeping, and Movie Trailer Music. Try these groups for size: Really Slow Motion (yep, that’s their name), Audiomachine, Epic North, Future World Music, and (very badly named in my opinion) Two Steps from Hell. Their music is heavenly.

boc1-2-nik-unbreakable450How does it inspire you?

I can tune out words and listen to sweeping music that inspires creativity. Depending on the book, of course. I wrote one book to the tunes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Chevelle. Go figure.

Do you belong to a critique group?

I lead the Canton Writer’s Circle, a group that has met for about six years. I’ve published several books while a member here. One of my beta readers is a member, and one of my developmental editors is as well.

What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I get honest feedback. I’m still after six years learning to shut up and listen when my fellow members suggest something. I try not to defend what I wrote. They are not there to tell me what I did wrong, but how I might make it better. Do I always take their advice? No. We joke about taking advice “under advisement” meaning — yeah, no.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published?

I have fourteen publications, with a mix of books and short stories. I started out in small press.

How many books did you write before selling one?

My first book was accepted on submission, but I had a friend who guided me on where to go.

How did you find a publisher?

I was recommended to my first publisher by a critique partner (in a different group from the one I’m in now).

How did you receive the Call?

Getting an email asking for the rest of the story was a thrill, believe me. I can remember everything about where I was and what I was doing the moment I got that message.

What are you writing now?

I’m writing A Stolen Heart, which is a full novel set in the Tarthian Empire and features Luc and Pietas (thousands of years after the Bringer of Chaos series). My first published book was At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and A Stolen Heart is about how the hero of that book ended up being adopted by Luc.

What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I’ll be attending OutlantaCon in Atlanta as a guest next March. I’m there every year and have a lifetime membership. I am planning others as well. Readers can check my schedule on my website.

What would you like to tell readers?

Try one of my books and give my characters a shot. Once you meet them, you’ll be hooked. You can sample any of my books by visiting my website. Each book has a page where you can download a few chapters and check out the story. Plus, if you join one of my reader groups, you get the entire story Lights Out free, plus a starter set of four illustrated books. https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups/ You can unsubscribe at any time.

Can you learn by reading fiction? Author Pamela Cummins thinks so!

Check out this blog post from author Pamela Cummins, who finds value in reading fiction for gaining knowledge—even romance books! Not only can you study human nature, but also learn facts about history, famous people and more. I know this to be true, reading author Kathy Otten’s Western historical romances. I was lucky enough to be part of her critique group , and learned all kinds of things, even how to birth a calf with your own hands!!

 

I’m proud to be one of Pamela’s “favorite authors”– why don’t you jump aboard??

Minzie by L. Horton

I recently had the pleasure of talking to a group of teens at Arms Around ASD, a local office that supports people on the spectrum and their families, and we explored the basics of writing, including character traits and details. One young man was very excited about his piece, and I offered to share it with the world, in keeping with the season. Enjoy!

 

Image result for free clip art witchThere once lived a wicked witch who did not like the heroes of the pacific side of the world. So she casted a spell on a jack o lantern who she named Minzie and brought it to life. It grew a body of vines and was ready to kill what was on schedule. There was Luke, a Rich Pagan Wizard from Saipan who has triplets. There was Logan, a Buddhist from Guam, who helps people and hunts pigs to make food for the community, with his rich wife Lauren. There was Marky, an Orthodox Jewish detective from Christmas Island and Leia a Buddhist from Japan who knows ninjitsu. Moving on, we are starting with Luke in this story.

 

Part 1. Luke the Wizard

Luke was potty training his triplets when suddenly his wife Helena pops in.

“Luke, you are the hero of Saipan. Can’t you grant me good luck at work today because I’m afraid I’m going to fail at a project going on and get fired.”

“Aw sweetheart  I can grant you that.”

“Thanks so much, Luke!” said Helena.

When potty training was done, he took his triplets outside to play and then three hours later it was time for a bath and then bedtime. When itImage result for free clip art Pumpkinhead was bedtime he went to sit at the bar in his mansion and that’s when Minzie came and killed him by sending wines through his chest and his abdomen and them Minzie ate his head and heart.

The very next day, Helena came in and she screamed loudly and held a funeral with the triplets and his family.

Part 2. Marky the Inspector

Marky was at somebody’s house dealing with a missing puppy, which he found an hour later. After that he went home and watched Benny Hill. During Benny Hill he received a call from his childhood friend Logan on Guam.

“Hey Marky! How does work go for you on Christmas Island>?” said Logan.

“It goes fine. I’m a detective and found a puppy today.”

“Neat!” said Logan.

Then suddenly Minzie appeared outside Marky’s house. Marky said, “Hang on I gotta go.”

So he walked outside and got his head eaten by Minzie.

Part 3. Leia the Ninja

directrix clipart ninja #74261093 clip art library downloadLeia was at her dojo training with her sensei Kyubo and she went home with her stepdad. Her stepdad even told her that she is the hero of Japan, but there is a monster on the loose so she needs to stay inside where it is safe.

Minzie soon appeared and vined out her heart and ate it.

There was later a funeral at a crematorium.

 

Part 4. Logan the pig hunter

Logan and his rich wife Lauren were out hunting pigs for bacon on Guam, to have a meat sale to benefit the community.Image result for free clip art explosion

But when Minzie arrived to get him, the military had tracked the pumpkin, and had it surrounded and blew up Minzie with a missile. The danger was over but everyone who died was always remembered as a hero.

Are you prepared for these futures?

When science becomes a weapon:

Cloning. Accelerated growth of replacement organs. DNA repair. In 2096, all are possible. And forbidden by law. Three people will defy these laws to save the life of eleven-year-old Zelimir, who will die a slow, painful death from a horrifying genetic disease.

Zelimir’s father hires Torver Lockwood and Demetria Greyson to find a cure for his son. Both have a personal stake in this illegal research. A cure may help explain why Torver is able to see into people’s pasts and why Demetria has visions about a violent future.

But, once developed, the solution could be used as a powerful weapon that can target specific genes. With the chance that the cure may fall into the wrong hands and start a new reign of terror, will Torver keep the secret to himself, at the cost of one small life?

SYNERGY by M. D. Benoit
The Mundial Trilogy – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/synergy/

Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help develop a cure. His only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.

Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.

But a Chinese assassin is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.

WINDMILLS by Lyndi Alexander
The Color of Fear – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/windmills/

Is truth just another version of fiction? Or vice versa?

My reptile shapeshifter romance book A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is featured at author Cara Bristol’s blog this week. Check out the story of how it came to be written, through a real life romance!

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

From Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press.

Buy here: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Degree-Hope-Lyndi-Alexander-ebook/dp/B00IPQWY9G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

My interview with R. Kyle Hannah

I’m the star of the show over at the Writing and Rambling blog today. Please stop by and learn what I’m working on, what I’m passionate about, and why I have new kitties. 🙂

 

Image may contain: cat, flower and plant

Lauded author Catherine E. McLean provides revision help for writers!

One of the best parts of being an Area 1 Pennwriter is the wonderful quality of the members and the camaraderie we all share. I’m happy today to share the latest from sister PW writer Catherine McLean. She teaches at the yearly conference, and I’ve heard attendees swear by her lessons. Don’t miss out on this one!

 

Nothing gives a writer a life-high like finishing the first draft of a story— and nothing frustrates a writer more than having to revise and edit that draft.

Revision is a Process offers secrets, tips, shortcuts, practical advice, and “cheat sheets” that will enable a writer to go step-by-step through a self-editing process to create a reader-friendly, marketable manuscript.

Revision is a Process showcases—

● How using 12 simple steps when revising saves time, energy, and frustration

●  How to systematically examine the entire story so nothing is overlooked

●  How to examine the plot for what’s out of sync and for missing elements

●  How to avoid “logic flaws,” Freudian slips, and faux pas

●  How to use “red flag” words to find bloopers and blunders

●  How to diagnose a prologue before keeping or deleting it

Every writer believes there has to be an easier way to revise a manuscript. Revision is a Process is the gift you’ve been waiting for. In its pages is a remarkably easy approach to self-editing that will take the pressure off a daunting task and open the path to success. Details, Table of Contents, Excerpts and other great advice can be found at http://www.writerscheatsheets.com/   (Available at Amazon.com – 5 Star Review) and at Barnes and Noble.com

Steampunk dreams

A few summers ago, I got the wild hair to turn my living room into a steampunk masterpiece. Not that I knew a whole lot about steampunk, mind you. But I’d been fascinated by the fashions and decor for awhile, and I liked Wild Wild West and Firefly (which isn’t steampunk but it is Chinese and Chinese is cool).

steampunkery and zoos 027We added the Victorian interest in nature by having mounted butterflies with microscopes, the old steam trunks, the Persian rugs… and this Chinese cabinet which was truly a beautiful antique, with lacquered carvings all across the front panels.steampunkery and zoos 024

This was the highlight of our collection, acquired in a dusty old antique store in Asheville, North Carolina. We were in love with it. (Right now though, I’d love to sell it so I don’t have to move it again. It’s very solid and heavy!!)

 

We added the gear-naked clock, and a gear-laden chicken. (see below).

So what have I written that qualifies as Steampunk?

Absolutely nothing.

One of the delights of steampunk is the adherence to knowledge of machinery and science. I’m a mother, not an engineer, damn it, Jim. One day, I might take the time to research and educate myself in an effort to get up to speed enough to write on the subject. I like what I see that other people do, for sure. I mean, who doesn’t like magic steampunkery and zoos 029flying machines and submarining 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea??

steampunkery and zoos 031Another facet of steampunk that I love is the focus on travel. People are always flitting about in airships, or on boats or underwater or into space, even. The curiosity of the Victorian Era just continues on in spades.

Sure, there’s still politics and poverty and all the other parts of modern society, but the chase for knowledge seems to be valued above all else.

And they love one thing I also love: the octopus.

Not just your average little inking cephalopod, either. They don’t mess around. Their octopi can take down whole boats. And they are ubiquitously useful. Do you need one of your very own? Check out this video! They come in chandeliers and door handles. They make lovely Halloween costumes. Need I say more?

What do you think about steampunk? What’s your favorite example?

One of my sister authors has a beautiful photographic novel entitled THE DOOR—this post is part of her campaign to raise funds for its publication before she goes on for her Masters’ degree. Hit the link above to enter the contest and capture your clue words for the scavenger hunt of the week. Win wallpapers and other bonus gifts. Most of all, support starving artists everywhere! 🙂

octopus

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you thought a poltergeist was bad–what about a deadly cyber-geist?

    


 

Maxx Fragg, V.P.I.

 

S.A. Check
Genre: Young Adult / Sci-fi / Paranormal
Release Date:09/03/15

 

Publisher Ink Smith Publishing

 

Cover Designer: Macy Stom
 
pasted image 0When Maxx lost his brother in a car accident, his world fell apart.  It didn’t help he was driving the car when it happened.  Finding an escape inside the virtual world of Other Syde, Maxx runs the Maxx Fragg Virtual Paranormal Investigative Agency with his best friend, Tane. But in a world where dreams become reality, can nightmares be far behind?

      When a real ghost attacks Maxx inside the program, he’s saved by the last person he ever expected to see again, his brother. Risking everything for a chance to say he’s sorry, Maxx, Tane, and Maxx’s almost-girlfriend Emi, need to figure out why real ghosts are haunting a virtual world while on the run from a murderous cyber-geist, high-tech security guards, a corrupt corporation with their own plans for the technology, the recluse genius who created the program, and Maxx’s own demons.

About the Author

 

 
 

 

Excerpt
Tucked between the shadows and the night, standing in a darkened corner of the room, Maxx Fragg watched the young couple huddled on the couch. They had no idea what he had in store for them. He almost felt sorry. Almost. He watched as Travis stroked Debbie’s hand and whispered something in her ear. Maxx locked eyes with her as he moved across the apartment. He saw the desperation mixed with fear in her eyes and he grinned. He liked it that way. Pulling a pair of gloves from his belt, Maxx cinched them tight around his wrists. The rush of adrenaline rose up from his chest. This was far from his first job but he still got a thrill each time. He clicked off the lamp and the room went black.
         Debbie gasped. “Can’t we leave a few lights on?”
         “I prefer to work in the dark. It helps me concentrate,” Maxx said. It really didn’t matter but he felt it intensified the experience.
         “I think I’d rather see what’s coming.” Travis pulled a cushion on his lap, clutching the fabric.
         “Why? You expecting a pillow fight?” Maxx dropped the equipment bag slung over his shoulder.
         Debbie jumped. “What are you going to do with that?”
         “What I’m being paid to do. My job.” Maxx nodded across the room to his partner, who shook his head in disapproval. Bending next to the couch, Maxx slowly unzipped the bag. He was close enough to see the goose bumps on Debbie’s arm rise with each click.
         “I don’t care what it takes. Just get that thing out of my house,” Travis said.

         “Don’t worry. You’ll be ghost free in no time.” Maxx knew his clients needed to believe he could make it better, take away their fears. If only it was that simple. Everyone wanted to name the night, put a label on their personal horrors. He wished someone could shut the door to the monsters in his own closet.

Inherit the Stars–with Laurie A. Green

2011 Rita & Golden Heart AwardsWelcome today to my Science Fiction Romance Brigade sister LAURIE A. GREEN! Thanks for being with us today.

First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today! I’m Laurie A. Green and I live in the great state of New Mexico, though I’m a native Michigander. My husband and I own a small ranch, so yes, we have the usual menagerie of critters—dogs, cats, horses.

As far as addictions (assuming the internet doesn’t count), I generally can’t function before I’ve had my two cups of coffee in the morning—and on really rough days I need an afternoon booster from Starbucks. I’m also a peppermint chain-popper, especially the soft puffy variety. Did you know peppermint is a natural antacid? Works wonders.

I don’t have a degree though I have quite a bit of unfinished business at various colleges. I’ve worked for 20 years as a military budget director, so the lack of a degree hasn’t hindered me and likewise, I don’t feel it’s had any adverse effect on my writing career.

Inherit_the_Stars_Complete_NovelTell us about your most recent publication. 

I just became a debut author in January with a novelette, Farewell Andromeda, but my first novel, Inherit the Stars, launched in February. (It actually had two debuts—first as a serialized novel in three parts, and again as a complete novel in one volume.) Both titles are part of a Science Fiction Romance series. It’s now available in print, too!

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

The core idea for Inherit the Stars came to me in a dream. It’s about one man’s attempt to escape enslavement by a galactic superpower. To evade his captors, he strikes a desperate deal with the female captain of a prototype starship, and soon finds himself not only emotionally connected but fatefully entangled in her destiny–a course that will take him full circle to face the very evil he most fears.

I have to avoid spoilery here, but I can say I did quite a bit of research on theories surrounding dark energy, camouflage capabilities in space, and high tech communications, and then let my imagination take the reins. Writing is an education in and of itself. I always learn new things when I’m researching a novel.

Sounds fascinating! How would you best describe your books?

Unapologetically Science Fiction Romance with a side of high adventure. Most of my novels include military elements in some form, which seems to flow naturally from my long career in military in civilian support. Honor and duty are themes readers will see often in my work, and a love vs. duty scenario can lead to some powerful emotional conflicts.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

Oh, it’s SFR on both counts, but I do have one slipstream SFR/Paranormal manuscript completed and I do occasionally read outside the genre.

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

New Mexico picIt would still be Science Fiction Romance, but I have to confess…I do have a family saga Historical on slow simmer in the back of my mind. It takes place in Spain, Mexico and the colonial Southwest (New Mexico) in the 1600-1700s. Maybe when I’m retired and have the time to do all the necessary research, I’ll see where it leads. It would be an ode to my adopted state.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve written stories ever since I learned how to scrawl words out on paper. Just wired that way, I guess. I was a very shy, quiet kid, and it was about my only outlet for self-expression. I think I have to credit my dream to become an author to a junior high English teacher who gave me a ton of encouragement and once told me to never stop writing. Someday I’d like to be able to tell her, “Thank you, Ms. Phillips. I never did.” I’m sure she has no idea what a huge impact her words had on me.

What do you love most about writing and what do you not like?

I love everything about writing. I totally get lost in the stories and the world when I’m in the zone. A whole day can pass in a blink. What I don’t enjoy is trying to juggle the time I want to spend on writing with all the other priorities in my life—the promotional duties, professional job and household chores all add up to a lot of demands on my time. If I had my druthers, I’d spend that time at the keyboard.

sfr

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I’m one of those who can’t listen to music while I’m in the process of creating the story. I need absolute quiet for that. But I do listen to music when I’m plotting or brainstorming. I do a lot of that on my two-hours commute to and from work and it helps set the mood or tone for the story. I prefer soft and classic rock—America, John Denver, ELO, John Mayer and Moody Blues are some of my faves. I have “soundtracks” on my iPod for my various novels.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

Yes, I’m a member of RWA, LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors), FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal), and The Golden Network local chapters, CritiqueCircle, and the SFR Brigade.

CritiqueCircle.com was a huge find for me. I joined in 2007 and I made more progress in that first year than I had in the previous ten! I learned oodles about the craft through the critiques, and three of the novels that went through the CC queues went on to final in the RWA Golden Heart Awards. I also developed bonds with a large group of peers who have since become published authors—Barbara Elsborg, Arlene Webb, D.L. Jackson and Liana Brooks, to name just a few.

I know I love my critique group. You do learn so much!  Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience? 

I think having a critique group is an essential tool for a writer. I have a pool of writers and authors that I exchange critiques with, many of whom I met on CritiqueCircle. Most of the writers on our joint blog—Spacefreighters Lounge—are close peers that I can count on to critique or beta-read my work or just help me hash out a new idea. I also have a couple of local peers I work with for face-to-face critiques. It’s more time consuming, but it can be really energizing to get that direct, immediate feedback.

I believe critiques are essential. No writer can work in a vacuum. You need to get your work in front of others’ eyes so they can point out issues or problems you may not see because you’re too close to your work. It has to be a peer you can trust to give you solid advice. Critiqueing is an art form in itself. Not everyone makes a good critique partner.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

This is actually the second go-round for me. I was ardently pursuing a career in publishing back in the mid-1990s when I got so discouraged that I stopped writing for a decade. When I decided to reboot and take another shot at it in 2007 (I credit that inspiration to a Halloween eve movie marathon of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), I’d lost a lot of time but I was twice as determined.

Four years later in 2011, I was named a double finalist in the RWA Golden Heart Awards and then became a single finalist again in 2012 with three separate novels. (One of them was Inherit the Stars, under its original title P2PC.) I found my agent, Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary Agency, during that time after a peer read a guest blog she wrote and urged me to query her. Over the next two years we knocked on a lot of doors, but Science Fiction Romance just wasn’t getting any takers. We decided to forego the traditional path last September, and we co-published my first two works in January and February. C0-publishing is the term I use for being published via my agent.

Farewell_Andromeda-FinalHow did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

As per the above, I’m co-published through my agent—I call it “Indie with benefits”—so when I talk about “the call” it was the one I received from Amanda when I first queried her, and she emailed to say “we should talk.” I was so nervous before we had that first telephone conversation, pretty much scared to death we wouldn’t click. Not to worry! We ended up chatting for hours about my work, my plans and the industry in general. Then she made her official offer to represent me. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to find someone so enthusiastic and excited about my work and who wanted to be my agent.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

Inherit the Stars was a very different experience from all my other novels because the idea hit so hard and the scenes unfolded so fast when I began writing that I blasted out the first draft in six weeks. I mentioned the original inspiration came from the remnants of a dream, but the story that unfolded from that single idea was like a driving force. My muse seemed to be on auto-pilot! And this novel is no lightweight, it weighs in at around 112,000 words.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you? 

Right now, I’m working on shining up the next novel in my series, The Outer Planets, for a fall release, and that will be followed in the Spring of 2016 with the third novel, also complete but in need of a good spit and polish. The next three books haven’t been written yet, but I’ll be retiring from my day job next February so I can devote more time to getting those wrapped up.

I’ll be attending the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas from May 12th-17th. This is my first RT, so I’m really looking forward to the experience. Next year, I hope to get to several more conferences and events.

What would you like to tell readers?

If you’re the sort who loves a good romance and feels a real sense of wonder when you gaze up at the stars, you’d probably enjoy my work. After all, space is the final Romance frontier.

If you’d like to learn more about my books, please visit my website: http://www.laurieagreen.com

Best wishes with your release!

 

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