Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Upcoming events.

I'm the guest on Karenna's site. She'll be interviewing me about my books, my writing, and so much more. So come out and join us for the fun. I promise I'll try and get back to everyone!

Here's the link to her site - www.karennacolcroft.com/?page_id=18

New Year's Resolutions

Wow the countdown has begun. With only a little over a full day left in 2009, I've been doning some retrospective thinking over the passed year. It was one full of ups and downs, highs, lows, and some inbetween times. I managed to successfully meet some goals and missed the mark with others.

For the coming  new year, I've decided that I need new goals - are they set in stone? No. They'll probably be tweaked, twisted, turned, and otherwise tortured but its a start right? So here goes my top 5 goals.

1. Get my editing business up and running. I'm starting up one online that is specifically for historical writers.

2. Complete my current WIPes and submit them by this spring.

3. Aim for New York with a submission by the end of 2010.

4. Do more to promote my books and build my web identity.

5. Have fun - with my family, my writing, my work...and not sweat the small stuff. There's so much out there that I can't change so I'm going to focus on what I can. If it means turnign the other cheek when someone upsets me or I get a bad review - so be it. Life's too short to be miserable!

So come on, share those new years resolutions - stories of your own, thoughts, comments...all are welcome. Above all Have a great New Year's eve and a wonderful, rich 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

An interview with Tami Winbush

Please welcome back, Tami who honors us with her presence at today's interview.

How did you get started as a reader for Champagne?

I had been a book reviewer for Simply Romance Reviews for a while and I was just dying to get 'more'! So I decided to go to the publishers websites and click on all of the job link pages and see what they had to offer. When I got to the Champagne website they were 'hiring' for readers. So, I got to pre-read manuscripts that were coming into Champagne. I felt privileged and honoured!


What, or who, inspired you to get involved in the publication industry?

I'm a horrible bookie. I have been since I was a child. I started writing a book almost 7 years ago and I've always had the dream of being a writer. So when I started reviewing I said to myself, "Self you can do this too you know. And the only way to get into any biz is from the bottom up." I am one of those people that wants to know how all the nuts and bolts work. So, I reviewed, I read, I talked to Ellen about how to get into the publishing world, and here I am.


For anyone looking to get their foot in the door, what would you suggest they do?

To get your foot in the door…well you put your left foot in…oh, sorry that wasn't what you were talking about. Well, what I suggest is basically what I did, start at the bottom. Check on publisher websites and see if they have any job openings. Become a reviewer so you have a writing sample available in case there is the need for one for the job you might get with the publishing house. And my favorite saying, "What's the worst thing that they can say? NO?" So just go for it.

What genres did you read and which is your favourite and why?

I honestly read EVERYTHING and anything. But I would have to say that my favorite genre is paranormal romance. I am addicted to vamps! I would lean my neck over right now and let one bite me. I am a huge fan of Richelle Mead and Anya Bast! **waves**


How did you make the jump from being a ‘reader’ to being the marketing/promotions person for Ellen and Champagne/Carnal Passions?

I actually stumbled into my Promotions Manager job quite accidentally! I had been a reader for Champagne books for quite a while when I asked the publisher Ellen a question.

"Ellen," I said "how do you get your foot in the door in the publishing industry? I've run a review site; I have a degree in Accounting with a strong background in Marketing. What do I do? Maybe I could be a review coordinator?"

Ellen then came back and told me of a job opening that Champagne had available. I was excited, and jumped at the opportunity. How often do things like this happen? Not often for me, so I took this as a sign and Ellen and I had a nice talk and here I am. Happy as a clam and wondering when the work starts. I tell Ellen (too often I think) that I don't feel that I am working. I enjoy my work way too much to be working.



What’s your biggest pet peeve about author’s, buyers, readers when it comes to e-books?

My biggest pet peeve is piracy. Our authors work hard, some most of their lives to come up with their novels. Then someone comes along with the notion that it's OK to go out there and put that work out on the net for everyone to take. They are stealing, and I don't care for thieves. I don't like anyone taking from my family. Champagne authors are my family, and hence all authors are my family. I've come to know some of the best people on the planet through the e-book publishing market. I hate for any of them to be taken advantage of. So I say to anyone out there who pirates, STOP! You're hurting my family, and I don't like it.


You have a busy life. How do you find time to do the work you love and keep up with all the things happening at the publishing house? Do you have a schedule?

I have a life? Why didn't you tell me this sooner? I really don't have a schedule since I work from home. I have three kids at home, two dogs, four cats and a fiancĂ©. So I tend to work around them and the housework. I go through bursts and get things done in the morning, and as Ellen knows sometimes I’m up burning the midnight oils. (Quite literally actually!) Being able to set my own pace is actually a good thing, that way when inspiration hits, BOOM, I'm right there with it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meet Tami Winbush, Marketing/PR representative for Champagne Books

Tami Winbush: Marketing/PR rep for Champagne Books said:


I don't know how it's possible to hate talking to people and love talking to people at the same time. But somehow I end up doing it. I do not like to get up in front of a crowd. It makes me sweat, get all red in the face and my heart beats out of my chest. Textbook heart attack, I mean panic attack.

But once I get in front of said people, I can talk to them as if I have known them forever. I love to talk. I've been told that I have NEVER met a stranger, and it's true. The smaller the group of people I meet the better I am. So you would think that marketing Champagne and Carnal Passion Books to people online would make my life really easy since I don't actually have to get up in front of any people, right? WRONG!

There is 'something' to a face-to-face connection and being able to show someone something tangible. "Here my dear reader, look at this wonderful book. The cover art is exquisite, the story line intriguing, and the ending pops out of nowhere."

But that doesn't read nearly as well as if I were there with you. Don't get me wrong though; there are also great benefits to marketing online. The networking potential on the Internet is endless; with blogs, online magazines, review sites, your own website, and social networking sites!

I actually stumbled into my Promotions Manager job quite accidentally! I had been a reader for Champagne books for quite a while when I asked the publisher Ellen a question.

"Ellen," I said "how do you get your foot in the door in the publishing industry? I've run a review site; I have a degree in Accounting with a strong background in Marketing. What do I do? Maybe I could be a review coordinator?"

Ellen then came back and told me of a job opening that Champagne had available. I was excited, and jumped at the opportunity. How often do things like this happen? Not often for me, so I took this as a sign and Ellen and I had a nice talk and here I am. Happy as a clam and wondering when the work starts. I tell Ellen (too often I think) that I don't feel that I am working. I enjoy my work way too much to be working.

My suggestion to all authors is to make your presence known. Talk to all bloggers, all review sites, leave comments on all reviews of your book, talk to all book related sites! This is the way to promote, to market online. Get out there and push! As my favorite saying goes, "The worst they can says is no."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Revamping an old group

For those of you who know me I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator...and overly prolific. I'm always doing something and it shows. I'm currently going to be revamping my google group Of ink and quille. If anyone has any suggestions, comments, or thoughts on how to make it a better, more informative and fun group please, please feel free to drop me a note.

I'm going to be opening it for discussions, promotions, etc as well as to do a monthly fun feature so please come out and join me in launchin this "New" face of my group in January 2010.

A.C Mason has dropped by to share a bit of her time and stories

Please welcome author, A.C. Mason to the blog. She was kind enough to volunteer to do an interview. Feel free to post questions/comments.


What inspired you to begin writing?

I saw a biography of Mary Shelley on the history channel when I was about thirteen. If she could write Frankenstein by the age of eighteen what could I do by then? I didn’t know, but I sure wanted to find out.

For each writer their genre is the one they’re comfortable with. Why did you begin writing within yours?

I’ve had a fascination with American horror, thrillers, and sci-fi films since I was a very small child. In the eighties many interesting movies like The Shinning, Scanners, Angel Heart and The Lost Boys came out which further molded my young mind. Most kids thought I was disturbed but I couldn’t get enough of these dark places. Eventually I wrote my own scary places.

What was your initial reaction when you got that first contract?

Let me provide some context. Technically I don’t write romance but most of the writers I know do.


Do you have to do a lot of research to write the books you do or do you write within the fields you know?

I’m an information junky but with my writing I move away from weighing down my work with facts and details. So much so I have to make sure I’ve put enough in. I surround myself with writers who challenge me.

What would be your one piece of advice for anyone interested in getting a book published?

Learn the craft and don’t settle for good enough.

How did you family/friends react to your decision to become a writer?

Those that spoke up wondered what on earth I was thinking. Don’t you think you are a tad old to master English and become published in your second language? No and those comments just drove me to want the achievement even more.

What sort of goals do you set for yourself with each project?

To go deeper and write stronger each time.

What sort of music do you listen to while you’re writing?

Mostly, I don’t listen to music when creating new material. The only exception is when my mind seems to be racing. I sometimes use music distract the part of me that needs constant stimulation. I do listen to music when editing. Everything from Classical, Blues, Jazz, R&B to hip-hop. I like using trance music to set actions scenes too.


Thanks A.C. Mason, we've been glad to have you. Please come back again.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On The First Day of Christmas...

Wow, only thirteen days left until the big day. I thought it would be fun to share some things about Christmas.

Today I'm including an excerpt from my Christmas Novella, Christmas for the Cowboy.
Happy Holidays - may they be blessed.

Christmas For The Cowboy

Chapter One Excerpt



Beyond the window a blanket of white lay over the land as Holly Walker snapped the clasp on her bag shut. A sweeping glance around the room revealed her neatly made king-sized bed, two oak dressers, and armoire; each item lovingly cleaned in preparation of her week-long absence. She traced over the wedding ring quilt on the bed and tried to ignore the tremble in her fingers. Her stocking feet made no sound as she walked to the dresser and lifted the small envelope that rested there.

“All set,” she murmured to herself, tucking her cell phone into her purse, and starting down stairs. The Christmas lights flickered and danced off the rings on her hands. Holly paused in the doorway and looked around. A massive blue spruce sat decorated by the fireplace, a stack of wrapped packages beneath it. Angels hung from ribbons to float above the room. It looked like a perfect Christmas scene and she smiled slowly. Next Christmas would be different, maybe more luxurious, but it would have another miracle to celebrate. She inhaled and patted her still-flat abdomen. Oh yes, this year she’d gotten what she wanted for Christmas – but was it what he wanted?

Much the same as she’d done for the past six years, Holly meant to be away from home for the holidays. This was her escape, her last chance to see if her relationship with Ty could survive. Dressed warmly, she collected her bags and started for the car.

The newer Chevrolet was something she hadn’t originally wanted, until she got the call from the doctor’s office earlier. She giggled and peeked into the mirror to wink saucily at her reflection. Gone was the everyday woman she recognized. Instead, her artfully applied cosmetics gave her a sultry, seductive look. She reached up to pat at her plain brown hair that was curled and piled up to enhance her cheekbones. She rubbed at her small nose to warm it from the cold as a cloud of mist escaped her painted lips with each breath.

“Well, girl, I say you are looking good. Let’s see if anyone else notices.” She blew herself a kiss and turned the engine over. The sturdy car pulled out onto the highway and she turned west.