Tag Archives: indie publishing

Author In The House–Interview Morgan Kearns & Giveaway

23 Jul

This year I went to my first Arizona Dreamin’ Conference, a romance reader event organized by the amazing Kris Tualla and a committee of talented fellow authors. I had a blast and made a ton of friends. Surprisingly I was also asked to be part of the organizing committee for next year. I’m beyond excited about such an honor.

So, in preparation for next year’s Arizona Dreamin’ Conference I decided to invite several authors to my blog for interviews, guest posts and of course giveaways in an attempt to let you, my dear readers familiarize yourself with them, their work, and hoping you’d be interested to meet them in person by signing up for the conference (tickets on sale until 07/31, hurry up!)

My first guest is Morgan Kearns. With six published novels under her belt, I call Morgan a pro. She’s witty and full of energy, writing novels that are ‘a real page turner’ and ‘couldn’t put the book down’ reads. She does an ‘amazing job bringing her characters to life’. Morgan loves to meet new characters as they step out of her imagination, introduce themselves and keep her up all night telling their stories.

Morgan, thank you for stopping by my blog.

I’m really excited to be here. Thanks for the amazing set-up. I’m actually blushing a little.

Tell us what’s a day in the life of author Morgan Kearns.

Insanity! I have four children, ranging from 12 to 6. Right now, during summer break, we still start early with chores before rushing into activities. I try to hit the treadmill every morning. With the madness that comes with a full-house, I resort to writing in the evening after the kids go to bed.

I get easily distracted therefore when I write I need complete silence, door closed. The only person allowed in my office is Bella, my dog.When you write do you need complete silence around you or noise?

When I’m writing I can’t do background noise, but I have to have music. I’ve made playlists to go along with the scenes I write. However, when I’m editing, it has to be absolutely silent. That’s tough to find!

I have all these ideas and voices in my head, but for some reason I struggle sometimes to put them on the paper. Do you find yourself at one point or another at a loss for words?

All the time. When I’m having a hard time finding just the right words for the characters, I push through the scene I’m struggling with. Sometimes I go back and am actually surprised when it’s okay and other times I rewrite the entire scene.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I indie publish. Fade to Black went live November of 2009. To say I happy-danced when seeing it in print would be a HUGE understatement. Each book since, gets a few cartwheels of its own. I try to buy a little something to mark the release of each book, a small memento to remind me of yet another milestone reached.

Writing is a hobby for me (and a savior for my husband since it saved him from sleeping in the doggie house one too many times). I also like to read, watch movies (comedies and historical dramas my favs), play games and travel. What hobbies do you have?

I love to read! My favs are historical and contemporaries, romance, of course. My favorite thing in the entire world is to laugh. You know, the kind that makes your stomach ache, eyes water and lungs beg for air. So… if it’s funny, I’m totally there!

I’m not identifying myself with any of my characters, yet each one of them has a part of me. Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Which one and why?

HA! I can neither confirm nor deny the possibility of that. 😉

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 

Never, ever publish anything without getting your manuscript professionally edited.

What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? Being told I didn’t do my characters justice. I’m protective on them and it makes me feel bad when I’ve not conveyed how amazing they are.

What has been the best compliment? The greatest compliment I receive would have to be: every time somebody spends their hard-earned money on a Morgan Kearns novel. I am humbled. Thank you to everyone who has or ever will buy my books. 

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

To read, I am an ebook girl. I love my Kindle. With that said, I have a few series in hardcover that I will continue to purchase for no other reason than to look beautiful on my shelf.

What projects are you working on and when should we expect another release? In a few words what is this story about.

I am currently working on Lucky 13, the fourth novel in the Deadlines & Diamonds series. I’m looking at a November release. Lucky 13 is the story of Enrique Santiago, left fielder for the Las Vegas Rockets. He’s an amazing character. His heroine is Shayne Xavier. She has a scarred past, much like her brother. Ricky does his best to help her deal with that past. Their road to love is more like the Autobahn, really fast and when the crashes are not pretty.

Thanks much!

Thanks for the opportunity!

Get a FREE digital copy of THE SEDUCTION OF DAMIAN  (The Gossip of Mysterious Lane #1)  when you subscribe to Morgan’s Newsletter.

For more info about Morgan look her up on:

Facebook (@AuthorMorganKearns)

Twitter (@MorganKearns)

Pintrest (@MorganKearnsCom)

blog (authormorgankearns.blogspot.com)

website  www.MorganKearns.com.








Why Do You Write? Guest blog with Author Jeffery Moore

5 Nov

I think it’s time for me to introduce my fellow critique partners or peeps as I like to call them.

With two of them I’ve been for almost two years, Cindy C Bennett and Jeffery Moore. We met during an online class and stayed in contact even after. We began exchanging chapters for reviews and eight books later (between the three of us) we are still together. A few months ago we added a third member, Sherry Gammon, who has one book published and a second one soon to be released.

I decided to interview Jeff first since he’s the only man in our group (not sure how he manages to handle three chicks J) and today’s prompt is “Why do you write?”

Why do I write?

This is a core question for all writers and each writer will have a different response. The more you try to answer this question the deeper into your psyche you may go…maybe even places you don’t want to visit. For instance, what does it say about a person who is writing for money? Who is writing for fame? Is writing to fill a void in their life?

Following is a quick write-up about me. Obviously, I didn’t explore that deeply, fearing release of a horror show that is best kept locked up.

I consider myself a calm, easygoing person by nature. I’m not outgoing and have only a few friends outside of our little writing group. I keep to myself and pay my bills. I know this sounds like a profile for a serial killer. I am unemotional to the point of wondering if I am a borderline sociopath, but I’m not cold or distant. I am affectionate to my family members. I take pleasure in helping others and being generous…sometime I even hold a door open for other people…only sometimes.

Many times I wonder what makes me this way. Nurture versus nature? My brother is the opposite from me. He surrounds himself with many friends and is very outgoing. He has a jovial nature about him I envy.

I doubt my personality is what makes me want to write. I seriously doubt this a template for a writer.

So why do I write? And given today’s environment, why would anyone want to write? I guess that’s why they call it zeal.

One thing that may help me answer this question is that I am passionate to a fault. When there is something I want to do or want to achieve, it becomes an obsession. I don’t know where this comes from. I don’t recall my mother or father having such a strong compulsion toward something that everything around them—people and environment—became a cardboard backdrop to life. This is what happens to me when I’m “in the zone”. God bless Cathy for loving me for only love can tolerate my selfishness when I’m in the zone. I’m certain I appear as a manikin to her, and I may as well be for all the attention I give her.

I think writing exaggerates that zeal…that drive and desire in me, but this is only one element of the formula. The second part is my near rabid imagination. Hell, I’ll see a perfume add in one of Cathy’s magazines and begin to formulate a story around it. Who knew the thing that hampered my education would become so rewarding later in life. Third is motivation, which is probably the most difficult part of the formula to define. The motivation has to come from somewhere. Motivation is not finding, but making the time to put pen to paper…to edit and try to better learn the craft…to scrap, rewrite, scrap, rewrite until I feel it’s the best I can create. I only wish I had combined my predisposition to zeal, imagination, and motivation earlier in life.

Yet, this does not explain why I write. This may give insight to what makes me write, but not why.

It wasn’t until I was on a long deployment when in the military that I actually began writing. I wrote hundreds of little snippets of stories in verse. Being separated from my family for eighteen months was a trial for both me and my family. It was and has been the hardest thing I’ve ever endured. The loneliness crushed me so much so that I resigned my commission and began a new career. That’s how my zeal began…borne from deprivation of those I love. From there, it just seemed to evolve into wanting to become a better writer. I attribute the full manifestation of my zeal and passion for writing to the first story I formulated as a result of those verse snippets—an epic adventure—and thought it was good.

For a list, link, and description of Jeffery’s titles, visit: http://www.jefferyemoore.com

Interview with Dave Cleinman

15 Oct

My third guest featuring indie writers from the IWU group is no one else but David Cleinman. Aside from being a successful businessman, husband and father, David is a wonderful author, with three books to his name and still counting.

CMS: Dave, you seem the kind of guy who knows how to be positive at all times, searching for ways to figure things out. How do you do it?

DC: Hmmm.  Positive at all times?  I don’t know about that one.  But I do try to make sense of as much of my world as possible.  An endeavor fraught with failure, as you might guess, but still worth doing.  My novels have a “seek the best even in the worst” kind of quality.   My characters are constantly struggling to make sense of their situations, even when that is painfully difficult.  I think that trait, so strong in me, is just naturally extended to them.

CMS: “Principle Destiny” a fantasy novel came out in November of 2009. How did the story of Princess Alyssa come about and what inspired you?

DC: “Principle Destiny” is now out of print, and will soon be Indie published under a different title.  I couldn’t bear the thought of this novel, as lovely a print job as it was, be so expensive.  My publisher, who shall remain nameless (unless someone searches for the book), did nothing to help me promote it, and it just kind of stagnated. Princess Alyssa is an amalgam of the best qualities of a potential leader, who puts her foot down and refuses to accept the situation in which she finds herself.  While not exactly flawless, she represents the best of humanity in simple ways that I would like to see all politicians and leaders embrace.  She puts her citizens first, has no interest in political agendas, and believes that self-sacrifice is as important for her as for any of her citizens.  The race to gain the kingship, a bit of a throwback to ancient legend, is not only physically exhausting, but mentally draining, and her victory, while coming at quite a price, establishes her firmly as the powerful individual and leader she was meant to be.

CMS: I absolutely love the cover on your second book “Toys in the Attic” which is a psychological thriller out May 2011. What can you tell us about Sara, your main character?

DC: Thank you.  The cover is as emotionally descriptive as I could have hoped.  Desolate and eerie, with just a hint of potential sunshine, and a beautiful woman whose eyes reflect desire for normalcy… I never could have managed that quite as well as Christine DeMaio Rice did. The book asks a simple question, and slowly answers it.  If we found ourselves in a situation where, each and every waking moment, we were haunted by a personal horror so devastating that it has led some individuals to suicide, insanity, or murder, how would we cope?  Sara lives with this very situation and spends over a decade trying to build a life and overcome it.  Sara is both an icon of strength and personal courage, as well as a teenager who never really grows up, emotionally, until she is forced to do so.  I’ll say here that her child, born out of her personal tragedy, begins as a burden, but ends up being a savior.  His faith in his mother never dies, even when her own has.

CMS: As a male author how hard is to write from the heroine’s point of view?

DC: Hard is not really the word I would choose. It is challenging, for sure, but the way I would describe it is this:  it is a balancing act that really is unsurpassed in how unique it is.  I draw on both my feminine side, really based in my being a feeler more than a thinker, as well as deep observation and a background in psychology and counseling. Getting the emotions just right, expressing sexuality delicately, while allowing our main character the freedom to explore, and showing strength while breeding sympathy was all very challenging.  I pretty much just go for it, rely on my instincts, and take as much feedback as I can from women readers.

CMS: What’s next for you? Are you currently working on another novel and when should we expect its release?

DC: First is the reissue of “Principle Destiny” as “The Woman Who Would Be King”.  A cover update is in the works, and a very slight rewrite.  30 to 45 days, max. I am also working on two fantasy series, a sci fi rewrite, and a video game story.

CMS: Do you have a routine when you write and if yes, please describe it.

DC: Just write.  I sit down, listen to music that matches the emotional tone of what I am writing, and type.  Not much else to it.  I do more writing in my head than on “paper” and a lot gets hashed out before seeing life on my computer screen.

CMS: How long did it take you to complete each novel from concept to publish?

DC: “Principle Destiny” took me 10 years. I tend to be slow, anyway, but I never really made my writing the priority I should have. I began this journey at thirteen, and just now am really getting going. “Toys In The Attic” (TITA) took me about a year to develop.  It was put aside for a couple of years, then finished in about nine months. My efforts are improving, somewhat, but I still can’t seem to get that daily writing groove going.

CMS: Why did you choose to go with self-publishing? What was the hardest thing on this journey?

DC: “Principle Destiny” was really not meant to be self-published.  The publisher seemed fairly traditional.  Now I know better. Indie publishing appealed to me because it is instant.  It gives birth to stories without an overseer, who may or may NOT know better and, after reading some exceptional Indie works, I don’t really believe traditional publishing produces superior stories. The hardest thing was getting the formatting right for each epublisher.  And, as always, promotion is challenging.

CMS: How do you promote your novels?

DC: Still working on that one.  My Facebook page is live:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDavidACleinman

I am a member of several blogs and books sites:  Goodreads, AW Water Cooler, Kindleboards, Library Thing.

I write reviews and interview authors, both of which can be seen on my blog: http://www.davidcleinman.com/writings

I’m still working out more ways.  Any suggestions by readers of this interview are welcome!  Just leave comment on my blog!  Thanks in advance!

Close-up and personal, who is David Cleinman:

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl.  To a fault.

Coffee or tea?

Depends on my mood.  Either or neither.  I prefer cool drinks, usually.

Music or silence?

Music, most of the time.  My mind allows me no silence!

Sea or mountains?

Mountains. I grew up in the hills of upstate New York, and they are in my blood forever.

Cat or dog?

I like both evenly.  A dog is more fun.  A cat is more, um … interesting.  I prefer affectionate pets, rather than aggressive.

Thanks Cami for taking the time to interview me!  I really enjoyed your questions!