Friday, September 30, 2011

Workshop: Prepping for NaNo with Susan Meier at Pennwriters Online

Workshops

Pennwriters Inc. brings you...

PREPPING FOR NaNo with SUSAN MEIER: Online Course

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Meier

DATE: October 1 – October 31, 2011

REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201110 (LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Everybody believes NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which runs every November at http://www.nanowrimo.org) is a race against the clock, a fight with procrastination and inertia. In some ways it is. But once you’re in the thick of things, you’ll discover NaNo is really all about ideas. Writers don’t stall because they’re lazy. Writers stall because they don’t know what to write next.

The month BEFORE NaNo, get proven tips from Susan Meier—the author of almost 50 books for Harlequin and Silhouette—and let her take you through several different ways to examine the story you want to write, to capture the natural scene possibilities within your idea, to generate new ideas, and to push yourself through the most grueling, but fun, month you will spend this year! Lessons include:

* The List of 20 (How to generate ideas quickly so you have little downtime when your natural ideas run out)
* Turning a “Want” into “Need” (How does knowing why you’re writing this book provide you with both energy to write and ideas for your story?)
* The One-Paragraph Story Summary (Say it succinctly…3 kinds of one-paragraph story summaries: back cover blurb, core story question, and growth paragraph)
* Could, Might, Must and Should List (How to capture ideas that spring up naturally)
* Storyboard Versus Synopsis (Breaking your idea down into manageable bites)
* The Psychology of Pushing through the Hard Times (What to do when you get stuck)
* The Psychology of a Draft (Push, push, push!)
* What Are You Doing in December? (Editing tips)

Discover how to get the most out of NaNo and write a publishable novel. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201110

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Susan Meier is the author of over 45 books for Harlequin and Silhouette and one of Guideposts' Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS. Her books have been finalists for Reviewers Choice Awards, National Reader's Choice Awards and Cataromance.com Reviewer's Choice Awards and nominated for Romantic Times awards. Her book, HER BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS won the traditional category in the 2009 More Than Magic contest. HER PREGNANCY SURPRISE, her first release for the Harlequin Romance line, made both Walden’s Bestseller List for Series Romance and Bookscan. MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE, MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD, and COUNTRY TWIN CHRISTMAS are her 2010 releases. Susan loves to teach as much as she loves to write and is a popular speaker at RWA chapter conferences. Can This Manuscript Be Saved? and Journey Steps, Taking the Train to Somewhere! are her most requested workshops. Her article “How to Write a Category Romance” appeared in 2003 Writer’s Digest Novel and Short Story Markets. Susan also gives online workshops for various groups and her articles regularly appear in RWA chapter newsletters. For more information about Susan Meier, visit http://www.susanmeier.com.

* Subscribe to our announcement list for email on our latest online courses: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PennwritersOnlineCourses

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ASK THE REVIEWER: Claire's Book Corner



Claire's Book Corner


This is the fifth in a series I'm hosting where I talk with reviewers who have reviewed my books. Today I welcome Claire Smith from Claire's Book Corner! She was kind enough to take time out of her reading and blogging schedule to answer some fun questions about herself, her blog, and about my novel Ambasadora.

To read Claire's full review of Ambasadora visit: http://clairesbookcorner.blogspot.com/2011/09/ambasadora.html

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

1. What types of books do you review most often?
For the past few years I have been mostly reading Urban Fantasy so they are the books that get reviewed.

2. Are there any types of books you won’t review?
Yes, I never read YA so I wouldn’t review those books. No offense to the people who do read them but they just aren’t for me. I hated being a teenager when I was one so I certainly don’t want to read about teen angst now.

3. Do you review more books you've come to on your own or those from authors/publishers?
I’m very new to the whole business of reviewing so the books that I have reviewed have been my own. I did manage to get two ARC books by one author who was pleased with a review I had previously done of one of their books.

4. How long does it usually take you to get to a book once it makes it into your TBR pile?
Oh goodness, my actual TBR pile is massive. I haven’t counted but I must have over 200 books on that pile and I still can’t stop myself from buying more books. I read whatever takes my fancy at the time of choosing a book. Sometimes I haven’t been able to decide and so I have got my cat to choose for me. Oh no, that makes me look like a crazy cat lady--I’m not, I promise. If someone asked me to do a review though, that would go to the top of the pile.

5. What do you do if you can't finish a book?
There have only been a few times when I can’t actually finish a book. I hate not seeing a book through to the end. I’m always so hopeful that the next page the story will get better. If I don’t finish a book I will still write a review for the part I did read, what I don’t like someone else will.

6. What is your favorite book ever?
That is so difficult to answer and my answer changes daily. So today I am going with the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk. I could do with a beer, a laugh and a hug with one of the characters called Shamus O’Flynn right now.

7. Do you like ice cream better than potato chips?
No way ice cream--it’s potato chips every time for me.

ABOUT AMBASADORA

1. Who was your favorite character?
Sara is my favourite character. I really liked seeing her grow from a pretty socialite with no cares but that of getting an amour and having children to being a fighter in battles.

2. Who did you picture as the characters?
I pictured Megan Fox as Sara, Gabriel Aubry as Sean and a British actor called Richard Armitage as Rainer.

3. What is your favorite setting within the Ambasadora-verse?
I liked it when Sara and Sean escaped to the Underground in Latulip.

4. Would you rather have a character or a place named after you?
I would love to have a character named after me and be totally opposite to what I am like.

5. What would you have changed about AMBASADORA if you could?
I wouldn’t have changed anything. If I did then we wouldn’t have the excellent book that we do have now.

6. What would you like to see in future books within the Ambasadora-verse?
I would like to see Sara and Sean meet with Rainer. I think there would be an almighty fight between Sean and Rainer.

7. Would you ever want to travel to the V-side?
Of course I’m always up for an adventure.


Want to know more about Claire? Leave your question in a comment below and check out these links:


- http://clairesbookcorner.blogspot.com


- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5012749-claire


- http://twitter.com/clairesbooks


If you would like to read Claire's full review of Ambasadora follow this link: http://clairesbookcorner.blogspot.com/2011/09/ambasadora.html

If you would like to review Ambasadora, email me at heidirubymiller@gmail.com.

Monday, September 26, 2011

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: G. Paul Grondin


Never Regret Tomorrow by G. Paul Grondin

I'm self-published. I have tried to get an agent since 1977 and no one in the publishing industry thinks my writing is worth a hill of beans. So finally I said, "screw'em all."

Actually, I counted 1,400+ rejection letters over the years before I gave up counting. This does not count screenplay rejections. SO my path to publishing has been one rejection after another. The only summation that I have is that I must have needed to get beat up verbally or in writing...kicked and punched emotionally...causing me to never give up one of my dearest loves in this lifetime--writing.

When JK Rowling finished Harry Potter not one agent in the UK took her seriously. They all turned her down. Then a very small publishing house said they'd publish it because it's an interesting story but "don't expect to make any money off Harry Potter." Later, I saw JK Rowling in a TV special. They asked a few agents and publishers why they had turned her down and they all claimed they had never heard of her prior to her fame.

I'm not saying I'm a great writer or even a good writer, but I'm against the "gate keepers" in and around the publishing industry who do not have an ounce of creativity flowing in their blood and yet, they will tell the reading public what is sent to a publisher and what gets filed under "G" for garbage.

Lucas could not sell anyone on the idea of Star Wars. Then a studio agreed to make the movie only if George would waive all his fees for writing and directing the movie, etc. He'd only be paid if and when Star Wars made a profit, which of course eventually made him a billion dollars.

William Goldman, who was a famous pulp fiction writer from the '60s and 70's, (I used to read his books back in those days) could not sell the screenplay Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid to anyone. After over 6 months of pedaling it in Hollywood, a few studies finally bid on it because Newman and Redford were now interested.

Getting published or selling a screenplay to the "establishment" can be no more than the luck of the draw, but yes, there's serious talent out there. Unfortunately, a lot of hidden talent is destroyed by rejection and the injection of defeat and despair. Writing is not for the faint of heart.

A secondary note: The key to writing is not just a good story or an idea. The power of the written word is in the editing. I spend as much time in the editing process as I do in the writing. For me, writing is easy. It's the editing that's so damn difficult. Now the difficulty will be trying to find readers who will take my writing seriously. Then again, the "READER is KING," not the publishing houses or the agents.

However, if the readers of the world do not want to read my work, or if they want to ignore it, I'll accept that judgment from them...fair is fair. What is the important thing here? At the end of this lifetime, I want to look back and say, "I tried to do the best I could. No regrets!" If I fail in this lifetime, then by God's grace, I'll get it right in the next lifetime. I am grateful life is cyclical."

--G. Paul Grondin
September 2011


Never Regret Tomorrow

After Dr. Sydney Caldwell discovers a powerful new energy, associates team up with terrorists to steal her discoveries so they can dominate the world. Now she must stop them before they misuse this energy and destroy the planet. But, she is not alone. Her friend, Jonathan, and intergalactic friends arrive with otherworldly technology to assist her. This action-packed, high-adrenalin Sci-Fi adventure will propel you across Russia, the U.S.A., Canada, the Bahamas and England.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Rod Kierkegaard

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Rod Kierkegaard


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Donho Likkanen of "Mirrorland", the Finnish Casanova.


2. Tell me about your travels.
I grew up in Louisiana, London, and Stockholm, have lived in New York, Key West, and Paris, and now live in Washington DC. I actually hate to travel.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Silk.


4. What else can you do besides write?
I can drive a car.


5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
My very first sex scene. My gall bladder had just become infected and was perforating.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Iris Murdoch, Philip K. Dick, Machado de Assis, Flann O'Brien, Adam Hall, and both Amises. Which is why I'm totally unpublishable.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Rod Kierkegaard, Jr is a writer and cartoonist best known in the US for his comic strip, "Rock Opera", which ran as a regular feature in Heavy Metal Magazine during the 1980s. From the Lambiek.net website:

"The controversial Rod Kierkegaard Jr. is the artist of works like 'The X-Generation', 'Shooting Stars', 'Rock Opera' and most recently 'Joysuit', a comic series entirely made on the computer. Kierkegaard had his comic work published in magazine Heavy Metal, and also works in the cinematographic field, as well as the field of computer designing."

He is the author of two French graphic novel collections, "Stars Massacre", (released in the US as "Shooting Stars") and "Rock Monstres", both published by Editions Albin Michel, Paris. His first novel, Obama Jones & The Logic Bomb, is published by Dogma Press.

Since then, he's written six more.


Visit him online here:

- http://rodkierkegaard.blogspot.com


- http://www.facebook.com/Rod Kierkegaard

Or email him at rodkierkegaard@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ASK THE REVIEWER: Yasmeen


Yasmeen


This is the fourth in a series I'm hosting where I talk with reviewers who have reviewed my books. Today I welcome Yasmeen from Yaz's Shelf on Down and Dirty, Lusty and Flirty! She was kind enough to take time out of her reading and blogging schedule to answer some fun questions about herself, her blog, and about my novel Ambasadora.

To read Yasmeen's full review of Ambasadora visit: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/202413851

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

1. What types of books do you review most often?
1. I review mainly urban fantasy books, some pnr and whatever else I've read and enjoyed that I want to share with everyone.

2. Are there any types of books you won’t review?
I tend to stick with authors or series' I'm familiar with or books recommended by friends, but I mainly review books I've enjoyed. If I don't like something I don't review it.

3. Do you review more books you've come to on your own or those from authors/publishers?
The books I review are all my own that I've begged borrowed or bought. I have zero self control,lol.

4. How long does it usually take you to get to a book once it makes it into your TBR pile?
If it's been recommended to me then I try to read that first or if the book is one I've been dying to read.

5. What do you do if you can't finish a book?
Fortunately, that doesn't happen very often - if I start something, I stick with it until I finish.

6. What is your favorite book ever?
That's a really tough question, but the one that sticks out for me is Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, I think probably because it's my worst nightmare - a world without books, madness!

7. Do you like ice cream better than potato chips?
In the UK we call them crisps, sadly they're my weakness. But then again, I also love Ben and Jerry's.


ABOUT AMBASADORA

1. Who was your favorite character?
Sara has got to be my favourite character, I like how she only becomes stronger with everything she endures.

2. Who did you picture as the characters?
The characters have a life of their own, how you imagine them in your head is influenced by their personalities as well as the description in the book. The only one I would say is David, I see him as a younger George Clooney.

3. What is your favorite setting within the Ambasadora-verse?
It's got to be the Aqua Biome, it's amazing. I would love to eat there.

4. Would you rather have a character or a place named after you?
I would love to have a character named after me, but I'm sure no one would believe me if I told them.

5. What would you have changed about AMBASADORA if you could?
Honestly, I can't think of anything. Ambasadora is perfect as it is.

6. What would you like to see in future books within the Ambasadora-verse?
I'm completely invested in the characters and would love to see them all in their own stories.

7. Would you ever want to travel to the V-side?
I like to think the V-side already exists somewhere on earth. We just have to find it.


Want to know more about Yasmeen? Leave your question in a comment below and check out these links:


- http://downanddirtylustyandflirty.blogspot.com


- http://www.facebook.com/DownandDirtyLustyandFlirty


- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2034791-yasmeen


- http://twitter.com/yaslovesbooks


If you would like to read Yasmeen's full review of Ambasadora follow this link: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/202413851

If you would like to review Ambasadora, email me at heidirubymiller@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Greg F. Gifune

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Greg F. Gifune


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea or milk?
Vodka.


4. What else can you do besides write?
Clearly you've never seen my one-man synchronized swimming extravaganza.


5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture of academia?
Both. Why limit yourself to one or the other?


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat every day.
Italian.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?

13. Celebrity crush.
Jeanane Garofalo and Bridget Fonda.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Am I high? No seriously. Am I?


Called "One of the best writers of his generation" by both the Roswell Literary Review and author Brian Keene, and praised by masters like author Ed Gorman, Greg F. Gifune is the author of numerous short stories, several novels and two short story collections (HERETICS and DOWN TO SLEEP). His work has been published all over the world, consistently praised by readers and critics alike, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and The Midwest Book Review (among others) and has recently garnered interest from Hollywood. His novels include CHILDREN OF CHAOS, DOMINION, THE BLEEDING SEASON, DEEP NIGHT, BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE, SAYING UNCLE, A VIEW FROM THE LAKE, NIGHT WORK, DRAGO DESCENDING, CATCHING HELL, JUDAS GOAT, LONG AFTER DARK and KINGDOM OF SHADOWS.

In addition to working as a full-time author, he also serves as Associate Editor at Delirium Books. Greg resides in Massachusetts with his wife Carol and a bevy of cats. He can be reached online at: gfgauthor@verzion.net or through his official web site at: www.gregfgifune.com

Monday, September 19, 2011

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Jessica Freely

PATHS TO PUBLICATION


Broken by Jessica Freely

On Halloween weekend of 2007, I attended YaoiCon, a convention in San Francisco dedicated to yaoi manga. In case you don't know, yaoi is a Japanese genre of graphic novels dedicated to stories of romance between men, and it has a large female audience, both in Japan and worldwide. I had been writing and marketing yaoi manga scripts for about two years at that point, and I was on Cloud 9 because a small press specializing in original English language yaoi had picked up one of my stories and was using it to launch their new magazine. Bouncing with excitement at the prospect of seeing my first published manga on sale at the publisher's booth, I toured the dealer's room that first morning of the convention.

And came up empty.

No publisher, no booth, no magazine. I soon learned that my publisher had gone out of business and neglected to inform their writers and artists. Standing in the hallway outside the dealer's room, my manga dreams in tatters, I was so low that I knew I had to do something right away to make myself feel better. And one thing that always perks me up is schmoozing. (I know, I’m weird.) I forced myself to go back into that dealer's room and strike up a conversation with the very first publisher I encountered. That turned out to be Torquere, an epublisher of LGBT romance and my first ebook publisher.

What struck me immediately was that they were trying to sell me on why I should write for them, a complete reversal from the situation I was used to. By the end of that weekend, it was dawning on me that ebooks could provide me with what I'd long been searching for--a vehicle for publishing as many gay romance stories as I could write, in any subgenre I desired, from science fiction to contemporary. Emboldened once more, I sat down in the hotel café an hour before my shuttle left for the airport, and started jotting down one story idea after another. One of those ideas was the kernel for my seventh ebook, an LGBT romantic suspense novel entitled Broken, which is out from Loose Id on Sept. 20. http://www.loose-id.com/Broken.aspx

Broken is about Eben, the closeted younger brother of a mob boss, and Xiu, a rent boy the boss just bought from a Hong Kong triad. When Eben and Xiu fall for each other, it's either suicide or one last chance at salvation for both of them. I am donating half of my proceeds from the first four months of Broken's sales to Project Polaris,combating human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Thanks for reading. You can find me on the web at http://jessicafreely.com.

--Jessica Freely September 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Bryan R. Dennis

PATHS TO PUBLICATION

My journey to publication began when I stumbled upon Joe Konrath’s blog: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing while researching Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. Technology had lured the reader side of me away from paper books. It was perhaps inevitable that the writer component would soon follow. Joe Konrath described his experience with traditional publishing and how he made a successful and liberating switch to electronic publishing. I was intrigued. Could it really be so easy?

One of the reasons I never bothered submitting to a big publishing house was due to the overwhelming scale of the task. Submitting query letters, writing a synopsis, hiring an agent, flying around doing book signings, and so on. It seemed more daunting than it was worth. And I’d read of the failure rate of new authors. Even many who’d gotten lucky with their first books tended to disappear afterward. Apparently, it takes so long for a book to get published that readers forget who you are.

This is not the case in e-publishing. Yes, it’s a breeze to publish yourself. Formatting was easy (following the free guide from Smashwords), and submitting to Amazon is a matter of reading step-by-step instructions. I had to relearn Photoshop to design the cover, but that was kind of fun. At the end of May 2011, I published a literary, satire: An Epitaph for Coyote. I garnered great reviews and sold about a book a day for the first couple of months. A few days ago I released my second novel Saw a Rainbow which is in the speculative/suspense genres.

So what are my thoughts now that I’m in the game?

Getting published is simple. Getting noticed? Not so much. Cream may rise to the top, but there is also gold lying at the bottom of streams. As a self-published author, I control the frequency of book releases. In fact, I have control of almost everything. This is both a blessing and a curse. Very few people can wear all the hats required. For instance, I’m a writer, not a salesman. I consider this a handicap, but not one that can’t be overcome with perseverance.

Now that publishing is so easy, marketing has become all that much more difficult. I’m trying all sorts of ways to sparkle at the bottom of the stream, but it’s a rapidly moving current this industry I’m in. Amazon recently announced a “Netflix for books.” I immediately wondered if this meant the end of indie writers (i.e. not published by one of the big publishing houses). If readers pay a monthly subscription and can read any book they want, that means my new book is suddenly the same price as Stephen King’s latest release. That’s a losing scenario for indies like me. But, then again, who knows if that model will even get off the ground?

So, the book publishing industry has undergone a dramatic upheaval due to evolving technology, and everything remains fluid right now. You have to learn and adapt. In my case, one thing is certain--getting onboard this self-publishing express has never left me bored or regretting my decision. To me, self-publishing is a game. You don’t have to be great at a game to enjoy playing it. That’s been my experience thus far.

To learn about me and my literary journey, visit my blog An Epitaph for a Writer: http://www.bryanrdennis.com
--Bryan R. Dennis
September 2011


About Saw a Rainbow:
Dante Salazar doesn’t know if he’s a drunk who dreamt he was an ancient general, or an ancient general dreaming he’s a drunk. He wakes in Las Vegas, imprisoned in an identity that doesn’t fit him, married to someone he doesn’t remember, and tormented by a stranger who won’t show his face.

A woman named Lucia haunts his memories. His love for her is the only thing that has endured the mysterious fate befallen him. What follows is one man’s search for answers. Why does he feel like an imposter in his own skin? Which memories can he trust? How will he find his lost love? And - most troubling of all - what lies buried in his back yard?

Monday, September 12, 2011

ASK THE REVIEWER: Novel Opinion

ASK THE REVIEWER


Novel Opinion


This is the third in a series I'm hosting where I talk with reviewers who have reviewed my books. Today I welcome Tammy from Novel Opinion! She was kind enough to take time out of her reading and blogging schedule to answer some fun questions about herself, her blog, and about my novel Ambasadora.

To read Novel Opinion's full review of Ambasadora visit: http://novelopinion.org/2011/08/06/ambasadora-by-heidi-ruby-miller

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

1. What types of books do you review most often?
I try to do all types but the lion's share are thrillers,sci fi and horror.

2. Are there any types of books you won’t review?
I have to say any book promoting an unethical idea or act. This, I realize, is subjective to my ideals but I have to stay true. Not to mention remaining unbiased in order for a fair review.

3. Do you review more books you've come to on your own or those from authors/publishers?
It started out with books I picked out on my own but I have been very lucky to get requests from authors on a regular basis.

4. How long does it usually take you to get to a book once it makes it into your TBR pile?
Review requests come first, then what I want to read. Lately I have been very busy with requests so anywhere from two weeks to a month. Let me add that I love it!

5. What do you do if you can't finish a book?
If it is a request, I will let the author know why and move on. This makes me cringe for days though and I wish sometimes I could separate the book from the author. I do not write a review in this case.

6. What is your favorite book ever?
Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson.

7. Do you like ice cream better than potato chips?
Ice Cream, which I try not to buy and now desperately want. Thanks...


ABOUT AMBASADORA

1. Who was your favorite character?
Actually, David. He appealed to me in a lot of ways. Tough, stubborn, a natural leader and just a bit of a jerk. Very sexy and honorable.

2. Who did you picture as the characters?
I honestly don't sub characters in books with real life people. I see people talk about this all the time but I always go with the author's description as best I can. If I tried to put, say, Daniel Craig as David, David would turn into Daniel Craig, As hot as he is I don't want him in my head. I hope this makes sense.

3. What is your favorite setting within the Ambasadora-verse?
I did love the V-side but I was truly entranced with Palomin. The barren landscape and raging river with the Hippodrome and it's history of being an ancient ship. I was drawn into the exclusive setting with music, lights, formal attire and celebration. The voyeurs flying around trying to snoop on the Socialites reminded me of a futuristic TMZ. Then the surreal and horrific reason for the celebration knocked me on my butt. I felt that opening scene to be brilliant and was drawn in to this new society.

4. Would you rather have a character or a place named after you?
Yeesh. All us chicks want to be bad-asses but a kick butt character named Tammy? Not gonna work. So, place!

5. What would you have changed about AMBASADORA if you could?
OK, this is going to sound like hopeless groveling but I wanted it longer because I hated it to end. True story!

6. What would you like to see in future books within the Ambasadora-verse? Well, I am looking forward to Sara growing into a leader. I would like to see more weaponry and battle. I am pretty sure I’m going to like whatever you put out because the storyline is so good!

7. Would you ever want to travel to the V-side?
I'm not too sure I haven't been there already. Heck, I read so much as it is I'm hanging on to reality by my fingertips.


Want to know more about Novel Opinion? Leave your question in a comment below and check out these links:

http://novelopinion.org
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4285283-tammy-novelopinion

http://www.facebook.com/novel.opinion

@NovelOpinion


If you would like to read Novel Opinion's full review of Ambasadora, follow this link: http://novelopinion.org/2011/08/06/ambasadora-by-heidi-ruby-miller


If you would like to review Ambasadora, email me at heidirubymiller@gmail.com.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

SECRET WRITERS: GABRIELLE BISSET

Secret Writers

GABRIELLE BISSET

GABRIELLE BISSET
Why would I write under a pseudonym? The main reason is that I teach college freshmen and as much as we like to think of 18 year olds as adults, they really are quite young. The concern that my students knowing what I write would distract them and make my job more difficult is a real one, so when I decided to pursue publishing my writing, I decided to use a pseudonym.

I came up with the name Gabrielle Bisset easily. Well, the first name came easily. I've always loved the name Gabrielle, so that was the first name that jumped into my head when I began thinking of what name I'd like. As for the last name, it came from my childhood. When I was a young girl, I remember my father commenting that Jacqueline Bisset was one of the most beautiful women he'd ever seen. After trying out a good number of last names and not liking any of them, I remembered my father's comment and tried Bisset. It had a great ring to it, and I was sold. From that point on, all my writing has been as Gabrielle Bisset.

One of my friends asked just before I began submitting Stolen Destiny if I was fine with the idea that I'd be published under a different name than my own. I told her then that I was okay with it, but I have to admit I don't think I was sure. However, now, after four books under Gabrielle Bisset, that name is as much me as my birth name.

BIO
Gabrielle Bisset is a college history teacher by day and an erotic romance author by nights and weekends. She's been writing for what seems like her whole lifetime, but only within the past year or so did she decide it was time to take the leap into publishing. Her first novel, Stolen Destiny, an erotic paranormal romance, was published by Siren Publishing in June 2011, and she's independently published three erotic romance novellas set in Victorian England since then: Vampire Dreams, Love's Master, and Masquerade. She's planning on releasing the sequel to Stolen Destiny in Fall 2011. When she's not writing, she's teaching college students American and European history and home schooling her son. Any free time after all that is spent with friends relaxing and having a good time.

LINKS
GABRIELLE BISSET webpage http://www.gabriellebisset.com/

Gabrielle Bisset: A Writer's Blog - http://gbisset.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002481284652
http://twitter.com/gabriellebisset
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4885370.Gabrielle_Bisset
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Friday, September 09, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Mark Paul Jacobs

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Mark Paul Jacobs

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
I love to travel and experience different and photogenic locales. Luckily, I have a wife who enjoys much the same thing (although she balks at the more ‘exotic’). I have visited most states in the US and all the Canadian provinces except for Labrador and Newfoundland. I’ve had a fascination with the arctic regions since I was a kid and have also visited the Canadian Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. I have yet to visit Europe but it is on my list.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
I drink one triple café latte once a day in the morning. I tried drinking coffee throughout the day earlier in my working career, but I soon discovered how fast I could become strung-out on the stuff.


4. What else can you do besides write?
I enjoy travelling, sports, history, and museums. I also enjoy playing poker in local tournaments and in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. I trek once a year to the Canadian sub-arctic for my cherished fishing trip.


5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
When I get an idea, I jot it down in a word document along with a couple sentences of description. Currently, I have enough ideas to keep me busy for many years. My sci fi/adventure novel The Yaakmen of Tyrie was inspired largely by the 1950’s movie ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ (Stewart Granger, Debra Kerr). I loved this movie when I was young and was fascinated with the concept of exploring new and uncharted lands with only rumors and oral traditions to lead the way. My sci fi/horror novelette The Watchers from within Moments, Revealed was inspired by watching a fly buzz around my fishing partner’s head on a calm day in Canada’s northern territory of Nunavut. I began to wonder what life would be like for an intelligent creature that could exist at incredible speeds relative to our own reality.


9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I’m afraid that a massive heart attack at age 45, bypass surgery, defibrillator implant, and diabetes have left its toll on me. But I do enjoy getting on my elliptical five times a week.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I am a hard-core outliner. Usually I create short (8-15) word abstract 'blurbs' to guide me through the sequence of events and to tie together plot points. I also generally know how each part will be ended and how the entire work will be finalized. I also create bios for my cast of characters. My science fiction/adventure novel The Yaakmen of Tyrie took twenty years to complete, so I held the ending firmly in my head for almost two decades.


13. Celebrity crush.
Katy Perry. I envision discussing world politics, but it usually digresses to to some sort of bubble bath... errr... what was the question again, Heidi?


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

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Mark Paul Jacobs lives in lovely Dauphin, Pennsylvania. He enjoys fishing the Canadian north, internet poker, and annoying his wife. His most notable work so far is the hard science fiction novel: The Yaakmen of Tyrie, but he is also quite proud of his chilling novelette with the provocative title: The Watchers from within Moments Revealed. Please enjoy his works and don’t be afraid to tell him what you think on his Facebook page or by email. And lastly, please take the time to leave him a review (authors live for these!). You can do this on SMASHWORDS.com or any other site where his books are available.

You can also find Mark online here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Paul-Jacobs/193597972327

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4543018.Mark_Paul_Jacobs

http://twitter.com/MarkPaulJacobs

Thursday, September 08, 2011

ASK THE REVIEWER: The Story Factory Reading Zone

ASK THE REVIEWER

The Story Factory Reading Zone

This is the second in a series I'm hosting where I talk with reviewers who have reviewed my books. Today I welcome Abigailann from The Story Factory Reading Zone! She was kind enough to take time out of her reading and blogging schedule to answer some fun questions about herself, her blog, and about my novel Ambasadora.

To read The Story Factory Reading Zone's full review of Ambasadora visit: http://abigailannreading.blogspot.com/2011/08/ambasadora-by-heidi-ruby-miller-review.html

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

1. What types of books do you review most often?
I review all sorts of books--basically anything (and usually everything) that I read. Most of the books that I’m asked to review are indie books at the moment.

2. Are there any types of books you won’t review?
Things that I know I’m unlikely to enjoy I won’t even read. I’m lucky to have enough time to read all the requests that I receive, but unless the synopsis sounds really interesting I never agree to review horror or chick-lit.

3. Do you review more books you've come to on your own or those from authors/publishers?
At the moment I’ve reviewed more books that I found myself overall, but I’ve only recently started getting books from authors. Last month I read more from authors than those that I got myself.

4. How long does it usually take you to get to a book once it makes it into your TBR pile?
That depends what you count as my TBR pile. I have about 100 books waiting to be read and some have been there for several years. However I also have what I consider a ‘short-term TBR pile’ of between 2 and 5 books. These usually take me between 1 week and 2 months to get through at a rate of 1 or 2 each week.

5. What do you do if you can't finish a book?
I’m not sure that’s ever happened to me. I try to read all the way through a book unless I really can’t stand it--after all, it might get better.

6. What is your favorite book ever?
I don’t really have a favourite book, but I do have a favourite author--Jasper Fforde!

7. Do you like ice cream better than potato chips?
Yes, definitely!


ABOUT AMBASADORA


1. Who was your favorite character?
Definitely Sara, she seemed so real and it was so easy to get into her character.

2. Who did you picture as the characters?
I’m not really sure I pictured anyone in particular as the characters, I just sort of imagined them in my own head.

3. What is your favorite setting within the Ambasadora-verse?
The v-game parlour. It was interesting to see the different people and their reactions to what was going on.

4. Would you rather have a character or a place named after you?
I think a place. It would be interesting to see my character inside a place, but a person would just be a bit creepy.

5. What would you have changed about AMBASADORA if you could?
I think that I would have ended it a chapter earlier to end it on more of a cliff-hanger.

6. What would you like to see in future books within the Ambasadora-verse?
I’d like to read more about the relationships between the different parts of society and how Sara and Sean relate to it.

7. Would you ever want to travel to the V-side?
The foyer area of the v-side sounded really interesting and it would be good to explore what other worlds were out there. I wouldn’t like to go to any of those described in Ambasadora though.

Want to know more about The Story Factory Reading Zone? Leave your question in a comment below and check out these links:

http://abigailannreading.blogspot.com

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3263461-abigailann-abigail



If you would like to read The Story Factory Reading Zone's full review of Ambasadora, follow this link: http://abigailannreading.blogspot.com/2011/08/ambasadora-by-heidi-ruby-miller-review.html


If you would like to review Ambasadora, email Heidi at heidirubymiller@gmail.com.