Thursday, 16 December 2010

Interview with Nancy Brauer

So, hands high. How many of you are hustling and bustling? Yes, I'm raising my hand as well. But I love you all so much, I had to take the time out to post another interview for you. Let's meet Nancy Brauer.

Hi, Nancy. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I wear many hats: writer, web programmer, graphic designer, and geologist. Yes, really. I have a degree in geology that I only use when out hiking, which invariably results in bringing another rock home. You never know what you'll find, from fossils to unusual minerals.

So, yeah. I'm pretty much a card-carrying geek. I live in southwestern Virginia with my boyfriend, a dog who's allergic to nearly everything, two allergy-free cats, and no cable or satellite TV. We cry when our Internet connection goes down.

How long have you been writing?

Over ten years now. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but I'm glad I kept at it. Some of my early stuff is cringe-worthy. I'd like to think that my recent work induces few to no cringes.

Tell us about STRANGE LITTLE BAND. What’s the story about?

SLB is the story of two very bad people who work for a very bad company and fall in love despite everyone's best efforts. The bad people are Addison and Shane, two self-centered psychics. Their employer, the Triptych Corporation, "encourages" Addison to have a child. When she and Shane learn that Shane was the sperm donor, drama ensues.

Addison and Shane are just as manipulative as Triptych, so there's a lot of scheming as they try to build some sort of relationship to raise their son. Along the way the antiheroes make important discoveries about themselves, each other, and the company that all but owns them. There's angst, romance, violence, sex, and some comedy. A little bit of everything. :)

How did the idea of the story come to you?

My coauthor Vanessa Brooks and I have been writing together for several years. We have two characters that we keep coming back to. One version of them is Shane and Addison. They're how the characters turned out if key events in their youth went badly.

Initially Vanessa and I emailed each other scenes with Addison and Shane misbehaving just to amuse ourselves. We kept going and going. Before we knew it, we'd racked up over 100,000 words! The next logical step was reworking all of those scenes into a single narrative. The end result is SLB.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Plot. Definitely plot. Vanessa and I are great at writing individual scenes. Start with a conflict and run with it. It's hard for me to step back and figure out how to tie it all together. That's the main reason why we initially released SLB as a web serial. We had so much material, plenty of character arc, and the beginning of a plot. We needed something linear to force us to fit all of the pieces together and fill in the gaps. Knowing that a small but loyal audience was waiting for the next installment kept us moving forward.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Music and coffee. I write on my laptop, so I usually have Pandora or Radio Paradise playing in the background. As for coffee, it's now either half-caf or decaf. My caffeine habit was getting out of hand until a few months ago. But I still like the taste of coffee, and associate it with writing.

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

Telepathy. There's a reason why I write about psychics so much. :)

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: interrogate, marching band, and cartographer.

"Interrogate!" the wannabe dictator--actually a slightly unhinged cartographer--shouted over the marching band's din.

Wow, wasn't expecting that, lol. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

First and foremost, thanks go to everyone who read SLB over the year and a half it ran as a web serial. Your encouragement, interest, and silly comments were are huge help to Vanessa and me.

My boyfriend Brandon definitely gets a shout out. He's heard more about imaginary people than he's probably ever wanted. He kicks butt at brainstorming, too.

Rachel Phillippi and A.M. Harte have my undying gratitude for proofreading the final draft of SLB.

Other people who are made of win, in no particular order, are M. Jones, Paige Baldassaro, Lyn Thorne-Alder, Kim Grandstaff, MCM, Steve Spalding, Brian Goff, Charissa Cotrill, my family, and many, many more. Seriously, I could go on all day.

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

You can find all things SLB at, including the first four chapters in ePub, Kindle, and PDF formats. The paperback edition of SLB is available through CreateSpace and Amazon. The Kindle version is in the Kindle store and Amazon.

I occasionally blog at The site is primarily my online portfolio. If you want to stay abreast of my everyday inanity, I'm @tenaciousN on Twitter and on Facebook.

Thank you so much for letting us get to know you and your book, Nancy. I wish you lots of success!

Thanks for the interview, Dorothy!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Interview with Kathy Collier Mehl

Hello, Blogosprites! Can you believe there's only a few more weeks left in the year? Time sure does fly. Before the year ends, let's add some more memorable moments of 2010 by indulging in another interview. This time we're talking with aspiring novelist Kathy Collier.

Welcome, Kathy! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a mother of 7 and a grandmother of 17. Since an early age, about 7, I loved reading books. One year Santa brought me a complete set of classics like Black Velvet, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, etc. I couldn't have been happier. In ninth grade I was on the newspaper staff, and my one chance to write something, I caught the german measles and missed the opportunity. For years I have kept journals of my life, but raising my children took precedence. As soon as my last child was an adult, I headed for the computer and began writing my first novel with a lot of enthusiasm. I have read and studied hard about the business of writing and have been learning the proper methods of publishing. It is not easy, but I have enjoyed the journey.

Let's hear about your novel THE VEIL. What's the story about?

Ahh my story. Tommie Lanier seeks to know everything about everyone, especially if they pique her interest. This YA paranormal romance of 125,000 words is about a young teen graduating high school and traveling to Maui, where her eldest brother lives, to vacation with her friends and twin brother.

Teen years are confusing enough, but her twin William and she communicate mentally. Unlike Tommie, Will is funny, easygoing and in love with her best friend. He is not the least bit interested in sleuthing. Tommie, on the other hand, notices everything around her and is intrigued by the secrecy. She discovers Adam, her eldest brother, is involved in scientific research for immortality. Tommie seems to put herself in the right place at the wrong time repeatedly until she uncovers Adam’s secret formula. This discovery sends her spiraling into a world of chaos and secrecy. Her friends will see Hawaii as most people, but Tommie will see the other side of The Veil and discover myths about Hawaii are real. The sparks fly when she meets the first immortal, Douglas Brice, and the adventures begin.

Sounds really cool. How did the idea of the story come to you?

Believe it or not, I used to sell Morinda Noni Juice, and knew about its properties and healing abilities, including the fact it even repairs DNA damaged cells. This led me to the idea of writing a story about a genetic scientist seeking "The Fountain of Youth". Because I have worked with youth for the past 7 years, I chose to write for YA since this seems to be the area that is selling the most Paranormal Romance.

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

I have an editor, and I belong to a Writer's Club where we help each other from time to time. We meet monthly. If anyone has an issue or problem, there is someone to answer the question. I also have an established author in this area that has been my mentor, and has read my manuscript.

Sounds like you've got your bases covered. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Writing is the fun part. I write 4 to 5 hours a day religiously. The one thing I have learned to do is to write the story first, then edit. My biggest challenge has been to edit constantly, but I have been training myself to get the story down first.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Take your time, don't be in a hurry with publishing. Rewrite until it sparkles, and have faith that you can do it. Be confident, and with all the information out there, you can learn the business. Never give up, no matter the rejections. Stephen King once said he had put a nail in the wall to hold all of his rejections. After awhile they all fell off and he put a bolt up. He said the bolt was full, and several years passed before he was successful in publishing, but he never gave up. Therefore, if you are serious and truly believe in yourself and your abilities, you will succeed. Don't get discouraged, we all get rejections.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

When writing, I absolutely have to have my laptop, my thesaurus, my Master Writer Program, and Internet for research. Lots of water to drink. I forget to eat and sleep when my thoughts flow.

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

Super Power, wow! To be immortal and never have to sleep or eat, so I can write incessantly.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: accountant, ferris wheel, and frogs.

The colossal ferris wheel slowly ebbed to a stop with a shrill creeking of metal, terrorizing the riders including Mr. Habbish, a simple-minded accountant whose face turned the shade of tree frogs due to his fear of heights.

Love the visual with that one! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Awesome. Thanks Dorothy for this wonderful interview and opportunity to announce my someday-to-be-published novel, The Veil. I would love to thank my editor, Liz Gerace, and all of her wonderful expertise and ideas. I couldn't have managed without her. Liz also was my moral support, my light in the dark. Most of all I want to shout out to my husband, who puts up with my typing all hours of the night while he sleeps. (Thank goodness he is hard of hearing.) hehehe. He has been such a wonderful support to me, and my children and grandchildren who have read and constructively helped. To my friends and strangers that I have allowed to read my manuscript. Thanks to everyone who has played a part in supporting me through my year of writes and rewrites. I love you all.

And finally, where can people find you online?, twitter as Kathy Collier Mehl, and facebook as Kathy Mehl.

Super. Thank you so much for chatting with us, Kathy. Your book sounds great and I wish you lots of success in getting it published. Please let us know when you've reached the next step of your publishing journey.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Interview with Victoria Hamilton

Here's an interview for all those mystery lovers out there, seeing as my interviewee kills people for a living. On paper, that is. Please welcome fabulous author Victoria Hamilton.

Hello, Victoria. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a passionate fan of cozy and not-so-cozy mysteries, and have been since I was very young. I love to cook, I collect vintage kitchenware, I crochet occasionally, cross stitch more often, and play with the kids... er... cats. I like chocolate and tea, wine and cookies (not all together) and have been known to sing in grocery stores to muzak.

Awesome mini bio. How long have you been writing?

A long time! I've been a romance author for years, but have been pining away to write my true love, murder mysteries! I'm fortunate enough to have been given a three book contract for Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, and am just finishing up Book One.

Congratulations! Tell us about the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.

This is so much fun!! Book One introduces Jaymie Leighton, a vintage kitchenware collector (Wonder how I came up with that idea! LOL). At an estate auction, Jaymie sees and bids on the most gorgeous Hoosier cabinet she's ever seen. (Wondering what a Hoosier cabinet is? You'll know when the first book of my series comes out). After taking it - and all of her other purchases - to her Queensville, Michigan home, she is awoken in the middle of the night by horrible screaming and her little three-legged Yorkie-Poo Hoppy's insistent barking.

She rushes downstairs to find a murdered man on her summer porch, by the Hoosier, with some of the stuff from the other boxes of auction goodies spilled all around him. Why did the well-dressed fellow break into her home? Was he after something she bought at the auction? In the following days Jaymie tries to find out not only who the victim is, but also why he was murdered. She and her home become the target of another break-in and attack; is she getting a little too close to the truth?

Okay, not fair to stop there. Now I'll have to get the book to find out what happens. What attracts you to writing mysteries?

I love writing characters, interweaving their lives, giving them something to figure out. People are fascinating, and why people do what they do - from committing crimes to strange but everyday stuff - is incredibly interesting to write about. Also, I watch a lot of true crime shows - The First 48, American Justice, etc. - and it's interesting to watch detectives at work.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Staying organized! I am terrible at the organizational side, which leads to confusion in something that requires ruthless attention to detail, like a murder mystery.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing mysteries you’d like to share?

For writing tips I would refer hopeful writers to Gillian Roberts' and Carolyn Hart's websites. But my own tip? What I have found is that staying open to the possibilities in your own plot is important. Sometimes you really think you know where something is going, and then it twists away from you, but that's good! It means your subconscious is taking the story and working with it.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A window to stare out of. No, seriously! A good deal of a writer's time is spent staring out of windows. I keep trying to convince people I'm working when I do that, but I'm not sure they believe me.

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

Mind reading, for sure. Selectively, though. Haven't you ever seen somebody do something, and wondered, 'Now, why the heck did they do that?' If you could read their mind, you'd know. Maybe.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: consequences, poodle, and lemonade.

If Lizzie had known the consequences of feeding a poodle lemonade, she wouldn't have to purchase a piddle-proof carpet.

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

Yay! Love 'shout outs'. Shout out to Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary; she is awesome, best agent ever! And Michelle Vega at Berkley Prime Crime; talking to her was the highlight of my year, truly. And my two cats, Bad and Worse, (just kidding) for being good sports about the lack of lap time lately. Redecorating your house while the holidays are coming and you have a November 30th deadline equals insanity.

And finally, where can people find you online?

I don't have my dot com up yet, but I will eventually be blogging at, and I am on twitter @MysteryVictoria, and I'm on Facebook.

Victoria, thank you so much for talking with us. Your books sound fantastic, I wish you the best of luck with them.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Interview with Claudette Walker

Happy St. Nikolaus, everyone! Did you all leave your shoes out by the front door last night? No? Well, I hope you got to indulge in some holiday chocolate anyway. Speaking of delicious treats, today's interview is with a very talented author whom I'm sure you'll all grow fond of. Please welcome Claudette Walker.

Hi, Claudette. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Monroe Michigan, the youngest child of factory workers. My mother Lois Walker, my father Claude Walker, and my sister Deborah Walker are now deceased. I lived a glorious childhood of love and laugher, playing on Lake Erie. Growing up, I was an avid diver, rode small motorcycles, ice skated, roller skated, and more. I have been married, divorced, and I am now remarried.

I am the mother of an adult daughter. In 2003, just as I was launching my first book and was writing C Street, I fell in love and married my husband David, an attorney in Florida. Within hours of our wedding ceremony my life changed, as I was severely injured in an accident. I spent the years since recovering, and I still suffer from the injuries I sustained. It was left to time for me to find out if I would every finish my second novel. Despite the ominous beginning of our life together, I am very happily married.

Wow, what a life! How long have you been writing?

Since childhood; I first published poems in newspapers in my early twenties, and I am now in my fifties.

Tell us about C Street. What's the story about?

C Street is the story of what could be. It is a very possible scenario of the present and future drawn from my examination of the powerful men in recent history. C Street is also a story of intense love, as well as good and evil.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I came to know some of the players of Washington, D.C. I saw the love of power and I realized that total power totally corrupts during my days of being married to a bipolar genius, a government lawyer, now deceased.

Is this book similar to your first book, To Love the Rose?

No, although To Love The Rose started the journey of the characters and the tapes of secrets. It was the book that began the journey for my voice. C Street is the book where I believe I found my voice.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Deciding when to stop the story and leave it for the next book.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Work some every day. Think about the book and get it onto paper. Then, work a lot on the days when the ideas are flowing. Whatever success you obtain, remember the next great storyteller is yet to come. Be humble and grateful that the world liked your last story. The point of writing is to communicate and the only way to do that is to disseminate your work. It isn’t communication if it never leaves your hands to be read by others.

Great tips! Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

I need a good chair with neck support, paper, a pen, a computer, and lots of coffee.

I'm with you there on the coffee, lol. So, if you could have any super power, what would it be?


Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: hibernation, fiber, and social butterfly.

A social buttery I am not, for every fiber in my being prefers hibernation in my writer’s lair.

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

I would like to thank my daughter NeCole who provides endless ideas for my characters and keeps me grounded in life. Without NeCole, I would not be the woman I am today. I want to thank my husband David, who stands with me at every bend in the road, edits my work before the ever editor gets the final draft, lifts, laughs, and goes wherever I need him to be, just in case I need him. To the people who do work for me, from technical work to editing, I thank you. I must not forget, to my neurologist Dr. William Greenberg, who has worked with me over the years to understand what has happened from the injury, provided the treatment course, and brought me back to finish C Street, I thank you. To my readers, old friends and new, who have been so supportive at every step in my journey, I thank you for allowing me the privilege of writing for you. Without all of you, I would not be the author of C Street.

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

I can be found online at, My books are available at that website, as well as at , UK, FR, DE, AT, CA, JP , and in bookstores. eBooks are available for Kindle, Nook, iPhones, MP3 and other reading devices. You can find me in Saint Petersburg, Florida most all of the time, and in Washington, D.C. in the spring -- signing books.

Claudette, it was wonderful talking with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about your book. I wish you lots of success!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Interview with Alex George

Today I'd like to welcome a very interesting writer to We Do Write. When I read the biography on his website, I was pretty impressed, and now I'd like to introduce him to you. Say hello to Alex George.

Hi, Alex. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am an Englishman, living in Missouri. I’ve been here for over seven years now (my wife is from mid-Missouri and we moved from London to be closer to her family.) I’ve been married to my wonderful, long-suffering wife, Christina, for twelve years. We have two beautiful children, Hallam (9) and Catherine (5). By day I am an attorney; I have my own firm in Columbia, Missouri. I’m also involved in running a water park at the Lake of the Ozarks; consequently I have been known to clown about in a shark suit.

Wow. You'd make a well-rounded character in a book! How long have you been writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing but I suppose I began seriously half way through the 1990s. I was always complaining about the books I was reading, and people kept telling me that I should shut up and write my own. So I did! My first novel was published in England in 1999. I’ve written four books prior to the novel I’ve just sold to Penguin. They’ve been sold in the UK, France, Germany and Italy, but none of them has been published in America (although I have had some very nice rejection letters from American publishers!) I wrote full-time for a few years after my second book was published, but now it has become more of a secondary career again. I get up at five o’clock every morning and write for two hours before the children wake up. Then I go to work. It does make for rather slow progress sometimes and I find it difficult to stay awake much past ten o’clock in the evening!

From what I understand, your current book is untitled as of yet, but can you tell us what the story is about?

It’s the story of a young couple who leave Germany in 1904 and make their way to America. We then follow the lives of the family over the course of three generations. The book spans all of the twentieth century – America’s century. And while it’s a book about them and the adventures they encounter in their new country, I hope it’s also a story about America itself.

As with all my books, there’s a lot of music in it. The narrator of the book is one of four brothers and they sing together in a close harmony quartet. It’s been a lot of fun researching that, although I think I’ve driven my wife slightly mad with all the barbershop CDs I’ve bought.

I had an awful lot of fun writing it. In addition to the principal characters in the main family, I had an opportunity to populate the fringes of the novel with a lot of characters whom I really enjoyed creating. Among others, there’s a prim church organist who strangles chickens with her bear hands and a bicycle-riding dwarf. Two U.S. Presidents make cameo appearances, as well.

And no, no title yet. I have been writing this story for years, always hoping that a good title would fall out of the sky, but it hasn’t happened yet. Soon, I hope! Next time I’m going to start with the title, and do it that way around.

Sounds like a plan. How did the idea of the story come to you?

Well, I was casting about for a topic, having begun, and abandoned, a couple of (awful) ideas. And the thought occurred to me that I had done something that not many people have the opportunity to do, namely move to another country to live. I’m an immigrant, in other words. And America is, at its core, a country of immigrants. So I began to explore that theme. Around that time, my wife’s great aunt Ethel passed away. We attended her memorial service, and half way through, four men (who I later discovered were brothers) stood up and sang Abide With Me in beautiful four-part harmony. And while I should have been thinking: poor old Ethel, she had a good life, what I was actually thinking was: of course! A barbershop quartet! So there I had the two pillars on which the rest of the book is constructed: the story of a family of immigrants, and close-harmony singing. Kind of like The Godfather Part 2 meets The Sound of Music.

Being sort of an immigrant myself, in that I'm an American who moved to Germany, I find that quite interesting. So tell us, what’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Knowing when to stop. The French poet Paul Valery said, “Poems are never completed, merely abandoned,” and the same applies to novels. But at some point you have to take a deep breath and let your baby out into the world to see if it will walk on its own. I’m a perfectionist, and know that if I do one more review then I’ll improve the book a little more. But at some point you just have to let go.

LOL, I think my problem is I let go too often. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Tons, but the most important would probably be: write every day. Even if it’s only a little. If you’re serious about writing, you need to make it a priority. Find a time to write, and stick to it. (That’s why I write early in the morning. I know that there will be nothing else competing with my attention then, no excuses to do something else instead.) If you do that, then – little by little – words will appear on the page. The most important asset that you can possess as a writer is stamina. Writing books is a long slog; you need the drive and energy to propel you through the less inspiring moments (which can be much of it!) And, of course, you should read and read and then read some more.

Great tips. Who are your inspirations?

I read all the time (see previous remark!) and books, rather than people, serve as my principal inspiration. Writing is a craft. There is always room for improvement, more to learn, and higher hurdles to clear. Reading a wonderful novelist like Richard Powers (to choose one of many literary heroes more or less at random) gives me a slightly vertiginous sense of all that can be achieved within the form, and shows me how much further there always is to go.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Peace and quiet. I can’t write in coffee shops, or places like that. I sincerely wish I could listen to music when I write, but it’s impossible. It’s a complete distraction and my productivity plummets. I work in a very small room in my house, facing away from the window. I need to minimize the risk of distraction when I sit down to write. It helps that I know I only get two hours a day; that concentrates the mind.

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

I think I would like to be able to fly. It would make it much easier to get back to England.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: needle, orange juice, and teepee.

When my daughter spilled her cup of orange juice I couldn’t help but needle her about it, even though it wasn’t really her fault; it had been a long and stressful day, and I was (as my son pointed out) both a wigwam and a teepee – in other words, I was too tense. (Sorry.)

Don't be sorry, that was surprisingly unique! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I am lucky to have had four wonderful reading angels, who have read this latest book in various drafts and have offered nothing but honest appraisal and unstinting encouragement throughout. Every writer should be so lucky to have just one such reader, let alone a quartet. They are my wife, Christina, and my three great friends Elaine Johnson, Jennifer Perlow, and Allison Smythe.

My agents, Bruce Hunter in London and Emma Sweeney in New York have shown endless faith, patience, and perseverance. And of course I’m grateful to Amy Einhorn at Amy Einhorn Books for having faith in the book and applying her enormous skill to the editorial process.

And finally, where can people find you online?

My website and blog is at There are links there to my facebook page and twitter pages.

Excellent! Thank you so much for chatting with us, Alex. Good luck naming your novel, and I wish you lots of success in all your writing endeavors.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

eBook Winner

Happy December, everyone! Seems like time is flying right by, doesn't it?

As promised, I'm here to announce the winner of Aubrie Dionne's eBook NEBULA'S MUSIC. And the winner is ...

Rachele Alpine!

Congratulations, Rachele. I'll be emailing you your prize soon. :)