Wednesday 28 November 2012

Interview with Alivia Anders PLUS Giveaway

Today we're talking with authro Alivia Anders about her ILLUMINE series. The newest edition of the series, RIVEN, launches next month. You can win lots of prizes, so keep reading!

Welcome, Alivia! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well alrighty! I'm just like any other 21-year-old lost in the void of life after High School. Hah! I write YA Fiction, specifically the wickedness of half-angels, demons, succubi, and anything else that grabs me and compels me to write. I'm terribly addicted to chocolate, fast food, books, and on occasion I get a baking twitch like no other.

How long have you been writing?

Professionally, meaning I make some money off of it? Less than a year. I'm still very 'fresh' to the book world. But I've been writing long before that, going back as far as 4th and 5th grade. It wasn't until middle school, though, when I found RPG Forums for Harry Potter fans, that my writing really took off.

Tell us about ILLUMINE and OMBUMBRATE.

ILLUMINE is the first in the Illumine Series. It follows the story of a girl named Essallie, who's sort of unknowingly turned into the victim of a demonic sacrifice at the hands of her most-definitely ex-boyfriend. It looks like she's about to become the next meal on the demon's menu, when he tries to touch her, and her skin reacts by setting him on fire. After that, it just sort of spirals for poor Essallie, as she finds out everything around her has been one giant cover-up of her life. She finds out she's half-angel, Nephilim, and destined to a life of battling demons as soon as she ascends to her powers. Too bad the demon, Kayden, is stuck hanging around, and does his best to ruin all of her plans while simultaneously trying to help her out.

OBUMBRATE, the second book to the series, continues right where ILLUMINE leaves off. Essallie is caught at a crossroads, so to speak; does she take the time she has and the power she's been gifted with and do what she can, or hide in the shadows and let time tick by? She ends up discovering she is very much not alone, that there's another Nephilim, named Ari, who finds her and agrees to help her the best he can. Add in Kayden, and what side he's on is anyone's guess, and a few other new and old characters, and you've got a jam-packed novel of thrills!

Let's hear about RIVEN.

Here's the blurb:

Captured, imprisoned, and left to burn.
You know what they say- where there's smoke there's fire...

For the last two weeks, Essallie Hanley has been a prisoner, in more ways than one. Held hostage by the Queen, she is forced to endure the mind-numbing pain tearing her body- and soul -apart, killing her with every tick of the clock. It seems all hope is lost, until one chance moment gives Essallie a name, Rinae Decante, the final person needed for the Queen to unveil her master plan to end Essallie. Armed with this name, and with the help of Ari and Kayden, Essallie breaks free from her captivity and launches in a search for this mystery girl. 

But their search doesn't go as smoothly as planned, and the three soon find themselves fighting against an impenetrable course of fate aimed to destroy them all from the inside out. When Essallie falls victim to her altering soul, they all begin to wonder of there's any chance at all to save themselves from the burning effects of their actions. 

Love, lies, and betrayal. 
No one is safe from the undoing of secrets surrounding Essallie

How did the idea of the stories come to you?

ILLUMINE actually started as seven or so pages on a word document one day when I had stayed home from school. I definitely didn't intend on writing a novel, that was never the plan. I just liked writing, and was in the middle of a slump my senior year, where I didn't know which way my life was supposed to go. After writing those key seven pages, I set it aside for months upon months, until I finally started letting the characters speak to me, so to say, and let them tell me how the story was played. It's all water under the bridge from there.

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

ILLUMINE was pure self-edit, and somedays, I think it shows. I've been told the difference between ILLUMINE and OBUMBRATE is startling, but in a good way. Now, when I finish a book, I usually go through it myself, red pen and all, and let my Mom and some friends crack at it. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

Half-in-half, most definitely. I plan based off what I know from the characters, and pants once the story takes off. For example, OBUMBRATE was definitely supposed to end much differently than it did, but once I hit that scene after Kayden and Essallie were in the hallway, I knew it was going to go in a completely different direction. There are some characters, like Lilix and Ursula, who I originally wrote off as small, secondary characters for filling positions and some backstory, but they've taken entire storylines now.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Time. Time is never, ever, EVER, on my side.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Something to drink, preferably the non-alcoholic kind, since I was my writing to actually make sense when it's done. Hah!

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

Time-freeze. I'd stop time for weeks, finish novels, and then start back up with stacks of stuff done.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Oh my. This might not be appropriate. Well, the most PG thing I've randomly Googled was Ebola. I wanted to know every detail about the disease. If I wasn't a writer, and I had the grades for it, I probably would have went somewhere into the medical field for microbiology, or pharmaceuticals. I love knowing ins and outs about medication, illness, all of it.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: patronizing, impairment, and crackle.

"If you're think I'm impaired, check out Mr. Self-Patronizing over there with his alcohol-doused, crackling Pop-Rocks."

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

Sleeping. Or drinking coffee and wishing I was writing.

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

I wish I could dedicate a dozen pages to the names of everyone who has helped, supported, and encouraged me these last few years. I've spoken to authors, big and small alike, and learned more the last half-year than I ever did in my life. I've met teachers, specifically my Cultures teacher Mr. Dow, and English teacher Mrs. Kern, who both unknowing and knowingly alike pushed me and made me feel better about myself. Heck, even another one of my Cultures teachers, Mr. Orr, is a writer himself! (Bonus too, he's a kick-butt teacher and made me love the law system.) I've met fans of all ages, online and in person, thank me and hug me. Bloggers like Jodie from Uniquely Moi Books, Jessica from Hopelessly Devoted Bilbliophile, and Megan here at Reading Away the Days, I've made so many friends through this world, it's madness. And my parents, oh my gosh my parents, they've put up with just about every mood I could throw at them and still haven't kicked me out of the house, now THAT is love.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I've made contact with you in the last few years, you've unknowingly made me a better person, a better writer, friend, everything. And I thank you!

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

Well, that's easy! You can find, and buy, my books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or off my blog if you're itching for a signed one!

Amazon link to all books by Alivia Anders:
B&N link to all books by Alivia Anders:
Blog link to all books by Alivia Anders:

Don't forget to leave a comment and enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Guest Vlog: Sally Harris PLUS Giveaway

About Sally:

Sally Harris is a 28-year-old writer, blogger and teacher from Melbourne, Australia.  Sally loves animals, including penguins, and if she can't have one of those as a pet, a dog would be the next best thing.

She blogs at and is currently doing a blog tour.  You can also find her on Twitter @franklybooks or at Goodreads.

Yesterday, she discussed using news stories to inspire creative writing with the Book probe and tomorrow she'll be appearing with Harriet Kempton to discuss being an author-entrepreneur.

About Diary of a Penguin-napper:

3 weeks ...
2 boys ... 
1 little penguin ...

What could possibly go wrong?

When 11(and a half) year old Marty is partnered up with Jessica on the overnight science trip, he thinks all of this dreams are about to come true.  It's his big chance to impress the most beautiful girl in Year 7 (and probably the world) and he wouldn't miss it for anything.

Only problem is: Marty can't afford to go on the overnight trip. Yet.

Inspired by the urban myth that it is possible to steal a penguin from the zoo on a school visit, Diary of a Penguin-napper is a hilarious tale of growing up, bending the rules and how one big fuss can be caused by stealing just one little penguin.

Diary of a Penguin-napper is currently available on, and Smashwords.

Monday 26 November 2012

Book Launch: The Forbidden Trilogy

For one week only, the award-winning Forbidden Mind will be on sale for 99cents to celebrate the launch of The Forbidden Trilogy Special Omnibus Edition by Kimberly Kinrade.

Paranormal teens with unimaginable powers. A secret organization with deadly intentions. When Sam, a girl who reads minds, meets Drake, a boy who controls minds, they discover their lives aren't what they thought.

Together, they must escape their fate and free their friends, before they lose everyone they love.

The Forbidden Trilogy has received rave reviews from bloggers and fans, and Forbidden Mind has a 4.3 rating out of 106 reviews on Amazon!

"...a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment." - Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews

"The plot is very ALIAS and DARK ANGEL-like with X-MEN as its backdrop (awesome combo!). Forbidden Mind BLEW my mind!" ~Sour Skittles Book Blog

"Well written, unique plot filled with twists and turns, Kimberly pens "Forbidden Mind" with extremely strong characters. A totally fantastic book that is impossible to put down making you want more and more." --My Cozy Book Corner

"Wow! Kimberly Kinrade blew me away with Forbidden Mind! It's depth was so intense...the story line so twisted...I could not put this book down!! It encompasses all the elements to make a great book. Originality, excitement, love and loss. Throw in a little paranormal action and a hint of dystopia and you've got yourself one hella've a ride!! Seriously, please read this will not be disappointed! This is a wonderful start to an epic new YA series." -Nette's Bookshelf Reviews

The Forbidden Trilogy Special Omnibus Edition includes:

*Award-Winning Book #1 - Forbidden Mind
*Book #2 - Forbidden Fire
*Book #3 - Forbidden Life
*In-Depth Q&A with Author Kimberly Kinrade
*Extensive Bonus Content (Available ONLY in this Special Edition)

Get the whole trilogy, plus bonus content and save up to $5 off the trilogy... even if you already own Forbidden Mind you can still enjoy a savings on the last two books! This special edition gives readers the best deal with the best content!

Inside The Forbidden Trilogy

49% of Americans believe their government officials are honest. I don't know these officials, or their supporters, but I know their secrets, and 49% of Americans are wrong.

My employers pay me well to be right, to know things others can't. But I don't know why they brought that boy in, strapped to a stretcher, barely conscious. He asked me for help when I could give none.

I'm a wealthy spy, a talented artist, a martial arts black belt, and a prisoner. They tell me that on my eighteenth birthday, I will be released, free to go to the college of my dreams. It's my eighteenth birthday, and a man in black is at my door. I know he's not here to free me.

I know, because I can read minds.

My name is Sam, and this is my story.

So begins the tale of Sam and Drake--from the time they link minds, forging a bond that leads to an unconventional romance--to their fight for survival against the corrupt, twisted organization known as 'Rent-A-Kid.'  

Get your copy of The Forbidden Trilogy Special Omnibus Edition, Forbidden Mind, Forbidden Fire or Forbidden Life on Amazon.

The first three books are also available on B&N (with The Forbidden Trilogy soon to come.)

To celebrate the launch and enjoy a week of giveaways, chats with the author and more, join the Facebook Party at: The Forbidden Trilogy Launch Party.

From the author:

This series was based on a dream I had of a teenage girl named Sam who could read minds and was rented out by an organization called Rent-A-Kid. I thought it would be a short story, so I penned it quickly before I planned on launching The Reluctant Familiar and The Chronicles of Corinne (Death by Destiny, Myths of Magic and Paths to Power). Boy was I wrong.
What started as a short story, ended as an entire trilogy. Not only that, but come 2013 I have two more potential trilogies to write based on the Forbidden world.

This series explores the value of a human life and how we often see each other as tools to be used. There are ethical questions raised as Sam and Drake struggle to understand their powers and each other. It's also a love story, albeit unconventional. What is it about someone that causes us to follow in love with them? Do we have to be physically present with someone to know it's love? Sam and Drake explore the boundaries of love, loss, pain and morality in this series.

These are fast-paced books that are part paranormal/sci-fi, part thriller and part romance. I look forward to hearing what you think about each book as you work your way through the series.

I'm especially excited to offer this omnibus edition that gives you all three books in one at a great discount, plus gives you extra surprise content. Thank you so much for taking an interested in the Forbidden world that has commanded my time and attention for so long. May you root for Sam, Drake, Luke, Lucy and their friends as much as I did while writing them.


If you could have any para-power, what would you choose?

About the author:

Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds.

She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they're humans, her two cats who think they're gods (and they probably are), and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.

Find Kimberly Kinrade
Website     Twitter     Facebook     IPI Twitter     IPI Facebook   IPI Website Three Lost Kids Website   Daring Books Design & Marketing Website

Saturday 24 November 2012

Winner of the Three Two One Pitch Contest

And we have a winner!

First of all, I'd like to thank literary agent Marie Lamba of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency for participating in November's Three Two One Pitch contest. Marie is purely delightful, and it was fun having her involved. I'd also like to thank everyone who participated. It was fun reading all the interesting pitches, and I truly hope some of those stories make it to the book shelves one day.

So without further ado, the winner of the pitch contest is:

Donea Lee Weaver!

Here's Donea's pitch:

The Graves
MG: Paranormal Mystery

Three sentence pitch: 12-year-old, Charlie Graves, stumbles across a dead girl while playing hide and seek with his best friend in the cemetery behind his house. He’s surprised when her ghost appears to him and asks his help in finding her killer – not so surprised when he finds out that his grave-robbing father is the prime suspect. When his dad is convicted of the crime, but the ghost still lingers, Charlie races against time to find the real killer or risks becoming the next victim.

Congratulations, Donea! Please email Marie at marie.jdlit [at] and submit your full manuscript as an attachment, along with a brief synopsis and bio. Please mention this contest in the email and put "Requested Material: Pitch Contest Winner" in the subject line. And good luck!

Keep following the blog, everyone. We'll be having another pitch contest early next year. :)

Friday 23 November 2012

Book Feature: Dark Tidings

I'm pleased to take part in the DARK TIDINGS blog tour. Come in, get cozy, and get to know author Ken Magee and his novel, DARK TIDINGS, leave a comment and win an ebook (open through December 9th).

Ken Magee: Author Bio

Deep down, I have always wanted to be a writer. Like a lot of people, I was sure there was at least one book in me and I wanted to get it out. Unfortunately life intervened and it decided that I needed a career that would feed the family, so I worked for many years in the IT industry in a variety of roles including programming, sales and eventually CEO. Just to complicate things, in the middle of all this, I also served in the British Royal Naval Reserve for five years.

In 2010, I semi-retired and decided it was time to finish the book I had started writing years earlier. I don’t think any of the original book survived the process, although it did remain a Fantasy novel because that’s my real passion! Even as a young boy, I loved Fantasy and Science Fiction books and, if they had a good sprinkling of comedy, then I was happy. Harry Harrison and the Stainless Steel Rat probably paved the path which eventually led to the likes of Terry Pratchett. I would love to think that my first book at least hints at those influences. One review seemed to think so, and that really pleased me…

“Imagine the worlds of Terry Pratchett and Dan Brown coming together - Dark Tidings provides a witty and clever read that will appeal to all readers.”

I am married with two grown up children, and two dogs. I love reading, writing and words. I have a keen interest in music (mainly rock), technology, movies, travel and the Internet. To keep fit I play badminton when I get the time… and I walk the dogs even when I don’t get the time.

Author Links:

Amazon Author Page:

Book Bio:

What happens when ancient magic meets the internet? One thing is certain, modern life will never be the same again.

A thousand years ago, a young thief, Tung, and a disgraced wizard, Madrick, are thrust together in an executioner’s dungeon.

In the darkness, Madrick reveals an incredible secret about a legendary spell. The great spell helps them escape their prison cell... and eventually their century.

Catapulted into the present day, their lives collide with Michael, a computer hacker who plans to destroy the world’s largest bank. But sinister people are tracking their every move and they will stop at nothing to steal their spell.

Purchase Links:

Amazon (UK):


Amazon (US): Paperback:

Kindle (US):


Other (Site which features NI Books)

Thursday 22 November 2012

Interview with Ia Uaro

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it. I hope your day is filled with yummy morsels and delightful people.

Speaking of delightful people, we're chatting with author Ia Uaro today about her novel, SYDNEY'S SONG.

Welcome to We Do Write, Ia. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Ia Uaro, a former teenaged writer, petroleum seismologist, and volunteer translator, now a mum who does several kinds of volunteer work, assesses manuscripts, reviews books and writes real-life socio fiction.

How long have you been writing?

My first book was traditionally published over 30 years ago. On fiction, I wrote on and off over the next ten years. On nonfiction, I wrote sporadically all along the years. This comeback to writing is two years ago.

Tell us about SYDNEY'S SONG. What’s the story about?

A fictionalized true story, Sydney’s Song is a romantic fiction, real-life socio fiction, humorous fiction, family drama, coming-of-age, travel/Australia, self-help/empowerment. It’s many things, but on the main, an Aussie-American love story. Very romantic, but PG-rated.

It starts in the Australian summer of 1999. Sydney of Sydney is 17 and newly graduated from high school. Her parents announce their divorce [it’s now a trend for Aussie women to divorce their husbands as soon as their kids finish high school] and leave her alone. Shaken Sydney starts a holiday job in the beehive that is the Olympics' public-transport call centre, while waiting for university to start in three months’ time.
Everything about her job is horrible. The sheltered Aussie is plagued by abusive callers, obnoxious government agencies, constrictive office rules, and liberated friends. She is trying to negotiate these challenges as her own personal Olympics when Pete finds her. Pete, Boston's former child prodigy whose soothing voice floats across her workstation, sees through Sydney's tough outer shell. Pete knows what it takes to present a dignified front when all you want to do is howl at the moon. Treating their friendship like an art, he invests time and creative effort to pull Sydney out of her despair.
Tragedy strikes when an accident leaves Pete with a major brain injury in a Boston hospital. Their families think Sydney is too young to cope with all the complications, but she doesn't agree. After all that he has done for her, Sydney refuses to leave Pete with people who view him only as an endless chore. Deferring her university studies, alone in a foreign land facing new trials, Sydney stays at his side—even when he doesn't recognise her.

Set in Sydney and Boston where heartbreaks are juxtaposed humour, SYDNEY'S SONG is a young girl's courageous journey to adulthood and a love story. A work of fiction based on real events, this novel with an Australian accent also shows the world that living with disabilities does not prevent a person from attaining happiness.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

In June 2010 I met a friend I used to work with. She said the old office was closing down, and we reminisced about our experiences there. When I arrived home, my then 13-year-old daughter was crying because she couldn’t finish the novel she had been working on—so I thought to show her by example, that if she kept on writing she was bound to arrive at the finish line. When I opened my computer, a uni friend had just posted an ancient pic. In it, we (if you read this book, look out for “the band”) were all singing by a lake. Also in the picture was my Beecroft friend, who was visiting me, so distraught by her parents’ recent divorce. I mixed all of these in the opening chapters. After that, I continued with my husband’s true life stories.

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

My longtime friend and my sister in law were my primary beta readers. But now I have so many friends from the writing world, including professional editors.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

Both. A colleague objected on my original storyline of SYDNEY’S SONG, “Don’t you dare torture her anymore!” That’s why I moved it to hubby’s story.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Telling the truth. Always makes me bleed all over again.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

On the original draft—nothing. I can write through hail and water. But I need silence when editing—no noise except quiet music and/or the soothing sound of water.

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

Ah-ha! I have this question in my book! I quote:

“Hey Pete, if you were king of the world, and you could do anything you want, what would you like to turn yourself into?”
“A bird,” he promptly replied. “So I can have a bird’s-eye view. See things better. Easier to comprehend them. And you?”
“An eagle! Not just any bird, but the most majestic of them all.”

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

My first book, which was written in a different language long before the internet era. I found:
- Some people treasure it as a rare, precious book in Goodreads
- Some people advertised asking where to buy the book
- Some book clubs still discuss it, after three decades have past
- It even has a Facebook page!

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: harmonize, reluctant, and enterprise.

Although reluctant, I have now started a business enterprise to harmonize my marketing effort with my distributor’s demand.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

spending time with my family, working my day job, volunteering for the community, and assessing my friends’ manuscripts.

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

There are friends who pretend to be friends. But I have been so blessed by many friends who believe in me, work so hard and sacrifice to support me and my work, endlessly tweet and retweet for me, tirelessly spend all their free time translating SYDNEY’S SONG to other languages for me (btw, the Spanish version may come as soon as December!). You know who you are. You have my deepest gratitude. No one will honour me, except the honorable.

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

Come visit my website to interact with me on my blog and guestbook. It also has links to my Twitter, Facebook, and book outlets.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Interview with Aneesa Price

Today we welcome author Aneesa Price in part one of a two-part interview. Today we'll be talking about her novel, COFFIN GIRLS.

Aneesa Price writes romance and lives it with her university sweetheart and husband. After having surmounted the challenges of being in a bi-racial marriage in the newly democratic South Africa, she now attributes her marital bliss to purposefully added spice and passionately resolved differences. The cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg is the playground that she enjoys with her husband and two daughters.
Aneesa completed her internship in counselling psychology and went on to work first as a therapist and then in Corporate Finance in on projects and in organizational change. She writes to give her readers the gift of experiencing the new and fascinating, something she strives for herself when she explores new places, reads, cooks with her kids or goes picking for antiques with her husband.

Welcome to We Do Write, Aneesa. How long have you been writing?

I detested high school and loved university and because of that I've blocked much of what happened during school from my memory. *grin* Apparently, I'd forgotten that I used to entertain my friends while we sat in study hall preparing for exams with conjured tales of hot romance - something which a friend recently reminded me of. I haven't put my fingers to a laptop to write since until around August last year. I was off sick from work, bored out of my skull and decided to give it a try. What ensued was 2 weeks of madness as I fell in love with the process of writing. I wrote Finding Promise in two weeks and then began writing Coffin Girls this year, which took 3 months to complete due to the intense research involved (and because I had hand surgery).

Tell us about COFFIN GIRLS. What’s the story about?

The story is about Anais, a witch-vampire and the group of misfit vampire-witches that she shares her home and business with. It is set on a beautiful historic plantation in New Orleans just shy of the city and alongside the bayou. Anais feels as though her life is running well with the only necessary evil being her subjugation for the Vampire Council headed by Yves, her maker. As event planners, Anais and her motley crew of vampire witches and paranormal assistants coordinate the annual Vampire Council ball. During this ball Yves makes the startling announcement of establishing a witch-vampire alliance and Anais is left with the witch-sitting responsibilities. Only the witch in question and his guards are intriguing, sexy men of magick and status and Anais finds that their presence threatens the closely-guarded secrets of her and her witch-vampire sisters. This leads to the series of misadventures and unexpected twists as Anais and Conall need to overcome their differences, despite their passionate interest in each other and put the fate of captured, young witches first. This book, whilst introducing many different paranormal creatures from weres to necromancers to fae, is ultimately an adult romantic read and due to erotic elements and strong language is not recommended for readers under the age of 18.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I never know how a story comes to me to be honest. I usually dream up an idea then research. As I research the idea evolves and I then do some more research. *grin* With Coffin Girls, I utilized google, google maps, read books on voodoo and magick, I researched the history of New Orleans and even went so far as to read hordes of articles on New Orleans speech. I even read the Wiccan bible and the history of magick. All the reading I did helped spark my imagination and shape the text but the idea really came out of nowhere. I suppose that it develops once I sit and write. I write freely for about the first three chapters then sit back, think, research and begin plotting. Plotting only serves as a guide or 'sanity check' but I've found that my best work happens when I lose myself in it and forget what I've plotted.

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

I would love to use an editor but as a new indie publisher with a day job and responsibilities, that is a future goal. For my first novel, I didn't use a beta reader and it was all mine. For the second book, Coffin Girls, because of the French in it, I obtained assistance from a French friend who provided me with invaluable guidance on the complexities of the French language. Other than that, I did all the editing myself. Fortunately, I hold a major in English for my undergraduate degree and progressed to complete my internship in psychology, which requires much reading and even more writing. So, I had many opportunities to practice. Even so, grammatical errors do creep in and I found myself editing and re-uploading both books many times even after I published them. I hope that they are now error-free but I would in future like to save myself that particular pain and utilize the services of an editor.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

A bit of both - see previous answer lol. But I do like to plan how to light fire under the pants of my readers in terms of suspense *wicked grin* and interesting love scenes of course.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

"How to fake your death" and "Spiritual Vampires"

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: erratic, Switzerland, and propaganda.

The propaganda I’d been subjected to had led to the most infuriating of erratic sensations, placing me in an disturbing hell that was far from the neutral, comfortable emotional state of Switzerland that I preferred.

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

My motivation to write, my inspiration ultimately comes from my life, my loves and the journey that I'm on to becoming. An undeniable influence in this is my husband, with whom I have my own Romeo and Juliet experience and my two beautiful daughters to whom I'd like to illustrate that dreams can become a reality through passion and hard work.
Thank you to you, Dorothy Dreyer, for this wonderful opportunity and the support you show to indie authors - I wish for you much positive karma returned.
I need to thank the Facebook literary community, particularly the members of Wanda's Amazing Amazon Reviewers or WaAr and my friends at Mystic Press. My friend and inspiration to keep going is Rose Pressey whom I look up to as an author and a beautiful soul. I cannot omit Kendall of Book Crazy, Mary-Nancy of M-N's Amazing Reviews (she was my very first formal reviewer), Carmen Ramirez Sanchez, Carrie-Anne Phillips To Be, Sam Sheerin, Brittany Weidenfeller and so many others. I'd love to give a shout out to the fabulous reviewers and authors at Trudy's Reviewers and Street Team. One reviewer, Michelle, was so forthright and shared so much of herself in what she wrote on amazon that I realized the power of the written word - my written word - and when I am frustrated, I remember how I touched a life and it keeps me motivated.
I also have a wonderful following on twitter and on my Facebook fan page where I've candidly shared my thoughts, promoted other authors and reviewers and have had many interesting conversations.

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

My books are available on many of the retailers - Barnes and Noble, Amazon, smashwords, Kobo, etc. Coffin Girls is also available via createspace.

The easiest link to Coffin Girls and Finding Promise are via amazon. I do encourage readers interested in my work to like my fan page on Facebook where I interact the most and engage openly. I also provide information on future work or work in progress. I'm currently working on a submission to Mystic Press for an erotic anthology, have just completed a emotionally poignant contemporary romance entitled Home for Love and have future plans to embark on an explicit erotic anthology with a group of indie authors. All of this information may be found on my Facebook Author / Fan page.

Here are the links:

Coffin Girls:

Finding Promise:

Facebook Author Page:

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Interview with Kai Strand

Today we're talking with a wonderful author, Kai Strand. She's here to chat with us about her novel, SAVE THE LEMMINGS.

Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.

First and foremost, I'm a wife and the mother of four. That's the funnest and most important stuff I do. Beyond that, I write fiction for kids and teens, I'm a compulsive walker and a Mozart fangirl.

How long have you been writing?

I've enjoyed writing most of my life. I decided to pursue publication about nine years ago.

Tell us about SAVE THE LEMMINGS. What’s the story about?

About the book: 8th grade inventor, Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards is the N.I.C.E. girl who finishes last with the kids in school. Sappy inspirational phrases and monochromatic outfits have all but her best friends wrinkling their nose at her. When Natalie’s invention, the Texty-Talky, goes nationwide, she becomes an overnight sensation. Suddenly her days consist of photo shoots and interviews with little time left for her friends. A local reporter shatters her good-girl image by reporting a graffiti incident and the media launches into a smear campaign. It is so bad, even her friends start to believe the stories. Will Natalie be able to overcome the lies being printed about her?

One of the take-aways I hope kids get from Lemmings is that it's important to know who you are and hold on tight to that - even if who you are isn't who the world wants you to be.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

It formed in my subconscious while I slept one night. I woke in the wee hours one morning with a fully formed idea for a book. Problem was I was sleeping on the couch in a hotel room at the time and my sisters were in the bedroom. As quietly as possible, I slipped my laptop out of its bag, powered it up and typed like the wind to capture the idea before the sun rose and it disintegrated.

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

I've belonged to the same critique group for many years! I love my critters. Not only do they give great input to my work, but they keep me sane. This business is tough on your psyche and if it weren't for them I would have given up ages ago.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

I'm a pantser. I've tried being a planner, but the act of typing out the outline saps my creative juices on the story. So, in order to keep things straight, I create a 'facts' document as I go. That way if I need to remember a middle name or hair color later, I'm not paging through 50K words trying to find where I first mentioned it.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing. Again, it's because the creative juices have been consumed and I'm left with an empty cup. Though, it's only the first edits that make me want to pull out my hair - the ones I do by myself. I enjoy working with the input from my critique group and I love working with editors. I think it's because they breathe new life into the story.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Internet for or a thesaurus. I prefer internet because then I can do spontaneous fact checking too. But I have to have a thesaurus available at all times.

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

Ooo, this is a tough one for me. My young adult book, King of Bad, scheduled to release next year is about super villains. Needless to say I really love imagining life with super powers. However, in my less dramatic life, I think teleportation would kick some serious time management butt. Not only would it free up more time to write (not having to drive or walk places) but it would allow me to visit libraries and classrooms across the country. Uh oh, I'm drooling.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Funny you should ask this! Recently we had a local court case where the defense subpoenaed the victims Google records. The judge denied the request, but the fact that they requested it became a nationwide story and the victim ended up on the Today show talking about her case. I have to say when that story broke, I kind of freaked out. If my google records were ever admitted in court, people would think I'm either very scatterbrained (WWF wrestling, popular girl baby names in 1887, tabloid headlines) or they'd think I needed to be committed (what feeds electricity that can be found in muscles, images of Tonganese men, pediatric brain cancer)!

Oh yeah, I'd definitely be in trouble if someone got a hold of my search records.

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

My daily liturgy of lemmings takes place on a cliff overlooking the Arctic Ocean and includes a cup of hot, spiced lemmingade. (Couldn't resist!)

LOL! Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

walking. I walk about 60 miles or 18 hours a month.

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

This is great! Thanks for this.

My bestie for cheering me on.
My extended family for the love and the 'Woots.'
My friends for suggesting my books to their friends.
My kids for listening to my stories again and again.
My husband for believing in me more than I do!
My publishers for taking a chance on me.

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

My website is and it has info about my books, downloadable companion documents, buy links for print and electronic versions. It has links to my short stories - many are FREE! It has info about my upcoming publications.
I'm on Twitter (@KaiStrand) and Facebook (Kai Strand, Author)
and I blog at Strands of Thought

Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us today, Kai! Your books all sound amazing, and I wish you lots of success.

Thanks for letting me visit with you and your readers, Dorothy! It's been so much fun.

Monday 19 November 2012

Interview with L Leander

What? Monday again? Well, let's start the week off on a good note by indulging in an interview with author L. Leander.

Welcome to We Do Write. 
Tell us a bit about yourself.  

It’s only recently that I began writing a book.  I’ve spent many years as a singer/songwriter and I play several musical instruments. I’m very creative and grew up in a rural area of Michigan where we still churned butter, milked our own cows, canned fruits and vegetables and butchered cows and pigs for our food.  I sewed most of the clothing my family wore and baked my own bread every week.  I cooked on an old gas and wood cookstove. I love camping and cooking over a campfire.  My favorite food is pizza.  I am very interested in history, especially the Civil War years. I love riding roller coasters.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was about eight – poems first, then songs and short stories and finally on to a novel.   

What’s the story about?

The story is about a young woman’s journey from a hardscrabble life in the Appalachian Mountains to the bright lights and excitement of the circus.  She works hard and becomes a famous elephant rider named INZARED, falls in love with the boss handler and begins traveling with the circus.  The setting is pre-Civil War 1843. Inzared learns to live with the Gypsies, but incurs prejudice not only from some of the circus performers but from her own people, as well.  As she matures into a woman she makes decisions that will alter her life forever and learns that you can’t run away from your problems.
How did the idea of the story come to you?

Honestly, I don’t know.  As a child I always loved the circus and wanted to run away to join one.  When I began writing this novel I sat down and INZARED dictated the story.  She led the life and she knew how she wanted to be portrayed.  I’m just the vehicle through which she speaks.

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

All of the above.  I have a wonderful Writer’s Group in Mexico, where I spend the winter months.  The members are honest and give excellent feedback.  I use beta-readers and I self-edit.  I want my writing to be the best it can be before it’s published.

Are you a planner or a pantser?  

I am definitely a pantser.  I hope to do a little more planning on the second book in the INZARED series, which I am writing now.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?  

The internet.  I have to use it for research, but before I know it I am off on a tangent somewhere and I have to force myself to get back to writing.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
A thesaurus – I use an online dictionary and refer to it often.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I think it would be the ability to heal people – make terminally ill people instantly well.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?  

What an elephant rider wore in 1843 to protect her legs from the abrasive hide of an elephant while riding.  Sounds like an easy question but it wasn’t.  I finally found the answer from a circus museum curator in Germany.    

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: flip chart,
insinuate, and cheesecake.

I don’t mean to insinuate that you are not paying attention, but since you aren’t looking at the flip chart while you nonchalantly eat that piece of cheesecake gives me reason to believe that you are uninterested in my presentation.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

sleeping, but then I’m dreaming about writing! lol.

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

I have amazing friends and family.  Here are the people who made INZARED a reality.
Ralph Baumann – my incredible husband.  Thanks for doing the housework so I can write!
Edith Wiscombe – my biggest inspiration for Inzared’s character.
Ethel Stockton – my most supportive author friend who always told me the truth.
Charles and Arlene Flory – I know you’re proud of me, mom and dad!
Angel Artrip – my daughter – thanks for the long pep talks.
My sisters and brother, Sandy, Sheri & Chip – thanks for buying my book (I would have gifted you a copy!)
Peggy Ritchison – my good friend and fantastic beta reader.
Helen Livingston and Alan Switzer – my English and band teachers in high school- they pushed to get the best out of me.
Mazatlan Writer’s Group – everyone should have a writing group like this one – we are brutally honest and all help each other achieve.
There are so many others I need to thank, but you know who you are.  Along the way I have met many incredible Indie Authors who have helped me in some way or another.    

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

Amazon Author Page:

Video Trailer: