The Month of October

Interviews, Interviews, and more  Interviews...

Interviews & Guess Spots for the month of October...

Author Alexandria Infante of the Teaching Between Midnight and Dawn & A Lite Farie Tale Series...



So Alie, what inspired you to write?



I love Romance period, which is why I also write Contemporary and Historical, but am very partial to Paranormal. However, I didn’t see myself reflected in the works I read; and if I did it was a side character, a supporting character, or a villain; so I thought I’d write my own. 

Being multi-racial (Puerto Rican, Cuban, Native American, Irish and African-American) I wanted to see a character like me, and the fact that this is rare spurred me on. Authors like me tend to get pigeon holed into one specific genre like Minority literature, Latina, African-American, or Ethnic, who hardly ever move out of that; and I think this is completely unfair. I hoped by writing what I believe the genre should encompass, people would see my books for the story and negate the race of the character; that being, anyone could place themselves in the shoes of the character, not just someone of a minority background.


Do you find certain things make you want to write about them?

   I'm sure I'm prejudiced by plenty of things lol. I discover brainwaves in songs, movies, the world at large, or just simple phrases sometimes. I love to write at Starbucks, because the bustling people always inspire me. The nasty woman impatiently yelling at the Starbuck's employee, because she gave her a mocha coffee instead of a mocha latté becomes a villain, the Hugh Jackman look alike becomes the next wolf, the sexy emo guy ordering the Eggnog latte becomes the next Master of the city for my vamps, while the hot blonde ordering the Tazo berry tea may be the next warlock. 

   I love to write at night, especially since I write paranormal. Rainy nights are good for scenes of action, but full moon nights always seem to give me the most creativity. People in general instigate me to create something new. I once saw this very handsome man on a train, and he became my character Saix. Sephoroth came from this really really hot guy I met in a club. I love to write in friends, ex's (who most often get killed off tee-hee), people I've met, co-workers, teachers and the like, and this is where my normal everyday life works itself into my books. I base both my Paranormal and Fae series on mythology, so I'm constantly inspired by a new myth, new legends, or new facts about lost artifacts; and I incorporate them into my books.


My 1st Book, T.B.M.D; Arieanna's Legend was released in 2011.

About the book:

     Arieanna was pretty much happy with her life. Her students loved her, she loved teaching; life was simple and uncomplicated. That's until she met Auron. 

    Sent by an exclusive underground sect, Auron's there to protect the descendant of Ast at all cost. His number one purpose is to keep the supposed volume of Ast's magick from entering the hands of the wrong people, in spite of the fact that it might cause his death. Exiled two centuries ago from his Foretag for insubordination and murder, Auron knows if Jimmy Mann gets his hands on that book all hell will break lose. 

   Centuries of war will spill onto a human battleground, the causalities catastrophic. The governing Council will do whatever it deems necessary to keep that from happening; even if it means taking out the descendant, Lycans, Warlocks, Witches, Shape-shifters and Vampires. The hieroglyphs state she holds the key to the location of Ast's legendary book of magick; the only problem is, Arieanna doesn't know it yet! With the book comes massive power, and only Auron can help her control it, in order to keep her from wiping out paranormals, and humans alike. Chalk full of Scottish Werewolves, British Vampires, American Witches, and the legends of Egyptian Goddess Ast, the Goddess Sekhmet, Mulkie, and Ast's supposed book of magick; Arie and Auron will find a love which will be tested by both supernatural, and the regular everyday relationship hang-ups!

    I loved writing this book. My love for mythology sparked both of these series, and each book in the TBMD series gets darker. I could say I see myself in the character of Arieanna, and I thought why not make a book where regular everyday teachers fight against the things that go bump in the night. You always see the detective, ex-cop or private detective, but never the regular person minding their own business; so I thought it would be fun to throw a bunch of teachers and professors in the mix. 

   Arieanna holds my heart, because she was the first character concept I came up with. I wanted to show that love has no genre, race, creed or species lol. I believe the book is both sexy and romantic, because you can feel the intensity between Auron and Arieanna. The love is expressed, because Auron will do whatever he has to do to protect Arieanna, and vise versa. The first book is a bit tamed. Each book in the series gets just a bit darker, more sensual, and the erotic element is played up even more. If I had to say what I like most about my female leads, is that although they are in love with these men, they are still strong women, who don't necessarily need a man, but are women enough to acept it.


What authors influenced you as a writer?

This is wide lol. I read a wide range of works from fiction to non-fiction; so I couldn’t narrow that down to one specific author. I would say Shakespeare is one of my favorites though, because I was always in love with how he told a story within a story. I wanted to be able to weave a tale just as he did. I know most people find him boring, but if they take in the works as a whole they would see the nitty gritty as they say; the sex, betrayal, murder and all the juicy stuff that we read today.


What is your favorite Quote? Why is it your favorite?

“All the World’s a stage”, but I modified that to say; “All the World’s a Stage, but that doesn’t mean that you have to perform.” With everything that goes on in the world today, if you can’t be you then who are you? Most people continue to ask the question, “Can I just be me and get by with that? And I say yes; let self -worth and character supersede the everyday bollix life has to offer you. And I feel like this quote pretty much sums that up.

Margarett Thatcher’s, “No one has the power to make you feel inferior, unless you give it to them”.

These quotes are analogous to each other, because sometimes what people want you to be is not always what you need to be; be yourself, and if that isn’t enough then those are people, things or places you don’t need to be around.


If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Hummm, this is a conundrum. I love Jane Austen and the Romantic period as a whole, but since I’m a feminist at heart, this wouldn’t work for me. I love Historical Romance, British and some portions of American History as well, but seeing as though I’m of mixed blood, that wouldn’t work for me either hahaha. I like some period Romance, but the feminist in me would rear its ugly head here as well lol; so I guess I would have to say something like Harry Potter, anything in the Comic world (as long as I had special powers) or maybe a spy thriller like Nikita.


What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?

I guess nowadays a computer lol. Everything is media based, so if you don’t have one you’re kinda outted. The number one thing; belief in themselves, in what they write, and their passion for writing.


Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?

I would say so because I work completely off the myths.

   I don’t read any other authors when I write, because whether the mind foresees it or not; you can find yourself adlibbing or plagiarizing other people’s works. I remember I was working on a Contemporary Women’s fiction book (Mendacity) and had watched Valentine like a week before. I wrote the scene, and was like , “did I already write this,” because the scene looked and sounded so familiar. 

   I realized then I'd watched it, and had to erase it and re-write the entire scene again. 

    Honestly, I love paranormal, but seriously I don’t read much of it. I like Laurel K. Hamilton, am a fiend for Charlene Harris' Trueblood (HBO), think Kim Harrison rocks, and was so upset when they canceled Blood Ties based off of Tanya Huff’s books; and oh man, anything from Ann Rice. 

    However, I don’t stay current with what’s out there. I feel like although ideas can’t be copywrited, they are special to that person, and for me to take someone else’s idea and “improve” on it is just a nice way to say I copied them. Therefore, I don’t really read a lot of my genre. I want my books to stand on their own. Even though each of the books in this genre have the underlining myth of the vampire, wolf or shape-shifter, each author strives to be unique; and I just feel like if I read other authors in my genre it sticks regardless if I want it to or not. But I do make an exception for the above lol.


What lead you to writing in this genre?

well, I actually write in three different genres. Contemporary, Historical, but I would say I am primarily a Paranormal author. I read a couple of authors, and thought man oh man could I do this; and I did lol. 

Not to mention, I've been a vampire and werewolf freak since my teen years. I loved Forever Night (telling my age here lol) Interview with the Vampire, and Buffy. But what I loved most about each of these works was the Love that is either unrequited, implied, or put off all together because of circumstances. It all leads back to that Romantic Period’s “angst”. I wanted to be a part of that, because I am in love with the idea of love, and a romantic at heart.


What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Boring I know, but the research. I think fact finding in any genre is very important. Since I deal a great deal with Egyptian Mythology in each of my books, I want my facts to be correct. I would hate to incorrectly cite a myth and have it completely wrong, then have the amazing Egyptian people on the hunt for me lol. I want to be true to the myths, and have my readers enjoy them as much as I do. That goes with any of the myths I use in both my Fae series and the Teaching Between Midnight and Dawn series. But seriously, I love what I do, and finding the myths and incorporating them into the story line is so much fun for me; because it challenges me to come up with even more detail, weaving it into the story just right so it makes sense.


Least favorite part of the writing process?

Finding the time to devote completely and totally to my writing. Unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes, and I don’t get to write consecutively for weeks on end. I truly wish I could do this and only this! Writers block, lol and sometimes forcing myself to write even when I don’t feel like it.


What are you currently working on?

I'm currently editing book 4 Dark Premonitions in the TBMD series, and book 3 Precede with Caution in the ALF.

T.M.T.N; kissing cousins was just released on amazon (Book 2 TBMD) as well as T.C.B.M; the Arvantes (Book 3 TBMD)

Also Midna's Farie Tale (Book 1 ALF) and To Teach is Divine (Book 2 ALF) all on amazon.com

I’ve written 12 in the TBMD series so far, but I decided to push back book 11 and make it 12; and came up with a new concept for book 11. The books get darker and more sensual (erotic) with each new book in the series, and I'm currently writing on book 12 Hidden Shadows.

I write Contemporary thriller as well, and my first book Mendacity is out on amazon as well.

Too, I dabble in Historical, and my titles A Lad's Trousers, A Slow time to Love, and Fire & Ice are amazon too.

Each of my books features Interracial Romance.

Where can readers find you?

I have 4 websites and 2 blogs lol. 

They can find [email protected]

www.poisonedpin.webs.com (TBMD Series)

www.fariytalewish.webs.com (ALF Series)

www.alieinfante.webs.com (Historical)

www.contemporarylove.webs.com (Contemporary)

Blogs

www.poisonedpin.blogspot.com

www.alieinfante.blogspot.com,

Google;  https://sites.google.com/site/teachingbetweenmidnightanddawn/

Tumblr; http://tbmd1.tumblr.com/, http://poisonedpin.livejournal.com/

Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teaching-Between-Midnight-and-Dawn/199915416719374, 

Wordpress; http://aliekat.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php,

Twitter; http://twitter.com/lex6802 and a host of others lol. 

I also have podcasts @ http://alexandriainfante.podbean.com/mf/web/y97ge2/TeachingBetweenMidnightAndDawnPrologueandChap1.wmv , up on http://alexandriainfante.podbean.com/mf/web/ysyui/TeachingBetweenMidnightAndDawnchapter1.wmv, and I also have the trailer up on my site, as well as youtube @ http://youtu.be/SOqrtqeeR8o

LAST QUESTION:

Was there a question you wish we'd asked but didn't?

Actually there is;

Should the race of the author or character matter when you decide to buy a book or read a new story? Can you step outside your known comfort zone to enter someone else`s? ;)

Thanks so much Leeli for all you guys do, especially in promoting me as an author. You guys are epic, and props worthy!!! ;)

Alie out...


Contemporary Romance Author Eden Connor...

Those devilish De Marco men, Wildly Inappropriate, Eden Connor, Silver Publishing, Interracial Erotic Romance. Author of  Soft Sounds of PleasureIncidental Contact as well.




So Eden, tell us about your newest release. 


I'd love to! Wildly Inappropriate is the second book in my series Those Devilish De Marco Men. The series revolves around three attractive brothers and explores why each of them has commitment issues. Of course, I've deviously sent three amazing, yet unexpected women to tear down their walls.

In Wildly Inappropriate, we meet Daniel, the oldest of the three brothers. When the story opens, he discovers someone has chained a young woman to the bumper of his truck. She's black and she's beautiful, and though he'd like to, he cannot seem to toss her off his land. Though he gives her plenty of opportunities to leave, Cynda has a compelling reason to stay, although I might debate whether she sticks around for the reason she believes. 

     You might be shocked to see this in your yard—I know I would be—but Daniel's used to some pretty outrageous behavior from a real estate developer who's trying to buy the family's peach orchards. But he is intrigued, and when they touch…ah, well, I can't give the story away, can I? The story is set in the single most conservative state in the US, South Carolina, so this couple's burgeoning relationship will have to weather some stormy waters. The fact of the matter is that an interracial relationship here will still ruffle some feathers. 


Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story? 

     Tough question, because my favorite scene is the final one, when Daniel tells Cynda he's found a new word for 'love' and gives her a gift to illustrate that. But I can describe the imagery in the scene, I think, without giving anything away. It's snowing. The first snowfall of the year is one my grandmother always said cleaned the pollution from the air, and many of the things polluting this couple's chance at a happily-ever-after have been cleansed by this point. 

    Throughout the book, the peach is used as an allegory and a theme that has meant different things to each of the main characters. To Daniel, the peach is illustrative of a family heritage tinged with failure. To Cynda, the very fruit of that failure seems to hold the key to a promising future. His words to her show that he's grasped that, and his gift is symbolic on so many levels, even I barely know where the idea came from. My muse works in mysterious ways it seems. 

 

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp

    I'm a southern girl, and I write stories set where I live. My grandmother had a lot of sayings. One was: 'You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs'. It's all fine well and good that other parts of the United States an interracial couple will barely turn heads, but I don't live in those places, and neither do the De Marco brothers. I tried to paint a place a native might recognize in all ways when I decided to write the series. Is the subtle racism illustrated in this story less painful than the overt racism of my childhood? I doubt it, but I cannot be the one to provide the definitive answer to that question. 

   There's a reason Cynda states she's more worried about the police than the Klan while Lila is provoked to action by the sight of a Klan rally on the courthouse lawn. Before you ask, yes, that incident is a fictionalized account of a real-life incident. Honestly, I've been criticized and labeled a racist for penning this story. Many have found the opening scene offensive; it's been called out for celebrating the 'Old South' mentality of condoning slavery, although I feel other readers might read any other BDSM story and not find offense at the image of a woman in chains and a collar, be she black, white, or leopard-spotted. 

    Yet others have been moved to contact me to say how much they loved the story, and those living in the area have said unequivocally that Cynda feels real to them, both in her thinking as well as the things that happen to her within the pages. I can say I wasn't surprised by the polarity of the responses to this story. I struggled to get Cynda's character right, to be honest about her in all ways. That was difficult because I'm neither black nor submissive. My daughter asked me once during the process, "If you're finding Cynda's character so hard to write, why don’t you just make her white?" The answer, once I thought about it, was that Daniel had never seen Cynda, he didn't know her at all, not even in passing. In a tiny town such as this, there's only one way that could happen. I think that means that while we've made a lot of progress, we're not there yet.

   

How much research does there go into your stories?

    I write about as slow as I talk and type, in part because I do a lot of research. Most of my characters are inspired by either people I know or people I read about in the news. Wildly Inappropriate took me over a year to write. The research included a trip to the local detention center, a lot of reading about the current activities of the Klan in my area, and so many conversations with my daughter, who has had an interracial relationship, that she suddenly asked me one day, "Do you know how long it's been since we talked about people who weren't imaginary?" 

    Also, I had to learn the psychology behind a BDSM relationship and figure out what makes that concept different from abuse. Every time I talk about this story, I end up back at my grandmother, who was the most submissive woman I've ever known. It was only in writing this that I came to fully understand her.   

 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

     I'm pretty sure the entire series morphed into being after I read Lauren Dane's series set the fictional town of Petal, Georgia. The common advice for beginning writers is to write what you know and I know southern boys, inside and out. The first book in this series, Soft Sounds of Pleasure, was my first effort at writing fiction. It's about a fortyish widow and the youngest of the three De Marco brothers, who's twenty-nine. Lila encounters some harsh judgments when she begins seeing Colton De Marco before her widow's year is up, as well as facing condemnation over their age difference. 

     I deliberately don't name the town where my stories are set, in part because I think the myriad small towns of upstate South Carolina are pretty homogenous. If you're familiar with one, then you can easily see the story taking place there. If not, welcome to the Upstate. We're friendly, conservative, hard-working, and religious. That can be a vociferous combination when someone strays from the norm, as my characters tend to do. The rebel flag still flies over the state house here, for those readers who aren't from the southern US.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

   I can't type worth a lick. I have to look at the keys, for starters, and even then, what I think becomes tangled between my brain and my fingers. I jokingly call my malady 'typing dyslexia'. I can spell, but if you looked at my first drafts, you'd call me a liar. Sometimes I even think one word and yet I type either the word that comes after or a different word beginning with same letter. Revision is always an adventure for me, but it's usually good for a few laughs.

 

 What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? 

   My muse is in charge, not me. She has this way of weaving wonderful threads into my stories that I don't recognize at the time, but I'm learning to trust her. When I strike off in my own direction, ignoring her input, I end up with a bad case of writer's block. She goes silent until I back up and do things her way, which is proving to be a good thing, annoying though it might be when I'm on a deadline. I've given up trying to outline a story and just let her do her thing. I might name my backspace key after her.

 

What authors or friends influenced you in helping you to become a writer? 

     Truthfully, at fifty-two, I'd have to say everything I've ever experienced has influenced my writing. As far as other writers, I'll say that most of what I've written to date has been a reaction to something—or a hundred somethings— I've read. 

     There's a lot of puff pastry out there, stories you can consume in half a day and reach for the next, still wanting more. Nothing at all wrong with dessert, I'm a huge fan of that myself, but when I write, I want to serve up meat and potatoes, something that will stick with you for longer than it takes to read it. Lauren Dane and Lora Leigh were the authors who influenced me most, I think. They were my first taste of erotic romance and both have set the bar high for this genre. I hope to live up to their standards.


What does your family think about your career as a published author?

(chuckle) Did I mention my husband was a Southern Baptist preacher's kid? My son is actively ignoring my writing career. My daughter has been very supportive.

  

 Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise

After I complete the third book in this series, Incidental Contact, which is Eric's story, due out in January, I plan to revise a military erotic romance titled When a Soldier Cries and get it submitted.

After that, I hope to focus on the interracial ménage a trois my muse is shouting about, which I think (!) will be titled Honeysuckle and Vellum. Recently, there was a lot of condemnation in the media over North Carolina's overwhelming (61%) vote adding an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriages. Yet few seemed to know that in 2006, South Carolina added the same amendment to our state constitution and it was approved by 78% of the voters. Did I mention we were homogenous here? Indeed, I think being gay will become the new black, as far as discrimination is concerned, so what happens when a white-trash woman, a rich white guy who can't find himself, and a black former stand-out collegiate athlete who's done time after being falsely accused of rape find they're better together than apart?

After those two projects, readers can expect to see the final book in the De Marco series, tentatively titled An Intentional Walk, which will cement the happily-ever-after for all of the De Marco clan and their women, as well as tie up any loose threads. We'll meet Jonah's father and Lila's son Charlie comes home from Iraq. Each of my books is written to be read as a stand-alone title, however.


How can readers connect with you online? 

I'm always delighted to add new friends to my Facebook page. If you give me a shout-out on Twitter @EdenConnor, I always respond. And of course, you can contact me via the e-mail link on my blog.

Thank you so much for having me here today, Leelia, as well as for taking a chance on a long read by a new author. I appreciate each and every reader more than I know how to say and those who take the time to pen their thoughts and reactions to my stories hold a special place in my heart.

~Eden



Author Rae Lori of the series  Ashen Twilight






       So Rae, Tell us about your newest release.

 It's been a little while since my last release as life as gotten in the way of production but my last release was Within the Shadows of Mortals, book 2 in my Ashen Twilight series.  It continues the story of Jace and Ariya and the houses of immortals they help fight against their enemies.

 

      Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

My favorite scene is when Joanna, a shifter who was carrying Richard's (one of Jace's best friends) children has a craving and they get into a back and forth. It's one of those moments where a guy says something seemingly off the cuff and innocently but his mate takes it to heart. I tried to liken it to what we go through in real life with relationships. 

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

 Perhaps nothing is what it seems when it comes to appearances and responsibilities.

  

        How much research does there go into your stories?

 If there are historical aspects, a lot of research goes into it because I want to get a grasp of the setting, time and place as well as the history that shaped the area. When I write, I have to feel the characters and setting so that I can convey that sense and time to my readers so they feel like they are in the story right there with the characters.

   

       When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 I think it was when I was 10 years old when I dove into my first story. It was coincidentally around this time (October) when I saw a call for short stories in the Disney Adventures magazine and I never looked back after being bitten by the bug.

        

       What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 I need to feel completely invested and lost in the story. I can't force a story so it has to come to me naturally and I have to be passionate about writing it. I sometimes use music to get me in the mood or a movie that shares the same atmosphere as the story I am writing.

 

    What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

 How the brain works. It's been surprising, unpredictable and interesting all at the same time.

 

             What authors or friends influenced you in helping you to become a writer?

 Definitely Rod Sterling, Alfred Hitchcock and Anne Rice to name a few. I loved how they brought their characters to live and really gave you a sense of time and place inside the story. They really focused on stories of the imaginations.         

 

        What does your family think about your career as a published author?

They support me all the way to which I am so grateful for. They allow me to vent whenever things to me and to share my ideas when they hit.

 

       Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

         I have a few things nearing completion and ready for release. A few novellas, some longer works and of course the finish to my series. I also have some works that won't be in my name but will be making appearances on a few other pen names.

 

        How can readers connect with you online?

They can visit me on my website, Twitter, Facebook and my blog.

 

http://www.raelori.com

http://www.twitter.com/RaeLori

http://www.facebook.com/RaeLori

http://raelori.blogspot.com