Authors Tell All- Ann Swan

indexAnn Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She still lives in West Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy.

Amazon Author page: http://tinyurl.com/6wl3oe2

 

 

 

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I’ve been a writer for most of my life. My first published piece was in my college literary magazine. It was a short story called In Search of Water. I believe it paid $50 for first place. I won several more contests like that and those gave me the courage to keep writing. I also joined every writing group I could find in my area of West Texas. The other writers were always very encouraging.

However, I never broke into the “big leagues” or got a real agent. I had a couple of agents who never did anything for me so I wasn’t successful in that area. But it was at one of my writer’s meetings that I met my first editor (this was many years after I won that first contest). She and a friend were starting their own publishing company and I was one of their first signed authors. This small press published my first book The Phantom Pilot, and its follow-up, the Phantom Student. Unfortunately, they didn’t last very long as a company, so when my rights were returned to me, I self-published those two books and one more in the series–The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.

I also publish Romantic Suspense novels through 5 Prince Books, a small press I found (once again) through a writer’s group, this time on Facebook.

So the best advice I could give any writer is to never stop writing and always keep networking with other authors. You never know when someone will be the contact you’ve been waiting for.

Stevie-girl and the phantom pilot(1)

Book One: Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot

No matter who dares you, no matter what lures you, do not go in the spooky old house . . .

 When a small planes crashes behind Jase’s rural home, strange things begin to happen. But no one believes him. After all, there’s no such thing as a ghost, right? Then he sees his pretty, quiet schoolmate, Stevie-girl, about to enter the legendary haunted house, and he knows if anyone can help him solve the mystery, she’s the one.

Crybaby-Bridge-Amazon copy 2

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Authors Tell All- Railyn Stone

indexrs Writing since she could pick up a pen, Railyn Stone hails from the Tar Heel State and is a romantic at heart. She believes you can find romance in the simplest aspects of life and enjoys letting her imagination run wild. Trying new restaurants, listening to music, playing golf and writing stories about ordinary people are the hobbies she cherishes most.

 

 

 

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Publication…it’s possible

I get asked a lot of questions when people find out that I’m a published author. It’s usually the same ones:

What’s your process?

  • How long does it take you to write a book?
  • How did you find your publisher?

Believe me, I don’t mind the questions at all; because it wasn’t too long ago that I was on the other side asking those same questions to published authors. If I have any advice to impart on anyone that desires to be published, 1) ask questions, 2) keep writing and 3) never accept no as the final answer.

Asking questions is the best thing you could ever do. I asked questions in a couple of ways. I joined online writing groups, took a few creative writing courses and I started following blogs of authors I liked. I read their blogs and a lot of the questions I had would be answered that way. However, if I didn’t find the answers there, many times the authors would have a contact area on their website and I would submit questions to them. One thing I’ve always been told, if you never ask, you’ll never know. So continue to ask questions constantly. Also, if you have a local bookstore, check out their events. Many times they will host opportunities for you to see authors that visit. Authors will do signings and many times they will read part of their book and then open up the opportunity for guest to ask questions. This is a great chance for you to get more answers and insights concerning writing and the publishing process.

Keep writing. Whether you have an idea for a book or not, try and get into the habit of writing daily. Even if it’s just a blog post or a rant that will never be published or no one will ever read. It’s like exercising. If you want to build up your muscles, you take the time to work out each day. If you want to build your vocabulary and build your writing abilities, you have to exercise your writing skills.

And finally, and I feel like this is the most important thing I could ever tell anyone. Never take no as the final answer. I can’t even begin to tell you how many rejection letters and emails I received before I received an offer. It is disheartening, it’s sad and it’s a horrible feeling when you are rejected. We all go through it at some time or another in our lives, but know that you are not alone and where one may not want your work, someone else may. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t take the rejections personally. I kept each of my rejections as badges of honor. Believe me, when I first received them, I didn’t want to read them. However, later I went back and read them again. And I noticed a running thread through them all. Each one would allude to the fact that my writing was great, but they just didn’t have a passion for the story. Honestly, that’s the kind of rejection you want because you want your publisher or your literary agent to be passionate about the story you want to tell. They will be your biggest supporters and will help you get your story to the world. They need to have a passion for it.

So, keep plugging away. Keep writing, keep reading and asking questions and don’t take no for an answer. There are various ways to get to publication and everyone has a different path to take.

Book links:

TheChristmasTreeGuy-1First Novel Published:

The Christmas Tree Guy, November 2014

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00NN5ZNC4

 

 

 

 

 

Most Recent Publication:ASecretToKeep

A Secret to Keep, June 2015

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00YSS7LIY

Visit me at:

Website: www.railynstone.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/railynst

Twitter: @railynwrites

Email: railynwrites@gmail.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/railyns

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Railyn-Stone/e/B00NR66YMW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Authors Tell All- Ashley Robbins

557657_425329077522134_91625117_nAshley’s favorite thing to write about is basically anything to do with myths, supernatural, paranormal…but upon occasion she’ll write about normal teenage life. It comes somewhat naturally to her considering she’s nineteen herself. If the vampires or other supernatural beings still haven’t claimed her, you’ll most likely find her with her computer, working on whatever story plots invaded her mind at that time. Like most teenagers, she’s still unsure of what all she wants to do with her life. Become a marine biologist, graphic designer, editor, fashion designer? Or maybe just stick to writing, we might find out one day. She hopes to one day travel the world, take her mom to swim with the dolphins, and let her sister finally visit Graceland. She currently lives in North Carolina with her mom, sister, and three crazy dogs who think they’re human.

You can find her on her website: HYPERLINK “http://purpleunicorns174.wix.com/talknerdytomehttp://purpleunicorns174.wix.com/talknerdytome, or on pretty much any other social media site as AshKat174.

 

Tell+All+IconEveryone thinks that authors are automatically born with love for books. With me, not so much. When I was a kid, I hated anything to do with reading. I think I wrote a story for class once, I was forced to, but, other than that? Forget about it.

I only really got into reading when I was bored—I was probably loudly complaining about this—and my sister threw a book at my head. I don’t know if she literally did…memory loss from a concussion? Ooh. Either way, I started reading Alison Noel’s Evermore, and, I became hooked. One day, I absolutely could not find what I wanted to read—does anyone else smell the beginning of a storyline?—so, I wrote it.

I became serious about my writing when I was fifteen, sixteen, somewhere around in there. I submitted to agents, rejection galore. To publishers. Ahaha, nope. Then there was the frustration and just wanting to give up. Everyone experiences it, you’re absolutely not alone there, if you’re a writer whose reading this.

I had a book up on Wattpad, I was frustrated about it not getting any/many reads and then, overnight, it exploded. I woke up to a thousand reads, and throughout the day it kept going up, I nearly cried. Yay, my work doesn’t completely suck. It got up to 2,136 reads and was #301 in Humor. I still have the screenshots on my phone, this is how I know the exact numbers. Those little things mean everything to me, they help when I start doubting myself.

I got fed up with waiting on people—publishers to accept/reject my story—so, at seventeen, I published my first book, that one that was slightly popular on Wattpad. I posted it everywhere…anyone else hear the crickets? That’s what it felt like. And then, I contacted a few blogs (Back Off My Books, Kitty Kats Crazy About Books) and these fine ladies gave me some advice which should always be appreciated, no matter how old you are. You can learn something new from someone every day.

I did promotions—everybody loves free books—gave away nearly a thousand books. Shocked the crap outta me, I actually still have that screenshot on my phone. I think this is when an awesome woman named Serena Pettus—author of the Wolfe Brothers, & Southern Pride series, check her out—left a review on amazon for it. I stalked her until I found a way to make contact and then, asked if she’d be interested in reading the second book in my series. She did and we haven’t stopped talking. She even—thankfully—edited the second one for me.

I look up to this woman because, like I said before, she is amazing. She’s given me loads of advice and she’s actually the one who gave me the courage—along with my mom and sister—to try publishers again. And, whadoya know, I’m now signed with Inkspell Publishing.

I’ll be the first one to tell you, being an author is hard. Like this lovely lady who owns this blog said, you’re committed to your book for life (probably not word for word), you constantly have to sale it. It’s a popularity contest, and it’s like you’re in a race, you fight the urge to elbow your opponent to knock them down. You even get jealous of their success, I have and still do occasionally.

Now, on Wattpad, only half of the first Princess book has over seven thousand reads. And the second one has over five thousand. That still amazes me.

Being an author isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but whenever you inform someone new of what you do, there’s always a sense of pride. It’s hard, but, it’s worth it. Never give up on your dreams.

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Authors Tell All- Tracy James Jones

IMG_9875 - Copy - Copy“Writing is a passion that has been a part of my whole life. Being an independent author allows me the opportunity to do it all my own way.”

Tracy James Jones was raised between Dallas and Waxahachie, Texas, and considers both cities as “home.” At Navarro College Jones majored in Journalism / minor in Mass Communication. Before college, Jones worked as an actor with the local Community Theater, and as an extra/stand-in for feature films. As a freelance writer/novelist, Jones has written several college introductory letters, other contract writing projects, newspaper articles, and three published novels. Literary portfolio also includes a screenplay adaptation of an original fiction novel, “Searching For Eden.” Recent release, “Secrets & Lies”-2011, is a multicultural romantic drama which is also being formatted for film.

 

Tell+All+IconGreetings, everyone. My name is Tracy James Jones and I am an independent author, blogger, and book reviewer from Dallas and Waxahachie, Texas.  My current portfolio includes four novels, two screenplay projects and a collection of short stories. It is my honor to share my journey into writing with you today.

For starters, as an only child, my first loves were music, movies, and books. Though I initially wanted to act and sing, reading was already an important part of my life. I actually got my first library card in the fifth grade and read every “Charlie Brown” and Dr. Seuss book I could get my hands on. By the time I was thirteen I anxiously started my first diary, which is basically something I still do to this day, and my love of writing continued right into high school, where I often wrote poetry about the pitfalls of being a misunderstood teenager of color. With the opportunity to hopefully write for my high school newspaper, I signed up for a journalism class, taught by one the most influential teachers I had ever met in my life. My dream of becoming a writer began the first day of her class. Though I never made it as a writer for the school paper, the dream of writing had already set in.

I was in college, majoring in journalism and mass communications, when I was offered my first writing project. It was the opportunity to write an article about the life story of a local boxer and his journey to success after having been hit by a car and partially paralyzed when he was kid. That story was published in the local newspaper and became the push I needed to get started writing my own short stories and novel ideas.

My first full-length novel was a three-hundred plus pages mess of an interracial romance. The story was there but the structure and editing were all wrong, so I put that work aside and went on with regular life until I had the time to read and learn more on how to do what I needed to do to make my writing work. Again, my local library came to the rescue with a whole section of books dedicated to writing. Thanks to all the books I read, and after a crazy spring-break trip to Las Vegas, I wasted no time diving into my next writing project.

“Searching For Eden,” which today would be described as a New Adult Male Adventure, is the story of a young guy who ran away from home in the middle of the night or he would have been dead by the light of day. That tagline set the pace of the whole story for the young central character, who grew into adulthood, basically running for his life from California, to Las Vegas, to the beaches of South Padre Island, Texas and his love, sex and life-threatening adventure with the people he met along the way. The outline for the story, based loosely on someone I met, became my very first published novel and screenplay. The first print edition led to a book signing tour to nineteen cities across Texas and Arizona, a high school speaking engagement, and an author appreciation event at my local library.

With the semi-success I had gained with my first published book, I made a connection with a national bookstore chain and had planned to continue the tour with them across the U.S. That dream was sidelined by real life situations and an unexpected illness that required open-heart surgery with a lengthy recovery period. During my recovery, I managed to write an outline for that first book to become a series, but ended up rewriting some of my early short stories and drafts for two other novel instead. Considering how much the world and the publishing/entertainment industry has changed since I first started to write, my last two novels are more focused on giving a platform and voice to the LGBT people of color who are rarely seen or heard and often misunderstood.

“Secrets & Lies,” one of the two releases, is a provocative, uncensored, character-driven, emotional journey into the private lives of four central characters in a small Texas town. At the heart of the story is a beautiful transgender woman of color who questions her personal worth as she fights to keep the life and love she has always wanted. Even the elements of true confessions get lost in translation as the details of who these people really are brings them together in a surprising, yet necessary finale that will change their lives forever…

TJJ-S&L-New-Ebook

In addition to my writing, I am also a reader for various novel award events that include The RONE` Awards (Romance Novel), The Rainbow Books Award (LGBT), and last year I read for the HuffPost50/AARP Memoir Awards.    Also, I would like to add that one of my short stories, “The Crush,” is featured on the Huffington Post and has since been requested by the International Baccalaureate Organization to use in their world-wide, middle-years education program for language and literature teacher support material. My extended social media networks include my blog, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter.

Searching For Eden Cover

In closing, I would like to sincerely thank all of your for your time spent getting to know me, as well as the Hostess, Christina OW, for inviting me to share my writing journey with you. Be Happy. Be You. Happy reading!

~ Accidental Activist & Indie Author

Tracy James Jones

Amazon’s Author Page

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/hatchiekid/

 

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Authors Tell All- Wende Dikec

mail.google.comWende Dikec writes Young Adult, New Adult, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She has three books coming out in 2016, TIGER LILY (January 2016, Inkspell Publishing), STARR VALENTINE (March 2016, Inkspell Publishing), and TRAVELLER (2016, The Wild Rose Press, writing as Abigail Drake). After travelling the world and living abroad for many years, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three sons, a puppy named Capone, and a very well used espresso machine.

www.wendedikec.com and  www.abigaildrake.com

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Young Adult vs. New Adult

 I started my writing career in the safe and happy world of Young Adult fiction. It was easy for me because I knew the rules and was very familiar with the genre. I wrote several books, two of which will be published by Inkspell Publishing in 2016 (TIGER LILY in January and STARR VALENTINE in March).

When I first heard about the New Adult genre, I was intrigued. It was described to me as Young Adult with more sexual content and mature subject matter. Easy peasy. I could do that. Or so I thought.

I wrote a book called TRAVELLER about a twenty-one year old girl on a study abroad trip to England. She was a former Junior Miss Kentucky who won beauty pageants using martial arts as her talent, and ends up employing those skills to fight monsters. There is a love interest (a sexy gypsy mercenary warrior) and there is sexual content. I thought I’d written my first NA. Ding, dong – I was wrong.

After speaking with Katherine Ernst, a NA adult author and one of the founders of Jasper Ridge Press, I finally understood NA and realized exactly why my book was not NA. Once she explained it, it seemed so simple and clear. I had no idea why I hadn’t caught on before.

New Adult is the genre referring to books for 18-26 year olds (mostly women). There can be other interpretations of this genre, and it is ever changing, but this is my understanding of the concept. There have always been books for 18-26 year olds, and there have always been protagonists in this age group. They were just not called “New Adult.” They were referred to as paranormal, or contemporary, or women’s fiction, or chick lit, or whatever related to the actual story and the book.

New Adult is something different. Traditionally, college age women were not targeted as a market. Think about it and remember your college days. Did you really have a lot of time to read for pleasure? I didn’t. My brain was so full after my classes, I had no room for anything else. In the summer, it was a different story. I devoured books from the moment my last class what over until the next resumed in the fall, but during the year I did very little (if any) reading for my own enjoyment.

New Adult fills a niche for this age group that never existed before. The successful New Adult books are almost always contemporary romances about someone going through a transition – growing up, moving away from home, attending college or joining the military, and learning life lessons by making mistakes and poor choices.

As soon as Katherine explained it to me, I got it. I also realized why TRAVELLER, although I’d gotten lots of positive comments about it in various contests I’d entered, never really clicked as a New Adult book. One judge actually said, “I love this book and the writing, but it isn’t New Adult.” That really should have been my first hint, but I didn’t quite pick up on it until Katherine spelled it out for me clearly (and using small words).

I decided to market TRAVELLER as a paranormal romance, and within two weeks I had eight offers on it. I sold it to The Wild Rose Press and it’ll be published in 2016. I wish I’d listened to people earlier. I wish I’d studied the market a bit more and realized where my book actually fit. It would have saved me a great deal of time and energy in the long run. And I wish I’d read more in the genre before I assumed (rather arrogantly) that I could write it. Do your homework. Talk to people. Figure it out.

I’m happy to say I’m writing an actual New Adult book at the moment. LUCKY NUMBER FIVE is about a girl in college whose boyfriend suffers from severe depression and has issues with alcohol and drugs. She makes a lot of bad choices, learns some life lessons, and finds her way through a very dark time. It is New Adult, and this time I know I’ve got it right.

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Presenting… “Authors Tell All”

Hi lovely readers!

I hope you’re having a great start to the month of August. For this month I’ve decided to invite several authors to share their writing journeys. I’m sure you’ve all been curious as to how you’re favorite author finally got to that best seller list. or the most popular question, what drove him or her to begin writing and why on earth they chose the genre they’re in. Well, as a fan of a number of author’s myself, I wanted to find that out too.

So for the next 3 weeks I’m going to try and fill each day with one author’s story. It will include the first book they’ve ever written, first ever published and latest release. I’m going to title these series of posts ‘Authors Tell All’. If you have an author you would like to hear from (not too famous that I have to talk to 10 people just to get to) just comment below. Make sure to share the posts and support your authors.

Each week I’ll add the 5 featured authors below so watch this space!

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8/10th  Wendec Dekec

8/11th Tracy James Jones

8/12th Ashley Robbins

8/13th Railyn Stone 

8/14th Ann Swann

8/17th Christina OW’s New Release

8/18th Delaney Diamond

8/19th Massimo Marino

8/20th Nigel Edwards

8/21th Claudia Ross

8/24th Melynda Price

8/25th Lisa Warir

8/26th Mika Jolie

 8/27th M.J. Kane

8/28th Susan Fisher Davis