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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Q & A with Author Chelsey Krause

Hello, Chelsey! Thanks for joining me! What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would your career look like in an ideal world?
I have SO many plans, that it sometimes makes my head spin. M'kay. I'd LOVE to be a New York Times bestselling author. Several times over. I want to write books that everyone knows and reads. I'm not interested so much in fame as I am in writing books that people love and want more of. 
I plan to write at least 2-3 more chicklit type novels. I have a GREAT thriller novel based partially on my husband's great grandma, who lived in Russia and escaped a Siberian gulag labour camp. I also plan to write a dystopian novel that springs from this one question: what if you had to pass a test in order to have children? It will be set in futuristic North America, where the government is a mix of fertility cults (based on ancient Canaan fertility rites) and totalitarian regimes (like Nazi Germany and North Korea). I'm REALLY excited about that one. I picture it being similar to "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. 

Wow, that sounds very intriguing! I can't wait to read it! What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?
New Girl or Game of Thrones 

Me. Too. Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?
My left brain and right brain argue about stuff like this all of the time. Left brain says, "Sure! Absolutely!" and my right brain says, "These are romanticized notions that, while being fun and beautiful, are fantasies that exist only in books." 

What is the strangest fact about you?
I can't whistle. I've been trying to learn for years, and I just can't do it. It's embarrassing, even my friend's five-year-old can whistle! lol

Which writers inspire you?
Diana Gabaldon. Anne Rice. Stephen King. Chuck Palahniuk. Sophie Kinsella. Paige Toon. Gemma Burgess. Mitch Albom. Paullina Simons. 

What are you working on right now?
I have two ideas, and can't decide on which one to start. I have to expand on the ideas a lot more, but here's what I've got for now. You tell me which is the better idea! 
1) A woman who wants to write a BRUTALLY honest dating profile. She'll include everything you'd be afraid of a new boyfriend finding out about: Chin hairs, stretch marks, embarrassing relatives, weird habits, etc. You name it, it'll be in there. By putting her worst foot forward, she hopes that she can find someone who will love her not only at her best, but also at her worst. 
2) A woman who wants to run away from an embarrassing public scandal, that will likely ruin her career. She hides out at a yoga retreat, only, to be mistaken for the new yoga teacher. The problem is: she knows diddly squat about yoga. She must "fake" her way through it, or risk exposure she isn't ready to face. 

Those both sound interesting! My favorite would have to be the dating profile one. I think a lot of people put on a "front" with all the online dating that exists now. It is easy to hide flaws until after talking to someone for awhile. Anyway, why do you write?
There's no easy answer that, though this meme sums it up pretty nicely. 

Too funny! Do you have any advice for someone wanting to publish their own book?
First, just write the book. A common pitfall that writers can easily fall into is to do writer-type stuff in order to look busy, but it distracts from actual writing. They join writer groups and read books on writing and take workshops on writing. And this can all be great! Helpful, even! But, I know from experience (and from being around other writers) can these well-meaning activities can prevent you from doing any real work. Another pitfall is worrying whether a publisher or agent will like it, or if there's a market for your book. Doesn't matter at this stage. Just write a compelling story, something that excites you, and worry about publishing later. 
And remember, your first draft will likely disappoint you, and that's perfectly normal. You can also revise. So just relax, and finish writing your book. 
When it comes time to actually publish, make sure you've edited it, looked for plot holes, taken out unnecessary scenes, etc. You want to present a polished product. Having an online presence is a good idea too (ex. blog or author Facebook page), so editors, agents, fans, etc. can look you up, and get a feel for who you are. If you want to go the self-publishing route, make sure you do your research. Kindle direct publishing is a good place to start. If you want to go with traditional publishing or a hybrid or indie route, then make sure you read the submission guidelines for each person you send your manuscript. And remember to send a personal email to each. An impersonal, "stock" email will seem obvious and turn them off. 
And lastly! IF you're offered a publishing contract, make sure you look that publisher up online, see if they have any bad press, and get a lawyer that is familiar with intellectual property rights to review the contract for you. And make sure that YOU retain copyright. 

Great advice! Thanks for sharing. What books are you currently reading?
I currently have two books on the go: "The Vampire Lestat" by Anne Rice and "Remember Me?" by Sophie Kinsella. 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I love hearing from readers! You can connect with me on my: 

You can also find my latest book, "All Shook Up" in print and eBook here: 

Thanks again for joining me and good luck with your new projects, espcially the thrillers!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Q & A With Author Nicole Evelina

What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would your career look like in an ideal world?
For those who don’t know, I’m primarily a historical fiction writer. The contemporary romantic comedy just sort of happened from my desire to see a finding Mr. Right story for those of us over 30 who are still single. I may write more contemporary novels in the future (I have several ideas), but historical fiction is where my heart truly lies.
In an ideal world, I’d be the Nora Roberts of historical fiction who happens to write hilarious rom-coms now and again. Of course, I’d be on the NYT and USA Today bestseller lists with every book. Who doesn’t want that? I’d be a full-time author who has the means and time to travel as part of my research and attend several conventions a year. 
I really do want to be one of those break-out indies like Coleen Hoover or Bella Andre. I want the success and perks, but I really like being in charge of my own career.

What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?
I don’t watch much TV anymore (that’s part of my strategy to have more time to write), so I’m picky about what I watch; no more guilty pleasures. I love Orphan Black, Inspector Lewis (actually, most British TV shows), Murder in the First and Supergirl. I guess Supergirl would be the closest I get to guilty pleasures, but I don’t really feel guilty about it because a) it has several strong female characters and b) Jeremy Jordan. Nuff said. 
But in the spirit of fun, I did used to love the reality show Rock of Love. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I ate the first season up. (The second season was just gross.) Oh and I think I watched the Charm School season. Musicians are my weakness, and I LOVE hair bands, so it couldn’t be helped. And I will admit that a bit of Mia in Been Searching for You may have been influenced by Laci (Mia also has a real-life influence, but I’m not going there).

Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?
Absolutely. My certainty isn’t something I can explain, especially given that I haven’t met my soul mate yet, but I know he is out there. I believe there is some big Universal plan (created by that higher power I call God/Goddess, but who goes by so many names) and I also think there is an equivalent of The Adjustment Bureau out there keeping us on track.
I also believe that we tend to hang with the same souls throughout lifetimes. I know I’ve had at least two great loves throughout mine. One of them was someone I thought I’d end up with this time around, but it wasn’t meant to be; we influenced each other positively, and he’s happily married with kids now, so I can’t ask for a better outcome for him. The other person is the one I know I will end up with in this life. 

What is the strangest fact about you?
Oh I am so strange, there’s a lot to choose from. I was born three months premature back in 1979. I weighted 1lb 15 oz. The doctors told my parents that the only reason I lived is because I was a girl and girls fight harder. I’m really lucky not to have any major health issues as a result. The few I do have are manageable. All I know is I was in a hurry to get this life going! And I’ve done things the hard way ever since. 

Which writers inspire you?
My mentor is Deborah Harkness, #1 NYT Bestseller of the All Souls trilogy. I was one of six authors chosen to take a week-long writing intensive with her in March 2014. I also really, really love Patricia Bracewell, Susanna Kearsley, Elizabeth Gilbert and Alyson Noel, all of whom I’ve been fortunate enough to meet. I’m also inspired by Robin LaFevers, Geraldine Brooks, Jennifer Lee Carrell, Anne Fortier, Carol Goodman, MJ Rose, Erin Morgenstern.

What are you working on right now?
At this exact moment I’m wrapping up promotions for my latest book, Madame Presidentess, a historical fiction about Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President in the United States in 1872, which was 48 years before women had the right to vote. As soon as that quiets down and the voices in my head start talking again, I’m hoping to get back to Mistress of Legend, the third and final book in my Guinevere’s Tale historical fantasy series. If that doesn’t come to life, I’ll begin research on the story of a real-life WWII heroine from France who is virtually unknown outside of her native country. (I’m attracted to the stories that have nearly been forgotten; I see it as my mission to revive them for future generations.)

Why do you write?
Because I have to. As I once told my boss at my day job, writing is breathing. I don’t think I could exist without it. Even if only family and friends read my books, I’d still be writing because it is what I’m truly passionate about. Just as some people feel called to be teachers, nurses, accountants, etc., I feel called to be a writer.
I also have characters talking in my head, asking – sometimes demanding – that I tell their stories. I want to do right by them, regardless of whether they are historical or fictional. And I also want them to shut up. 

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to publish their own book?

1. Read everything you can on self-publishing before you begin. 
I did a six-month crash course before I published my first book and am still learning. I have a list of books I recommend on my web site here. I update it as I finish new books. That way, we can learn together.
2. Give yourself ample time. 
It will take longer than you think. I hire out my editing, cover design and formatting (which I would recommend everyone do), and that all takes many weeks. I didn’t know this when I scheduled the release of my first four books, so I ended up having three books going at once. You don’t want to do this. Trust me. Releasing four books in seven months like I did is not a good idea, especially when you have a full-time job. Give yourself at least 3-4 months per book. 
3. Hire a team of experts. 
Self-publishing doesn’t mean doing it alone. As I mentioned above, you’ll want to gather a team to help you. I highly recommend getting a cover designer, editor and proofreader and layout expert at the bare minimum. Yes, you can do that stuff yourself, but if you want your work to be as high-quality as the traditionally published stuff, you’re better off working with the professionals. If you do an audio book, please use an experienced actor and don’t try to narrate it yourself unless you have professional acting training and very versatile vocal skills. You may also want to consider working with a publicist, if your work has media tie-in and you can afford it.
4. Give it time. 
I’m learning this the hard way. Self-publishing is slow to show results and gain traction, mainly because we don’t have the resources/methods of discoverability that traditionally published authors do. Don’t freak out if you’re not a success overnight. Your audience will find you if you put a little effort into marketing and connecting with your ideal readers. I’m only seven months in, and I’ve learned that the old adage that “nothing sells a book like the next book” is really true. Which brings me to…
5. Keep writing. 
It’s very easy to get caught up in the marketing once you have a book published (I know from experience), but you need to keep your focus on writing new material. That’s why you started this in the first place, right? And make sure you write what you love, not necessarily what the industry is looking for. Your passion for your subject will show through (and lack thereof shows through even worse). Chances are that if you care about it, someone will want to read about it. 
6. Don’t ever give up. 

It’s the only way to fail. Ignore your critics (easy to say, not easy to do). Don’t read reviews. If you cave and read your reviews and you get a bad one, go read the 1 and 2 star reviews on Goodreads or Amazon of your favorite writers or of those the critics love. You’ll see that EVERYONE gets negative reviews. Then shake it off (or drown it in wine) and go on to writing the next thing. Prove them wrong through your great writing.

What books are you currently reading?
It’s usually easier to ask me what I’m NOT reading. At the moment I’m reading:
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (audio): A wonderfully written account of WWII, focusing on the Ravensbruck concentration camp. It’s gutting, but fantastic.
Food, a Love Story by Jim Gaffigan (audio): I needed something light to counterbalance Lilac Girls.
Sun Born By W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear: Pre-history historical fiction about the Cahokia Indians. Reading for review for the Historical Novel Society.
Eterna and Omega by Leanna Renee Hieber: Gaslight dark fantasy. Reading for review for the Historical Novel Society.
The Grotto’s Secret by Paula Wynne: Suspense, sort of like Dan Brown.
And I have roughly eight other books on hold. Okay, fine, maybe more like a dozen.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I’m on social media, too: 

Thanks you so much for joining me, Nicole!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Found | Elle Field -- Release Day Tour


“How did people even come up with the idea of these dizzying skyscrapers, let alone work out how to make them possible? Whoever built the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, their legacy will live on forever. What sort of a difference will I ever make?”
Who knew one flight could change everything? When Arielle Lockley stepped on the plane at Heathrow, she never realised how different her life would be when she touched down in New York City. Now she’s dealing with that aftermath, as well as trying to find common ground with Etta, her new and unexpected business partner.
But, trying to sort out business in London whilst her fiancé, Piers, recovers from surgery in New York, is starting to take its toll on their relationship. Can Arielle and Etta work together to continue Felicity’s legacy without destroying it, and will Arielle and Piers even make it down the aisle to say “I do”?
Find out what happens this summer in the final part of the warm and wonderful Arielle Lockley series.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:

Elle Field

Elle Field writes coming of age romantic comedies, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. She grew up in Yorkshire, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.
Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She’s a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!

Find her here:

Congratulations, Elle on your new release!! I just love the cover and have loved being a part of your big day!

Tour arranged by HCL Author Services:

NOW booking tours for September, October, November.
OPENED for new Author Assist Clientel.