Soulmates: Dark #FlashFiction

He was my kind of gorgeous; sweet, funny, great singing voice, protective and a little good looking. Others thought differently with his jerk nature I tended to overlook, tad overweight (just more to love), controlling habits and he was a bit immature.

Still he was my soulmate and I was his. I loved everything about him, but every time we were together things would go wrong. Little things that all couples go through, so we stuck it out. That is until things went really wrong.

I came home one morning, from working nightshift at the hospital, to find another man in my waterbed. Normally I would be ok with this, I’m weird like that, but the poor man was black and blue, tied to a hook in the wall above the bed and looked terrified.

“Leo, what’s going on?” I asked tentatively.

“I needed release, you weren’t here like always. He showed up to deliver a package. I don’t have preference.” He grunted out, still buried deep inside the postman and thrusting. “He took a bit of persuasion but he is better than the corpses in the basement.”

“There are dead bodies in the basement?” I tried not to freak out. That would explain why I’m not allowed in the basement.

“I shouldn’t have said that. Now I’m going to lose the only person that has been able to keep up with me. When you’re home that is.” He kept going, as if in a hypnotic state. “You know they didn’t start out like that. I just couldn’t have them screaming when you are home.”

Mentally I thought of all the places I could run, but he has alienated me from all my friends and family. The cops would think that I was in on it because God only knows how long it has been going on. There is nowhere for me to go.

In order to save my life, I knew what I had to do: join him.

I stripped my clothes and eased down on the unnamed postman’s appendage, facing Leo. “Think of all the fun we could have together.” I said hoping to entice him.

Matching him move for move, I rode them. At the right time, I arched back to the bedside table and grabbed the dagger I keep for protection.

“Rose!” He called out and I plunged the knife deep into his heart.

“That is for thinking to kill me.” I pulled it out and went in again, loving the feel of his warm blood coat my body. “That is for not sharing.”

#FamilyLegacy Short-Story Chapter 3

Jack pauses to cough into a handkerchief. “It might sound cliché, but the weather wasn’t that good that night either. Dark clouds covered the stars, thunder rolled, the lightning crackled but rain hadn’t come yet. It didn’t drop until after the car fire got going really well.” He zones out, not seeing me. So far gone in the past that I can almost see ghosts flit across his eyes.

My voice comes out soft and breathless. “That’s horrible.”

“Yep, but it wasn’t like your mom had the best beginning to life either.”

“How so?”

“Well you know how your grandma died with Tasha Raelynn’s brothers and sisters in the train wreck yea?”

“Yea.”

“Well she ended up in her grandparents care after that. Her dad was a criminal that was in and out of prison. Your strict great-grandmother swore Tasha would never be raised by him. He died in federal prison of prostate cancer or something.”

“That would explain why I never got to meet him.” I bite my lower lip in surprise.

“Then your great-grandpa still has some PTSD from WWII.”

“I know that. It has gotten better over the years, but he still has some bad days.”

“Who wouldn’t after taking shrapnel from a grenade from the wrong side of Normandy Beach?”

I gasp. “Wait, he took friendly fire?”

“Yes, ma’am. He hasn’t told you?

“No. He doesn’t talk about the war and no one else will talk about family history at all.” That would explain the deafness in his right ear.

“No one thinks it was on purpose, but it still happened.”

“How do you know all of this?”

“Your mom and I did some digging into the family for a school project.”

“Neat.” I saw solemnly.

“Well I better be off. I just came by to say hi to Tasha. If you need me, you know where to find me.”

I give him a quick hug. “Ok. See you later.”

He dusts off his pants and leaves with a quick wave. He stops and turns back, “you know the saddest part of this mess is the wreck happened just one week after you were born.”

“I hadn’t realized it was that soon. I didn’t get any real time her after all.” Shock.

I get up and stretch. “I need to get back to Shayla before your grandparents scar her for life.

Bye Mom, I’ll be back to see you, maybe next year. I will make sure to bring Shayla too…at some point. Probably not until later when she can fully understand death, but still she will come to know you. We have all the hours of home videos for her to go through.” Out of selfishness, I decide that I will keep the gory details of mother’s death to myself.

My little girl never needs to hear of how her grandmother died in a fiery car crash that threw her from the Trans Am because of her lack of seat belt. Or how the drunk driver got away with murdering her and three of her best friends.

One last look at the pink quartz tombstone in the shape of a heart, then I am on my way home and back to my daughter.

Tasha Raelynn Smith

Daughter and Beloved Mother

1975-1991

The Loss of a Great Grandfather (A Short Story)

Those damn bagpipes haunt my dreams, every single night. While the horned version is heard throughout the town every afternoon at seventeen hundred hours. That tune signals the end of the day and that the fallen have returned home. It has to be the saddest song in the world, in the history of music.

A the song blasts through my hearing, I can see him. Thin and frail, his tattered uniform resting, folded neatly on his chest, my family had opted to put him in a white t shirt and overalls for the great-grandchildren to recognize him. The funeral home tried their best to put a soft smile on his face, but it did not turn out quite right. His full head of white hair was combed perfectly to represent the gentleman he was, even if it was against Army regulation length.

I haven’t felt much of anything since the day my dad received the phone call from the hospital telling us that my great-grandpa had past away. I remember having to ask two or three times for him to repeat the message, because I couldn’t believe it. I had just seen him two days before and he was fine. Well maybe not that fine, he did say something about great-grandma being there next to me and the best friend he lost in the war was looking out the window saying something about “the U-boat’s about ready Jackson.” He was having one of his bad days, but not so bad that he didn’t recognize me. I was grateful for that moment.

At the funeral I did okay up to the point of the graveside service. Beautiful summer day, what would have been his 88th birthday, and the nameless preacher prattled his “ashes to ashes” speech that I didn’t listen to…or don’t remember listening to. My eyes were glued to the dark brown casket draped in the red, white and blue flag. I couldn’t get my mind to move past the thought that this man had survived D-day at Gold Beach, shrapnel from enemy fire and the loss of his childhood sweetheart, to be brought down by the flu.

Again all was fine until they played that blasted song and three men, just three men, pulled their trigger seven times. Even though they aimed for the open sky, each shot was a fresh wound in my heart. My body trembled with every bang, until I couldn’t take anymore and had to walk away. They presented my great-uncle, the jerk of the family who hadn’t seen him in the five years before his death, with his flag. And just like that, my great-grandpa’s life was officially over. The family scattered like roaches in the light of a fridge before he was even lowered into the ground.

Now no one ever talks about him. What he did for his country or family. If it wasn’t for pictures and fading memories, no one would know he even existed.

20 years later and I’m at my husband’s funeral. Staring at an almost exact casket and mentally preparing for the seven gunmen. I learned my lesson the first time around, always get seven. Our big military family surrounds me on all sides as the preacher gives the almost identical speech I don’t remember from back then. The only difference I see is great-grandpa was surrounded by Army uniforms, now I am in a sea of Marine blues.

 

Cursed Cross

I have a friend, call her Lisa. Lisa is not religious, but wears a cross around her neck. She likes what it represents and gives her a sense of…something transcendent that no one can describe.

It is just a simple silver Irish cross on a simple silver chain hanging around her neck. Lisa hates anything too tight around her neck, so the chain is on the looser side with no fear of choking her. At least there shouldn’t be.

Lisa can wear it for months, only taking it off to shower, with no problems. One morning she will wake up because the chain has grown tight. Squeezing her throat shut in her sleep.

She’ll wake up and adjust it, but it still feels tight. The links rub and grind into her skin causing a rash, even breaking and drawing blood in places. No other necklace she owns will do this.

When the cross becomes too tight, she will take it off and hide it but without it on she feels vulnerable. To what she doesn’t know, she just HAS to wear it. So after a day or two, Lisa will put it back on and wait for the next time it tightens and tries to kill her.

At least she used to, Lisa died of strangulation last night. She left a strange note giving the necklace to me…

#BookReview: Loki (Highland Clan Series Book 1) by Keira Montclair 4/5 Stars

Loved it, but about halfway through I began to lose interest. It just seemed like the book should have been split into two but kept going, which is why it took me so long to get through it. Still worth a good read.

#ASI: Ellen Chauvet

Hi Ellen, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

 Discuss your newest book. My newest book is also my first book and is titled “When Darkness Falls”, The First Vampire Redemption Story. It is the first in a series of at least 3 books. It tells the story of Lexie, a vampire executioner who doesn’t know she is one. When her best friend is murdered by vampires, she is thrown into a five-hundred-year-old secret and meets her Amant de Sange or Blood Mate, Etienne Benoit. She chooses to step into her legacy as a ‘Chosen One’ and begins her journey into a dark and dangerous world. Lexie and Etienne fall in love and when he betrays her she vows revenge. Read it recently, loved it!

EC.jpeg

 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always been an avid reader and thought that ‘someday’ I would write a book. I’ve loved all of the Anne Rice novels and when a friend introduced me to Buffy, The Vampire Slayer I became intrigued by the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad vampires’. I started reading as many vampire books as I could get my hands on including Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Pike and Stephanie Meyer. They were my research, and when my work commitments changed, I decided it was time to write. I wrote the first draft in 9 months, took a year off when my husband became terminally ill, and then pursued the dream when he died. I found a great writing coach and the next 4 years were spent in rewrites, editing, and polishing. A great publisher found me and we published the book in March of 2016 on Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle. I’m sorry for your loss.

What are your current projects? My current project is writing the second book in the series.

What books have most influenced your life most? When I was a teenager I read a lot of Hemingway and loved his style of writing, so definitely Hemingway. Probably most of all though would be Anne Rice.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? I have two main characters.

Lexie is a Southern Belle from Atlanta, Georgia and was brought up in a strict Southern Baptist household. She’s rebelled against the suppression of her Mother and lives in Paris working as a translator for the United Nations. She’s attractive, sassy, a bit promiscuous and wonders if this is all there is to life.

Etienne is a 500-year-old vampire who was turned against his will and has created an organization to fight against ‘dark’ vampires. He’s sophisticated, handsome, ruthless when he needs to be and resigned about ever finding his Amant de Sang (Blood Mate). He falls hard for Lexie and when he is forced to turn to the ‘dark’ side, vows he will find a way back to her.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  The message is that there is good and evil in all of us and it’s ok. It’s part of being alive (or undead as the case may be). Every day we have a choice between good and evil.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I’d like to see Olivier Martinez play Etienne and Jessica Chastain play Lexie.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I had the time and the dream.

Do you write full-time or part-time? I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I don’t write every day full-time, but when the story or the characters are demanding my attention, I’m disciplined and write 3 to 5 hours every day.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The rewrites. Then I realized they are the key to honing my craft and producing something that people want to read.

What is the easiest thing about writing?  Creating the story.

 What book are you reading now? I’m reading “Find Me When The Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen.

What is one random thing about you? I love horses and music

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Tablet and computer

 What does your writing process look like? My writing coach trained me to do a lot of what she calls “laying on my bed writing”. In other words, really thinking about where I want to go in a particular paragraph or chapter and making sure my characters are always in character. Also doing the required research – I’ve learned to love research. When I’m on a roll, I’m always in my office by 9am anxious to discover what my characters have been up to overnight.

 Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? No

How important are names to you in your books?  Names are very important as they have meaning.

 Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’m still in the marketing process and so far so good.

What is your favorite book and why? I gave this a lot of thought and I don’t really have a favorite book. I have favorite authors.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

  1. Never give up – just keep writing.
  2. Don’t listen to the little voice in your head saying you can’t or you’re not good enough or no one wants to read what you want to write about.
  3. Don’t edit your work as you go – get that first draft done and then edit.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? See friends, listen to music, watch TV, travel – in many ways I’m never not writing. I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not sitting at my computer.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everywhere – but particularly other authors who write about vampires.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I don’t have an opinion about that – I’m traditionally published and I love my publisher.

How do you market your books? Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, author interviews, pod casts

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I would and I don’t.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Authors need to also be entrepreneurs. Writing is not only creative it’s a business and I think many authors are not business people. I’m lucky in that regard as I was a business woman first and then became an author. Create a marketing plan and stick to it and keep talking about your book – to anyone who will listen.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Right now a lot. The book is newly published and it takes time to build an author platform and develop one’s readership. I’m willing to put in the time and energy to get my book known.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? My publisher has been extremely helpful in that regard. She discovered a tool we’ve been using and it’s been extremely productive. We’re still working on attaining reviews and know that it takes time and energy on both our parts.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? No

Which social network worked best for you? At present Facebook seems to be working well. And I’m also creating a presence on Twitter.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

 

I did a press release for the Horror Writer’s Association – not sure how successful or productive that was. I did a book launch here in Vancouver and it was extremely successful. Sold out of books I had on hand and could have sold more. Launch was promoted through Facebook.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I’d like to meet Bram Stoker. Fascinating mind.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Sit down and write – don’t critique – just write.

Everything I said above

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

 

I have a blog – ellenchauvet.wordpress.com

Website – ellenchauvet.com

Find me on Facebook

#BookReview: Highland Repress by Riley Morano 3/5 Stars

Overview: Ashley and Tristan celebrate the arrival of their first child, but the day is soon turned dark when the clan tart appears to badger them about her child being his. She persists and later insists that Ashley’s father is the father of her child instead. A battle is stopped before it is begun and a second almost takes the life of brother and sister.

Opinion: Way too fast paced. You almost get whiplash from all the action. It is just go, go, go without a break in between one child being born, to a wedding, then almost death and sudden premature labor.

Recommend: Maybe.

#ASI: Kat Green

Hi Kat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi thank you for having me. I was born in November 1979 into a military family and moved around a lot during my childhood. This shaped me into the person I am today. My family roots are from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. I now live with my husband and son on the south coast of England, Portsmouth. I don’t pretend to be the best, I am still growing as a writer and having lots of fun along the way. I love books and have a busy imagination. My love for music plays a big part in my first novel called Strings. I love to watch live bands and can usually be found at gigs around the UK. In 2010 I lost my mother to blood cancer and it was time to put my words on a page and stop worrying about what people might say ‘Life is too short and precious to waste’ is my motto. Writing is my passion and my escape. I’m sorry to hear about your mom.

Discuss your newest book. I have two books out at the moment.

Strings & Encore, part 1 & 2 of my trilogy. It’s a rock romance with a twist of mystery, thriller and suspense.

KatG

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always wanted to do it, always been in my head. I wrote a story at 11 but never showed it to anyone. Handwritten to and 150 pages and it was very similar to Strings just without the rock band side of things.

What are your current projects? I am working on book 3, the final part of my trilogy

What inspired you to write your first book? My mum was a massive inspiration. If she could smile through the pain of cancer. I could write a book. Self-doubt stopped me for a long time but when I lost my mum to blood cancer everything changed and I realized life was short and I didn’t want to have regrets. I decided to live life to the full and be brave.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Melissa Webb is a normal girl one minute, next she’s public property dealing with a lot of things that come with fame, but she never lets it change her. She stays strong and true to herself and her friends no matter what get thrown at her. She’s beautiful inside and out.

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, friendship, family and having loyalty can get you through any dark times. That no matter what happens you can survive.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? That is really hard because I have tried to put together a cast list so many times. I actually can’t decide as for me there isn’t anyone I feel is perfect for the roles. These are people who I’ve created and don’t exist.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The loss of my mum. Once my grief had eased I decided to go for it.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-Time. I would love to be able to do it all day every day but with family life and a family business it isn’t possible right now. I write mostly in the evening.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? As it is the final part of a series, not letting my readers down and making sure they get the ending they’ve been waiting for.

What is the easiest thing about writing? I find coming up with a basic plot quite easy but it’s getting the whole thing to work and flow is the tricky bit.

What book are you reading now? I recently finished, Girl on the Train and I loved it.

What is one random thing about you? I’m scared of planes. It isn’t just about flying, it’s the actually planes that make me shudder. If we were meant to fly, we would be born with wings, is my thought.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Computer is my tool.

What does your writing process look like? I write the first draft without worry too much about it being perfect. Then I read it through over and over, editing along the way until I am 100% happy with the finished the final draft.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I don’t, boring I know.

How important are names to you in your books? Really important. My two main characters had several names at the start. I really think about the characters and the name has to fit.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? The only thing I remember at the very start was using twitter to gain followers, it worked really well but there were a few occasions where I did the ‘read my book’ mistake. People don’t like that and I quickly realized that the best way to get readers is to engage with them. Get to know people and once you’ve built up a relationship they will take a chance on your book. That has been the most important lesson. Your readers are important so make sure you treat them well.

What is your favorite book and why? I don’t really have any favorites. I like many different genres and styles of writing but I did go through a stage of reading Dean Koontz about 10 years ago. I loved Twilight and The Mortal Instruments. I also love horror and crime books.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Spending time with my family. Blogging for unsigned bands. Music is another passion of mine.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Music and life in general.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? It seemed the easier option. I wanted to get my work out there and getting a publisher is not easy. I like having control over my work and being my own boss, in a sense.

Any decisions can only be made by the individual and what they are looking for. Both options are great but if people decide on Self – published they will need to be ready to work hard to promote. It is time consuming and sometimes things don’t always go to plan. As long as you can shake it off and carry on you’ll be fine. When it does go well it’s the best feeling in the world.

How do you market your books? Social media and word of mouth.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I do everything myself. I self- publish and for the time being I am happy with how things are going.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Firstly, be brave and go for it. Join events online that are designed to promote and connect you with readers and other authors. Social media has been a major fact in getting my name out there. Book blog tours are really good for getting exposure and being active with readers.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? I try to market as much as possible with events etc. There are days where I am promoting which can mean less writing time but it has to be done.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have been very lucky with reviews so far, most have come from readers who happen to download my book. There have been some that have been from book blog tours where reviews have been part of the package.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I don’t have a strategy, I feel that reviews are something that is down to the reader and I feel very humbled for everyone I get.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Everything has gone really smoothly for the most part, however there is an American author with the same name. We have on occasion been mixed up. I was booked in for a takeover at the start and hadn’t had any notifications, it turns out they’d been tagging the wrong Kat Green into things. It was quickly sorted out.

Which social network worked best for you? Facebook has been amazing as this is where most of the events I have talked about take place.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I use my social media pages to make people aware of my work, although now I’ve gained more knowledge, for book 3 I will switch things up a bit. I have a street team now so I have more back up.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Marilyn Monroe. I would love to know who she truly was and what really happen.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I really don’t know, so many but maybe Twilight, only so could have hung out with Robert Pattinson. Ha ha

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Just be brave and write what is in your heart. Enjoy it and most importantly be at peace with the fact not everyone will like your work. Once that fear of criticism is faced you can do anything.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? They can follow me via the following links

http://bit.ly/1gjY7u1

 

https://www.facebook.com/KatGrn00/?fref=ts

 

http://bit.ly/1K7evq9

 

https://www.amazon.com/Strings-Black-Eagles-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KZ6DO8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463347914&sr=8-1&keywords=kat+green

 

 

 

#ASI: Angela Roquet

Hi Angela, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi there! A little about myself… I’m an urban fantasy author from Missouri. I’m happily married to my best friend, and we have one very awesome son. We recently relocated to Lake of the Ozarks, where my husband and I both enjoyed our summers as kids, and now I feel like I’m on permanent vacation. It’s magical here. As far as background goes, I was actually more drawn to art growing up, and my degree is in art, too. I wanted to be an animator for Disney or Cartoon Network, and I was constantly drawing up storyboards and writing scripts for shows I wanted to create. A high school English teacher nudged me toward writing novels, after I showed her one of my script notebooks. It was at that point that I realized it was the storytelling element that really spoke to me. Before I made enough from writing to call it a career, I learned on my artistic talent and did a lot of freelance graphic design work. I miss my home state!

Discuss your newest book. “Ghost Market” is the sixth novel in my Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series. War in Limbo City has been thwarted, but there’s still a period of adjustment everyone is going through, including the now leaderless rebels. Some of those rebels have fueled the ghost market (like the black market, except they deal in poached souls) into a prominent problem that Lana is assigned to fix. If that wasn’t bad enough, the council, who are now fully aware of Lana’s unsanctioned special abilities, have decided that if she doesn’t fix the problem, her past transgressions are enough for them to vote her out of existence. Sounds ominous!

What are your current projects? Right now I am working on “Death at First Sight” book 2 in my Spero Heights series.

What books have most influenced your life? There are so many… but “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn and “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil both come to mind first.

What inspired you to write your first book? It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the macabre, and the grim reaper is a just such a fun character to play with. I’m also fascinated with world religions—their similarities, differences, influence on history and art. The question of how an all-inclusive and modern afterlife might look and function was such a natural angle for me to approach with my writing. “Graveyard Shift”, my first Lana Harvey noel, began as a short story with a female grim reaper transporting a soul to the other side, through the harbor of Limbo City (the capital of the afterlife) and over the Sea of Eternity, where all of the heavens and hells waited on the outlining coast. I had a friend read that story, and they quickly informed me that it needed to be a novel, and not just a novel, but a series.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Lana Harvey doesn’t appear special at first. She’s a standard, low-risk soul harvester at Reapers Inc. That all changes when she’s assigned to collect a very special soul. The hazards of the new job end up revealing that she was not cast from the same mold as other reapers. She was given something extra that made this particular job something only she could do when the time came. She can see the importance of a soul—the very aura that determines their value, and whether or not they’re an original believer of a particular faith, something that is of the utmost value to Grim and the structure of Eternity.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? As a fantasy author, my main goal is to entertain with a good story, but, like many other authors, I do believe that my values shine through to some degree. The message in my Lana series is aimed toward religious tolerance. People tend to fear what they do not understand, so slipping in bits about other religions and mythologies is something I hope will lend readers insight into faiths they are unfamiliar with. Knowledge is power, and it is also a means of compassion.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? My answer for this one is constantly evolving, but at the moment, I think Ellen Page would make a fantastic Lana. Her sense of humor is totally on point. I think Christina Ricci would be awesome too though. Both great actresses in my opinion.

When did you decide to become a writer? I think I’ve always been a writer. I can remember stories that I wrote in 5th grade. But professionally, I believe that happened when I was 16. I went on to get an art degree, but my first novel was actually published before I finished that degree. Writing has always been part of my personal story.

Why do you write? Because I can’t help it. lol.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The first time? That might be too long ago for me to remember. The one week mark after editing for my latest novel is complete is what makes me sit down and start something these days.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Full-time for the past year. : )

What is the hardest thing about writing? Scheduling my writing sessions. I am a serious creature of habit, and having my daily routine disturbed is a big challenge that I still struggle with constantly. The trick is to block out more sections of time than you actually need, so if you have to forfeit one or more for any number of reasons (doctor’s appointment, school play, funeral) you’re not totally thrown off track and miss deadlines. I have not mastered this yet. Maybe by book 10 I’ll have it figured out.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Scheduling my writing sessions. For real. This one kills me.

What is the easiest thing about writing? Dreaming up stories. I have more story ideas than I will ever be able to flesh out into novels. Unless science unlocks the secrets of immortality in my time. Fingers crossed!

 What book are you reading now? “The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black. I love her.

 

What is one random thing about you? Hmmm. My favorite band is Our Lady Peace.

 

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? I’m good with whatever I can get my hands on, though I can type faster than I write by hand, and it’s definitely more legible that way too.

 What does your writing process look like? I outline everything with large post-it notes on a poster board, and then I type up a document with all of my chapter headings and add a typed chapter summary under each one. Then I go from there, occasionally jumped from chapter to chapter if I feel like working on something in particular that day.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I don’t think so. Like I said, creature of habit here. 95% of my writing is done in my office, and the other 5% is done at the island in my kitchen, usually only if something on the stove or in the oven needs to be watched.

How important are names to you in your books? In my Lana series, many of the names were already determined by the various mythologies and religions I employed. Others were just names I liked, but there were a few that I researched for something more meaningful.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Challenges change day to day. There are certain times that I find writing angst and sorrow hard to do, or writing a death scene for a character that I like.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way, but it’s hard to say, when it comes to marketing, what will work tomorrow or next year. It could be vastly different from what works today, so mistakes will happen. What I have learned to do differently is not beat myself up over them. The most productive thing I can do is keep moving forward.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? In with the Buddha, out with the Hitler. LOVE IT!!

 What is your favorite book and why? The Wizard of Oz. Always has been, always will be. ♥

 Do you have any advice for other writers? The internet is magical, and it’s a good place to find or form your inner circle. You’ll have access to thousands of like-minded writers all across the globe. This is how I found my critique group, the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse. Having a circle of friends all on the same path, who are dedicated to helping one another along the way, is such a wonderful thing. When I feel lost or unsure about something, I turn to them. And when I find something useful, I share it with them. Writing can be a lonely career, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll want someone to share your ups and downs with.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I enjoy a lot of things. Mostly, I like spending time on the lake with my family. But I also enjoy painting and drawing and singing. And of course I LOVE to read, so I do a lot of that too.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everything. There’s so much in this world. I try to be a sponge and soak it all up.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? Self-publishing, like I do, can be challenging. I think it helps when an author has some experience in something other than just writing. I was lucky in that I had graphic design experience. I’m able to design a lot of my own promotional materials. I also have a bit of marketing experience, heavily linked into my freelance graphic design work. Not having this experience doesn’t mean an author can’t adequately tackle self-publishing, it just means that it might cost them a little more up front if they want a professional looking book.

Traditional publishing allows an author to turn over all other aspects of book publishing to a team of professionals, but that also means they’ll be turning over a larger chunk of royalties. Is it worth it? Sometimes. I’m happy with my self-published novels, but I can definitely see the appeal in letting someone else handle all the extra details of the job. It’s something I would still consider for future novels.

How do you market your books? I use a lot of different methods, but lately, I prefer BookBub and hosting Facebook parties.

Why did you choose this route? It’s fun, and readers seem to enjoy the silliness and prizes. : )

 

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I have not used a PR agency before. I think if it was something my budget would support and the company had plenty of testimonials from familiar authors, I might give it a try.

 Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Do your homework. A quick Google search can save so much time and money.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? It seems to take up a larger part of the pie lately. Maybe 30%.

What do you do to get book reviews? I include a short, polite request in the back of all my books. I also send out a handful of ARCs to readers who have been following my series from the beginning. It’s a great way to get a few early reviews on Goodreads.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? Considering I have over 800 reviews for my first novel, I think it’s going pretty well.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I just have a short mailing list for the ARCs, but I did try something new with my latest book. I hosted a Facebook party and gave away about a dozen extra ARCs as prizes.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Reviews are great! I try to read them all, even the bad ones. Sometimes the bad reviews will have good points that I’ll consider in future novels. Sometimes they’re just flat out mean and I try to chalk it up to that person was probably just having a bad day or my book wasn’t their cup of tea. Not everyone will like what you write. There is no writer who pleases 100% of readers. Take the last Sookie Stackhouse novel for example. I rather enjoyed it, but there are over 1000 1-star reviews on Amazon alone. : /  Even Harry Potter has negative reviews. It’s part of the business. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that negative reviews will at least make your good reviews more credible and should assure readers that more than just your friends and family have read your book.

 Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Erm… I once tried to set up a signing at what I thought was an indie bookstore in state I would be traveling through soon, only to find out that it was actually an “adult” bookstore. The name was very misleading, and it was quite awkward explaining that my book was not a picture book of that nature. lol lol

 What’s your views on social media for marketing? I think it’s great if you use it right, and more of a noose if you use it wrong. Blasting “buy my book” non-stop is a great way to turn off potential readers. Social media should be used to connect with and entertain fans. Think like a writer, not a telemarketer.

Which social network worked best for you? I’ve dabbled in most of them, but I still prefer Facebook 80% of the time. Twitter the other 20%.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? That’s a novel for another day. ; )

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I have a mailing list, and I have a few friends who blog and post to social media the week of the release. I also have a really awesome reader, Andrea, who does Twitter countdowns a couple weeks before release day. I think it all helps. I might try a Goodreads book launch in the future though, now that you’ve mentioned it. Thanks!

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Terry Pratchett. He was the king of world building and humor. I didn’t start reading his work until shortly after I published my first novel. A reader mentioned his grim reaper character in the Discworld series, and I immediately picked up the first book from the library. I’ve been smitten ever since, and it was a sad day when he left us.

 If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? That’s… a new one. Hmmm. Probably Peter Pan. It’s such a magical classic, and it has inspired so many other works: Hook, Pan, Return to Neverland, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and the Tinker Bell movies (which I love to watch with my son).I mean, my kiddo thinks I’m pretty cool as-is, but if I had written Peter Pan, I’d be the coolest!

How can readers discover more about you and your work? My first book “Graveyard Shift” is FREE on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and more. You can also connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. Or find me at http://www.angelaroquet.com

Love & Drugs #LandD

Love & Drugs is about college student Magdalene Potter who works at a local flower shop selling POTted plants. Her life is good as she enters her last year and is planning where to go next. She finally catches the eye of a roommate, and business is doing well. Then her abusive ex-husband struts back into her life hoping to take over her business, and her life. Last time she had nothing to lose, now she has everything and is going to fight for it. Sneak Peak:

Three months ago…

“Miss. Potter, will you please tell us the events leading up to the death of Mr. Alexander Addams?” My lawyer asked.

I sat in front of him with my head bowed, fidgeting with my bloody hands. They had picked me up before the cops had even showed. I haven’t had a chance to clean up. “Sir…I don’t remember what happened. Is Alex really dead?”

“We both know he is. I want you to start at the beginning of the school year, and tell us every small detail. We are here to help you, but we need to know what happened in order to know how to spin everything.”

“I don’t know what happened. The last thing I remember was…” I had to sit and think for a few minutes. “The party. Something happened at the party.”

“That’s good, but go back farther than that. Just tell us everything. Don’t worry about getting into trouble, that’s my job.” The lawyer said.

“Where’s Mr. O’Reilly? Is he mad?” I was suddenly scared of my big boss wanting to kill me for what they say I did.

“He is at home. He understands your predicament and trusts me to solve this. You are a valued employee and he wants to help you.”

“What’s the catch?” There is always a catch with him. Not knowing what I’m getting into could cost me a lot.

“No strings. This is how he takes care of his clients. I know it’s hard, but I really need you to tell me everything you can remember, let me help you.”

“I don’t remember everything, but this is what I do remember…”

Buy here