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  1. The Big Reveal

    May 1, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you utilize Critique Partners or Beta Readers?

     

    Jackie Felger
    Oh my goodness, absolutely! I have three people I share things with, but one person (Kimmy) who I always turn to with my writing and things in general. We clicked right away and have passed our work back and forth for a few years. I don’t know what I’d do without her or her friendship!

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I have the best critique partners in the world!! I don’t know what I would do without them! I have one online group and a few trusted friends, they are all so great! They keep me going through the hard times.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My agent is awesome at looking over my work and giving me incredible feedback during the weeks leading up to submitting it to my editor. Our work together makes the books really great before the editor even sees them. I probably should pass it through a critique partner before submitting it to her, but usually we’re on such a tight turnaround time, I can’t.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Critique Partners and Beta Readers are a very important part of every writer’s life. I have skilled people I turn to. I am always looking for new readers and partners, as I have many books on the go and hate to wear them out because I love them.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I have a group of local children’s writers that I meet with weekly. They are my first line of defense so to speak. I’m also lucky enough to have a virtual group of fellow YA authors who critique for me, and I for them. We read each other’s works, cheer each other on, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Having them at my virtual side has made my path to publication less lonely. Someday, I hope to meet them in person!

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Once I am finished with a project I will utilize a small group of friends but I only have a few I would trust. I’m not a big fan of a large group of people laying their eyes on my work. I’m kind of proprietary.

     

    Do you have critique partners or beta readers?


  2. The Big Reveal

    April 25, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Have you ever written any novels that required a lot of research?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Yes, Most of my novels seem to be research oriented for some reason. Even though I know I can make my story be any way I want, I still like to have some sort of “truth” behind it and then put my own spin on it. I do research before and during, it helps the writing process. I have learned some amazing stuff of Norse Mythology and the Wiccan beliefs.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I do research before and during, and there are times I’ve done research in the revising process, too.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I never done anything with a lot of research, but I do research locations and what not as I go. Pretty much all my research takes place on Google Maps. :)

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Usually the research topics come up as I’m writing. I do most of it online. When I wrote Piper Morgan Goes to the Circus, I wanted to go to the circus so badly! There were no circuses anywhere nearby for months, so I had to watch circus footage online.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    All my books require research. Most of it was done years ago, but in the moment, some things come up. Umm… how do you build a sod house? I have discovered some things that blow my mind. The one that had me the most curious led to an entire series. It was about this journalist who believed in a Utopian society. He was always there reporting events as they happened, all over the country. Given the time and how hard it was to travel he had me curious how he was managing that! And that led to a magical idea.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I co-authored a YA historical titled SWEET MADNESS. It is a historical re-telling of the infamous Borden Murders told from the point of view of Lizzie Borden’s maid, Bridget Sullivan. I had to do a fair amount of research on Bridget’s background as well as the overall sentiment toward Irish Immigrants in 19th Century Fall River. As for interesting facts, here are a few I came across:
    ~The year of 1892 (the years Andrews and Abagail Borden were murdered) was a leap year
    ~Lizzie Borden had a Great Uncle Laddy whose wife drowned two of their three children in the basement cistern.
    ~ The skulls of Andrew and Abagail Borden are buried in a separate box behind their gravestone.

     

    Do you do a lot of research for your novels?


  3. The Big Reveal

    April 17, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Is writing a long process for you?

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My word counts are always much less, but if I were to write a 70,000-word novel, it would take two or three months. If I put my day job (freelance writing) aside and just wrote fiction, I could finish it in less than two months but few writers get to write fiction 40 hours a week!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Just writing? Writing for me is split into several processes. The first is the actual vomiting out of the basic storyline. It doesn’t take long. A few weeks and is about half the size of the finished work (30k). The second is a rewriting and workbooking stage. This usually brings the book to double its size (70-80k) adding in much of the detail I tend to overlook in my excitement. This could take up to a year, as I have to let it sit at various points, however I do have books still in this stage after ten years. It takes what it takes.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    This is a tough questions because it depends on the WIP. THE SECRETS WE KEEP took me approximately eight weeks to write. I was in a good writing spot and my muse was cooperating with me. However, other WIP’s have taken me upwards of six months to even hack out a readable first draft, not to mention the time it take to revise those beasts.
    .

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Oh geez… I am the worst person to answer this question. My writing process… squirrel!
    I’m horrible, let’s just say I have a problem focusing on one concept when I have a whole tribe of characters and plot lines vying for my attention in the back of my mind. However, if I was serious and could focus without a fulltime job, kids, husband, activities, I’m sure I could knock a 70,000 word out in a few weeks.

     

    Jackie Felger
    This is a hard question for me, because each manuscript is different, and I tend to edit as I go, though, I’ve been trying not to do that as much. I’d say anywhere from three to six months, depending on how much fuss I make with the editing as I go.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I used to write super fast, but as my kids get older, the responsibilities multiply so it takes longer. I’d say about three months.

     

    Does it take you a long time to write a novel?


  4. Additions to the shelf

    April 13, 2015 by Suzi

    I haven’t posted lately on any additions to my book shelf–my autographed book selection, so now is a good time to do so.

    The first one is Where the Staircase Ends, and it’s extra special  because it’s the first book I ever beta read. Here’s the link if you want to read about that. But Stacy’s release day is actually tomorrow, and I’m excited for her. She had told me it changed a lot since I first read it, which was several years ago, so it’ll be fun to read again.

    staircase

     

    The second one I have is the recently released Drawn In by Sioux Trett. I won the ARC for Drawn In from a blog contest hosted by the Cover Girls–Dani and Jax,  and I look forward to reading this one also. Thank you all, ladies.

    IMG_4394

    .

     

    I know I need to update my page that lists all these books I have signed. And I probably also need to do a check because I might be missing one that I’ve forgotten to add. Just another thing on to do list that never goes away. :)

    Do have any books you’ve gotten signed?

     


  5. The Big Reveal

    April 10, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you read or write book reviews?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I write book reviews, but I don’t read them unless a friend of mine wrote it. However, I will glance at the star rating of a book occasionally, and that might affect my choice.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I only write five-star, positive reviews. If I didn’t like a book, you won’t hear a word from me about it. I always read the Amazon sample of a book before purchasing it and if I don’t like the sample, I don’t read further. Life’s too short to read bad books. As for reading reviews, absolutely not. I prefer to form my own opinion about a book and reading reviews ruins that. I sometimes will read reviews after I’ve finished a book and the process is dizzying. For every person who hates a book, there’s someone who says it’s the best book she’s read all year. It’s all just personal opinion.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I will write reviews for a book a really enjoyed. I love reading them after I read the book and already wrote my review… to see how others responded to the work, but it won’t change my opinion on a book, especially if I loved it.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I do not read book reviews, although I am a sucker for a beautiful cover. Most of my book recs come from friends who know my taste in literature.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Sometimes to all. Once in a while, if I’m on the fence about a novel, I will go ahead and read the reviews. If the book gets lots of great reviews then I will read it, if not, well, I do not. Once I have read a book and absolutely LOVED it, I will write a little review about what made it worthy of my attention.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I skim book reviews here and there, just to see what others have to say, but reviews don’t affect whether I read a book or not. I’m not good at writing reviews; I’d rather rate them.

     

    Do you read or write book reviews?


  6. Doing It for Love

    April 10, 2015 by Suzi

    I wish I could take credit for this awesome cover reveal,
    but alas… it’s from the awesome Cassie Mae!

    Once upon a time, there was this girl named Liz. 
    And she was dating this guy named Landon.
    And they are totally in love, so this guy gets down on one knee blurts out while in the shower that he wants to marry her. 
    She’s in love with him, so of course she says yes. 
    And they get it on.
    But they’ve been together for years, and the sex is a little… 
    And Liz is determined to not turn into an old married couple before they’re even married.
    So she proposes a deal to Landon—no sex until the big day. Anticipation will bring the spark back!
    Landon agrees because he doesn’t think she’ll make it.
    Liz thinks Landon will be the one to cave first. 
    And with their hearts set on different honeymoon locales, a bet is made. 
    But with all the stress of wedding plans, an unexpected job change, and no way to relieve the tension, Liz and Landon start to wonder if they’re ready for a relationship that means more than just the stuff in the bedroom. 
    And now here’s the cover for it!!!
    The actual blurb is below, along with the stuff about me and all those purchase links and yadda 😀 
    I’m so stoked for this one! (Side-note… it’s my most favorite book I’ve written to date :) )
    DOING IT FOR LOVE comes out September 29th! 
    Spell for the day:
    Wingardium Leviosa! 

    Cassie Mae’s charming, sexy new novel, perfect for fans of Emma Chase, puts a steamy twist on modern love as one bride-to-be tries to put the spark back in the bedroom—by any means necessary.

    Elizabeth Fanning’s life looks pretty perfect, judging by the diamond ring on her finger. Her fiancé, Landon, is sweet, handsome, and hilarious. The trouble is, before they’ve even tied the knot, their sex life has gone from mind-blowing to “meh”—and Liz isn’t ready to be part of an old married couple. After a cathartic call to her best friend, Liz comes up with a brilliant idea. She and Landon may never be able to re-create the magic of their first time, but how amazing would their wedding night be if everything below the neck was off-limits until then?

    Liz thinks it’ll bring them closer together. Landon’s convinced she’ll cave first. So they raise the stakes: Whoever lasts longer gets to pick their honeymoon destination. With her heart set on the Bahamas and Landon fighting for snowbound Utah, Liz simply has to win. But pretty soon, her body is screaming for attention, and Landon’s never seemed so far away. Has Liz’s experiment backfired? Losing their little competition would be frustrating—but the one thing she can’t afford to lose is him.

    Learn more about or order a copy of Doing It For Love by Cassie Mae, available September 29, 2015:
    Buy at Amazon
    Buy at B&N
    Buy at iTunes
    Or add to your Goodreads here:

    Cassie Mae (who dons the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred… okay, maybe not that many… books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.
    Since publishing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published and sold books to Random House, Swoon Romance, and Tulip Romance. She has a favorite of all her babies, but no, she won’t tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)
    Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.
    You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Dylan O’Brien to her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cassiemaeauthor


  7. Hand written

    April 6, 2015 by Suzi

    Every once in a while I hear about someone who writes their novel by hand before copying it over to computer. And that amazes me.

    Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net1

    Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


    Before computers were part of our everyday lives, I used to write more by hand. Mostly class notes, homework, and journals, but not novels, because I wasn’t writing that then. But I can’t imagine doing so now.

    I have notebooks where I write notes or do some plotting stuff, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that my hand cramps up quickly when I hand write a lot.

    So that’s part of it, but the other part is I can type so much faster than I can write, and I think it’d be frustrating having to write so slowly.

    But I’m curious about others out there. Have you ever written a novel by hand or are you strictly a computer person?

    If you do write by hand first, why have you chosen to stick with that method?


  8. What a bargain

    March 30, 2015 by Suzi

     
    Recently I got this cool book from Barnes and Nobles. You know, the bargain racks with the cheap books, often hard cover, and usually non-fiction. This one was about royalty—kings and queens from the medieval times to now and their issues.
      king

    Like Vlad the Impaler, AKA Dracula (the real one) and Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary. Both sadistic killers who enjoyed torturing people.
     
    I also learned a lot about how insanity was passed down through generations in some royal families, like that of Queen Juana I of Castile (Spain). Her story made me wonder if now her problems could’ve been cured or at least managed with today’s medicine.
     
    This book is full of all sorts of examples of royalty behaving badly. Kings and their mistresses, spoiled children, and power hungry men and women who spend all of their country’s wealth. It’s fascinating how messed up European royalty was at times.
     
    I really should shop more often in the bargain bin of B&N. Of course then my wallet would be a little lighter too.
     
    Have you ever stumbled onto any terrific reads from the bargain bins of B&N or some other store? Do you think that reading about royalty in medieval times is fascinating too, or is it just me? :)


  9. The Big Reveal

    March 27, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you tend to over-write or under-write?

     

    Jackie Felger
    I over-write. Every. Dang. Time. The most I’ve cut from a novel is 30k, which was a grueling process slash learning experience. I do try to be careful with my word choices, but even still, some words creep in that aren’t needed. Sometimes, though, over-writing is important to me. Sure, I may not use the info in the manuscript, but it helps me to understand my characters.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I usually write at the required word count—and I’m stretching to do that! Most of revision for me is completely rewriting scenes!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    My very first draft is always around the 30-50k mark. This seems to be what I need to get the story out in its rawest form. I don’t aim for any number, this is just what I noticed. This first draft is usually starting at the wrong spot and has no climax. It will be missing vital research but it has everything I need to build a story. From there I grow my story by adding in and cutting, digging in to the lives of the characters and their motives, moving things around and researching. This will bring me up to around a 90-110k word count. Then I polish it and my final drafts are anywhere from 80-100k. My longest MS was 120k and I cut it to 100k. I’m still working on it and expect it to be around 80-90 when I get it where I want. I don’t usually worry about word count, a story takes what it takes, but if a romance is over 70k, I start asking myself if maybe this is two stories or if I overdid something? I usually did. If a fantasy is under 90k I start to wonder if I was too easy on the hero or if I missed setting? I usually did. Since I have written so many novels, I know what to expect from myself, but at the start, word count meant nothing to me and it confused me why people worried about it.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    When I am writing a short story, I over-write by about 10,000 words then I come back in scale it back. When I am writing a full length novel, I generally underwrite. It is my CPs, agent, and editors who help me figure out which parts need to be more fleshed out.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Under-write. I always need to go back and more details or “fluff”.

     

    Are you an over or under-writer?


  10. The Big Reveal

    March 20, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you re-read books ever?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I used to re-read Harry Potter all the time, but I haven’t done that since I started writing. Writing makes reading harder :)

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Very rarely. I’ve read Stephen King’s The Stand more than any other book, but I prefer to discover new books.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I hate the idea of re-reading a book. First of all, the magical feeling it gave me that first time was an experience I don’t like to ruin and the re-read always does this for me. But yes, I do re-read. I re-read parts that I noted for research. I re-read books I loved to my kids. I re-read something I hated in case a new perspective will give me a new view on it. I re-read things I loved to pick out exactly where it hooked me. A book, good or bad, is a writer’s best friend. Revisiting them is important for so many reasons.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I do. I have pile of books on my nightstand that I’ve read at least a dozen times. They are my tried and true favorites, the ones I pick up at 2am when insomnia gets the best of me. And because I have read them so many times, I can skip to my favorite scenes and instantly get lost in the character’s world.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Nope, I’m definitely not a re-reader. I have far too many TBR’s and not enough time to read something I’ve already read.

     

    Jackie Felger
    Absolutely. If I really love a book, I’ll reread it later on or go through and read my favorite parts. The Fault in our Stars, Stardust, Twilight, The Notebook, and Blood Promise are books I’ve re-read several times.

     
    Do you re-read books?