Cierra James in the Spot!

    Welcome back to the bloglight! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Lots of excitement at my end with the release of NO MATTER WHY and plenty to keep me busy. Earlier this week I participated in my first panel discussion with fellow authors Caridad Pineiro (www.caridad.com) and the The Wild Rose Press’ own Christine Clemetson (www.christineclemetson.com); think I learned as much about getting published and promotion as the audience did!  Saturday rocked with the book launch party hosted by my dynamo friend, who also happens to be named Christine! Plus the Australian Open to keep up with…Go Rafa! And didn’t Roddick just prove my perseverance points again in last night’s match against Fernando Gonzalez, a.k.a., Gonzo, to tennis affecionados?

Sorry! Doesn’t take much to sidetrack me, lol, especially when a slam is underway!  Back to business, though!  Today  romantic suspense author Cierra James joins us and fills us in on her writing journey to date!  

    Welcome, Cierra! Tell me about your writing roots: what got you started and what gave you the confidence to persevere?   Since childhood I have been blessed with a creative streak, not only inventing stories but along other avenues such as sewing.  In high school, I took creative writing and wrote poems.  In college I took creative writing and later continued on with extension classes in various methods of writing.  When we lived in Idaho I joined the Log Cabin Literary Society and took classes there.  My daily journaling actually helped further my desire to write.  In 2001 we moved to Arizona and I became a member of the local RWA which gave me the confidence to attempt writing a book.  With that, my first novel Deadly Connection was born.     

How does writing impact other aspects of your life?   Writing has made me acutely aware of punctuation in other works.  I think sometimes I overdo and find myself going through text books for accuracy.  My speech leans toward formal, rather than relaxed.  Editors have pointed this out to me.  Maybe I should consider historical novels as formal dialogue would fit well.

A very interesting comment, Cierra, re: one’s speech and how it lends itself toward the type of subgenre a writer might consider. I once asked the author of a contemporary novel I read if she wrote historicals; I could hear it in her ‘voice’. She was surprised at the question but answered in the affirmative and wondered how I picked up on it.  It was the dialogue, both internal and between the characters.

Back to you :)! Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’?  My first three full length novels are with The Wild Rose Press.  The stories are built around three brothers.  Each book can be read independently.  Deadly Connection was my first novel.  I loved this story.  Cole Rawlins is a tough business man, but when it comes to women he’s a charmer.  Lethal Intent is Carter Rawlins story, based on a brooding scientist who becomes involved after the near death of his assistant and a missing file.  Midnight Cove is Nick Rawlins story. Nick is the county medical examiner who gets thrown into a thriller mystery when he does a friend a favor. There will be one more story, requested by several friends and that will be Jarrod’s story. At the present time, I have a Gothic novella in edit with Red Rose Press and I am working on another romantic suspense, hopefully to be finished in a couple of months. I love gothic romance and dark heroes with troubled pasts.  My fondest dream is to write a solid contemporary gothic romance novel for those who love this genre.

Another tremendously prolific writer! How do you juggle work (other than writing, assuming you work ‘outside the home,’ ), time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc).   When I worked full-time, I used to get up an hour earlier than my usual time so that I could write from two to five pages in my journal before I took my shower.  This helped me later to form a habit of writing something each day.  Now I write or plan daily no matter how large or small a project.  In my handbag I carry a notebook and pen in case I see or hear a word or scene I’d like to remember.  At the present time, I don’t work outside the home.  Heaven knows I have a full time job managing a home, taking care of a husband, mother of two very spoiled pet rescue dogs, and author.  Also, I go to a gym regularly to work out.  At the end of a day, I am pretty worn out.   

Please share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work! Takes a lot of time, doesn’t it?  Promotion has been the most difficult for me to manage.  However, I have discovered the number one most effective way is word of mouth.  Of course that means an author has to have a large social group, which I don’t.  Therefore the author and reader loops are very helpful.   I belong to several successful RWA chapters.  My website is used with the sole purpose of promotion and I have a blog which I hope to get more involved with this year.  My friends and family are very helpful with promotion, too.

What would a bloglight be without a story and an excerpt? Here is some background about Cierra’s most recent release, Midnight Cove, a Crimson Rose (romantic suspense) available at The Wild Rose Press!

 The story: An old legend resurfaces insistent on the life of the rightful owner. 

                          

Nick Rawlins’s desperate need for rest from his job as County Medical Examiner is interrupted when he accepts an offer to search for the missing daughter of a prominent local man sending him to the Adriatic Coast of Italy.

But when he meets raven-haired Krista Vincent recovering from an attempt on her life while searching for a link to her past, they are thrown into close proximity by his vow to protect her from increasing death threats. Tested by desires they can’t deny, Nick’s confirmed bachelorhood teeters as they fall into terrorizing events which could cost their lives.

Nick kicked off his shoes and stretched his feet. He reached for his beer and took a long drink. As he went to set the bottle back on the end table, the patio door shattered along with the bottle in his hand.

“Oh my God,” Krista screamed. Instantly, she was on the floor with Nick’s body shielding hers. His hand was balled into a fist near her mouth. A thick substance dripped on her face. She had a sickening feeling it was blood as her fingers reached to wipe it away. At that moment, her stomach lurched into her mouth. A wave of dizziness flashed through her when the pain from her shoulder wound assaulted her. Her entire body shook while she fought back a scream. Most of all, she didn’t want to throw up in front of her gorgeous protector.

“Nick,” she whispered, “your blood is dripping on my face and you’re crushing me.”

“Stay down and be quiet,” Nick whispered harshly. “I’m going to have a look around.” He lifted his body over hers, rose to a crouch, and then stood. Krista’s eyes followed his movements as he combed the room. Quietly, he opened the door and left the apartment.

She knew instinctively this was no time to go against his wishes. She wasn’t moving from her safety zone. Here she was, lying on the floor of her own home, shivering with fear, Nick’s blood on her face, about to vomit, and all she could do was cry. Next time she decided to go chasing after the unknown, she would find a friend to kick her butt and remind her how dangerous it could get.

Four Books LASR Review    Long and Short Romance Reviews – http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/

Find Cierra at: 

www.cierrajamesauthor.com     www.cierrajames.blogspot.com

Thanks, Cierra. Best wishes and best of luck in all your endeavors!

 

As always, thanks to all of you who stopped by.  Keep checking in: lots of fun stuff coming up! Look for: 

*Photos of the book launch. More thanks than I can ever express go out to you, Christine. (Maybe you should consider professional party planning?) Also, special thanks, hugs and kisses to all of you who showed and to each of  you who continue to show support in so many different ways. I am humbled.

*Upcoming details for a giveaway (or a few) of NO MATTER WHY, the digital version!

*Friday (1/28),  Suzannah Safi takes the spot!  Among her passions is the desire to promote fellow authors. Visit her positively lovely blog at http://www.romancealley.suzannahsafi.com/. (I’ve been there–I know ;)!

 

A great day to all,

Joanna

Carol Preflatish Visits Today!

                                        

                                      All images by Melisa82: Dreamstime.com 

Thanks to all of you for joining us!

Today romantic suspense author Carol Preflatish shares about her writing journey! And such a special time to do so: Carol’s debut novel, Love, Lies and Deceit, debuted just in time for the holiday season! She’s here bearing gifts, too: one lucky commenter will win an e-copy of Love, Lies and Deceit, to be drawn by Carol at midnight, December 26, 2009, EST! (Winner gets to choose the format.) Remember, comments MUST be accompanied by a name and e-mail address so that the winner can be contacted! (Did y’all get all that? Pretty sure there are spaces to leave this info when you decide to comment–as blog author/owner, my comments just go up 🙂 !)  

 Here we go:

Tell me about your writing roots: what got you started and what gave you the confidence to persevere?  

I fell in love with writing in high school. It started with working on the school newspaper and then taking every writing class they offered. My interest in fiction started in 1999 and my New Year’s Resolution for 2000 was to write a complete novel. I did it and haven’t stopped since.

How has your writing impacted other aspects of your life?

Writing has most definitely been a stress reducer for me. Entering the world of fiction lets me escape, for a little while, from the pressures of the day. It relaxes me.
             Red candles                         Christmas Gifts And Decoration Stock Photos                   

Congratulations and best wishes on the recent release of your debut novel, Carol! Tell us about that along with current, past and future projects.

Love, Lies & Deceit was released on December 17 as an e-book from Red Rose Publishing. It’s a romantic suspense about a rookie CIA officer who falls in love with her Training Officer. When he’s arrested for treason, she has to decide if she trusts him enough to risk her life and career to help him prove his innocence. Look for the excerpt on my web page, http://CarolPre.webs.com

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Is there a ‘dream novel’ you’d like to write?

I’m currently working on another romantic suspense novel about a small town sheriff. He falls in love with a big city writer who comes to town to investigate a 30-year old mystery about a missing family.

So how do you juggle work (other than writing, assuming you work ‘outside the home’), time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a newly published author (i.e., promo, etc)?

My day job is as a Human Services Consultant. I usually spend my lunch hour in the break room writing. I’m always amazed at how much I can accomplish in that hour. I also try to write for a few hours at night, but probably get most of my writing done on weekends.
 
Please share the three ways you find most effective to promote your work!

I think promotion is the hardest part of writing and the one thing that new authors don’t think about until they need it. When I started writing, I thought the publisher took care of that. Not true, while the publisher may do a small percentage, it is mainly the author’s responsibility.

My marketing plan includes having a web site, taking part in contests that my publisher has, distributing bookmarks and postcards, and posting on various Internet forums. I have a few blog interviews scheduled, such as this one, and I’m scheduled for a Blog Talk Radio interview on February 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm ET at http://blogtalkradiio.com/redroseauthors

I want to thank Joanna for hosting me here today. I have enjoyed this and want to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

You are most welcome, Carol. I’m really enjoying getting to know fellow authors! I especially like reading and learning about promo tips. As you said, probably the most challenging aspect of being published and a job unto itself. (Doesn’t writing and revising sometimes look easy in comparison?)  Thanks again for stopping by—best of luck with Love, Lies and Deceit!