Thursday, July 31, 2014


#AmEditing takes on a whole new meaning after you've gone through your 400-page manuscript a gazillion times. It feels like the editing process will never end. My back is killing me, my eyes are bloodshot, and I keep forgetting to eat. Sound familiar?

 I am now working on the final galley for THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS so this is the LAST go-around before the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). I'm very nervous about this process. I hate typos but we're human and they're inevitable. I decided to have a print copy made and bound but the print is so light I am straining my eyes. I don't have time to have it redone and didn't bother looking at my printed masterpiece(!!) at the store. Oy.

I've learned many things from my talented Soul Mate Publishing senior editor, Debby, and will share those with you after I'm finished editing. Don't let me forget. It's good stuff. For now, I'm finding errors since my editor asked me to change a couple of small plot points and they were woven throughout. I thought I had found them all on the second major edit but I didn't. Scary. I'm going underground Jack Bauer style until I've tackled my 400 pages. I can do this. That's what I keep telling myself. That said, it's a dream come true. I'm not complaining. It's an incredible whirlwind of a process and I'm thrilled to be in this position, bloodshot eyes and all.

Side note: Please mark Aug. 14, 3-6 p.m., on your calendar. That's the date for my online launch party on Facebook. It's going to be fun!. I'll give away tons of prizes/swag, gift cards and books. More about that later, too. I may have an in-person launch party later in the fall after my print books are available.

I also have a couple of other BIG announcements in the wings. So, stay tuned. A new website will be launched next week as well.

Whew! When is a writer supposed to sleep?! How do you like the editing process?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Author Spotlight: Lisa Medley on Zombies

I want you to meet a good friend of mine and fellow Ozarks Romance Author, Lisa Medley. Lisa writes about zombies. Zombies! She is such a fun-loving person, married, with a beautiful daughter, Grace, who sent my very first fan letter. She's also hilarious and positive, yet she writes about zombies. Let's find out how this came about.

Welcome, Lisa. Tell us about your new release—the inspiration, genre, characters or anything you want us to know.

Reap & Repent is the first of my urban fantasy series about reapers. The grim kind. I started writing about reapers because the field wasn’t quite as saturated with that particular monster. After a few visits to local graveyards, the story began to fall together.

 You visit graveyards? I guess that would be good inspiration for zombies!

Q. How long have you been writing? What is your typical writing day like?

I started writing fiction in 2010. I had written newspaper articles and columns off and on through the years but never fiction. After finding and falling in love with the paranormal romance genre, I read more than a hundred books in the field and finally decided I could do that too. So I did. My first attempt stunk. Vampires. Nothing new there. Then I stumbled onto the idea for a series about reapers and I’ve already begun the fourth book in the series. The first three will come out this year.

I don’t really have a typical day. I have a full-time day job, a husband, a child, pets and farm animals. I stay up late after everyone has gone to bed to peck out a few pages. I can usually write 1-2K in two or three hours depending on how things are flowing.

 I'm impressed that you get so much writing done with a full-time job and family. Not to mention your critters!

Q. How many books have you written or is this your debut?

Three books in the reaper series are completed. Reap & Repent (#1) is out now at all online book retailers. Currently, they are all e-books but Repent will publish in print on sometime in December. Reap & Redeem (#2) comes out Oct. 6 and Reap & Reveal (#3) will come out in January. Currently I’m working on a ghost romance called Haunt My Heart (unrelated to the reaper series) and will be finishing the first draft within the month. Reap & Reckon (#4) insisted on starting without me so I do have the first ten pages started on it as well.

 Wow! You're making me look like a real slacker. I love your Harlequin story. Maybe you can discuss it more in the comment section. Also, I love how you incorporated "Reap" into your four titles. Great branding!

Q. Any suggestions on balancing writing and social media?

It’s hard to do both. I’m not going to lie. But without the writing, you have no need to work on building your social media platform. Definitely spend more time on the writing than on social media. The way social media is changing so rapidly, I hate wasting too much effort there. Building the relationships is the most important thing. So far, I can’t tell that I have sold one book as a direct result of Twitter. I have sold books during and after my online Facebook Launch Party, otherwise it’s all about talking to people and making contacts with other authors and readers.

Direct promotion, organic or paid, has not yet proven fruitful in my situation. Still, the more your name is out there and in front of people, the more likely that they will eventually track you down.

 Yes, name recognition and building relationships are both important. It does take time.

Lisa was in a Zombie Parade in Lebanon, MO, recently.
She really gets into her characters!
Q. Tell us something quirky about you that we may not know.

I keep bees. Or more, I have a beehive in which bees live. They occasionally produce honey for me, which I eat with joyful glee. I have a suit and everything. I’m legit.

Interesting. You are legit--and, I'd add, courageous!
Q. What is your favorite marketing tip/promotional advice?

Be assertive but not aggressive. I skim over social media, buy me tweets and shares 95% of the time. If I see something interesting about YOU that catches my eye, I’ll drill down to see what you are all about. I’ve bought books because of WHO people are not necessarily because of WHAT they were screaming.

I agree. Some people overdo it. Way overdo it and I can't scroll past fast enough.
Q. What’s your next project?

Finishing Haunt My Heart is my first priority. I’m at 60k on it and should wrap it up in another 5-10K. Then it’s back to my reapers. I have a soft spot for monsters. And monsters in love? Well…mmmmm.

You're a nut. But a funny, likeable nut who is a good writer.

Q. I love first lines. Post your first sentence. Hook us.

 What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.

Reap & Repent blurb
They see death. Can they share a life?
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.
Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.
A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound power.

Want to read more?  AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO 
Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them. Reapers. The grim kind.
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.
She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.

Connect with Lisa Medley here:

Now, tell us what you think about zombies in love?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop

It's Tuesday which means it's time for another installment of the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop! Each week, an author from the group poses three questions for several romance authors to answer. Follow us and you'll get insight into our writers' minds! Be sure to like our page on Facebook. and stay tuned. There's going to be a HUGE give-away toward the end of this month!

This week's great questions come from author Tessa Gray. Thanks, Tessa. I enjoyed these.

1.   Do any characters you've written into your books remind you of yourself? Explain which ones and why.

It's sometimes hard to keep bits of ourselves out of our writing. Sometimes we do it purposefully and other times, for me, it sneaks in. In my August debut, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, I have a character named Alexandra (Alex) who is quite a bit like me. For instance she has a "touch" of OCD (some days I have more than a "touch") and she loves T.J. Maxx (so do I). Alex also occasionally falls for the bad boys and likes men in uniforms, especially cops. Enough said.
2.   Was there a teacher or mentor in your life who helped nurture your writing?
I had three--one in junior high, one in high school and one in college. Don Sharp was my English teacher at Pipkin Junior High. Mr. Sharp was entertaining, nurturing and pushed me to become a reporter for the school newspaper. Several of my articles were published and I was hooked.
In high school, Laura Fleetwood was my English and literature teacher. She had a lovely, easy, conversational way about her with an ability to draw the students in. I remember she had us put our desks in a circle which I thought was cool. Mrs. Fleetwood also had a section on mythology which I loved.
My college professor, Jo Van Arkel, was amazing. I told her once that she could make a rock creative. She gave us several observation exercises which were very helpful and she had us write and write some more. I always made "A's" and received encouraging comments on my papers. During one of my expository writing classes, she made a comment that I remember almost verbatim. "I'm not exaggerating to suggest that this article could be published in a major women's magazine." I've never forgotten that. I was in my mid-to-late twenties and a single mom. I just held onto her encouragement--and that essay--for years but never sent it in.
3. Every author has that moment when they doubt their ability to write. When that happens to you, how do you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and continue? What do you do to inspire YOURSELF?    
I think this happens to every author. On many days we're filled with self-doubt. Isn't that why Hemingway drank?! What I usually do is either reread things I've written in the past to boost my confidence or I'll read a book. Reading others' work always gives me confidence and courage. It's not that I think I'm better than those authors, but I see exactly how they string sentences together to create a story and reading someone else's book always makes me ready to get back to my own storytelling.
Please leave a comment, and after you're finished, be sure and check out answers from the next writer on the hop. She's the lovely, talented actor-turned-writer Kim Handysides