Forever’s PS - I Love You Tour featuring 2 wonderful authors makes a stop here today and I’m over at author Ann Summerville’s blog, Cozy in Texas, answering questions.
Quick Note: I’ve received several wonderful invitations to guest blog before and always declined because I’m not an author so what would I say. Author Ann Summerville has graciously guest blogged for me several times and when she ask me to be the first in a new feature she’s starting, I hesitated. Still not an author, nothing to say. Ann was kind enough to provide questions for me to answer so as terrified as I am, I’m at Cozy In Texas today answering those questions. After you visit with my guests here, please drop by and say hi. Truthfully, it’s a little scary being away from here.
I’d like to welcome authors Sherrill Boding and Rochelle Ayers here today as they make a stop on their 2012 Romance Blog tour. Thanks to them, Brianne and the good folks at Grand Central Publishing, I have 3 sets of books (a book from each author) to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines.
Sherrill’s latest book is ALL I WANT IS YOU. Here’s a brief synopsis: SHE'S STEALING HIS HEART . . . Vintage boutique owner Venus Smith is stunned to realize her newest acquisition comes with a larcenous legend. Stolen years ago, the antique mermaid brooch belongs to the Clayworth family. The right thing to do would be to return it, but that means facing Connor Clayworth O'Flynn, the sexy department store heir Venus has had an unrequited crush on since childhood-and the man who helped ruin her father.
ONE KISS AT A TIME Connor knows that Venus has never forgiven him for what happened between their families. But business isn't personal, even though Venus's father's betrayal still cuts him like a knife. So when Venus proposes a deal-she'll return his family's brooch if he helps clear her father's name-he reluctantly agrees. As action-packed days turn into flirtatious fall nights, it isn't long before old memories resurface . . . and new desires ignite. Can two young lovers leave the past behind? Or must they first admit that all they've ever really wanted . . . is each other?
Rochelle’s latest release is SANCTUARY COVE. Here’s a brief synopsis of it: Sometimes love is the simplest choice of all. Still reeling from her husband's untimely death, Deborah Robinson needs a fresh start. So she decides to pack up her family, box up her bookstore, and return to her grandmother's ancestral home on Cavanaugh Island. The charming town of Sanctuary Cove holds happy memories for Deborah. And, after she spies a gorgeous stranger in the local bakery, it promises the possibility for a bright, new future. Dr. Asa Monroe is at a crossroads. Ever since the loss of his family, he has been on a quest for faith and meaning, traveling from one town to another. When he meets Deborah, the beautiful bookstore owner with the warm eyes and sunny smile, Asa believes he has finally found a reason to stay in one place.
As friendship blossoms into romance, Deborah and Asa discover they may have a second chance at love. But small towns have big secrets. Before they can begin their new life together, the couple must confront a challenge they never expected . . .
Sherrill and Rochelle have agreed to answer some questions for me about their writing.
Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?
Sherrill - Teachers called it "daydreaming in class" but I was actually creating - even in the first grade! Imagination is a gift and I can't remember a time when I didn't want to use it to be a writer. Being a published author is such an honor. I cherish every moment of it and everyone who spends their precious time reading my books.
Rochelle - I’ve always been a storyteller. I wrote stories as a child and read them to my younger brothers and sisters. It wasn’t until the first Romantic Times conference in the early 80s and I was able to meet many of my favorite romance writers, while also interacting with aspiring writers that the writing bug attacked with a vengeance.
Mason - What advice have you received writing that you pass on to other inspiring writers?
Sherrill - I have two signs on my desk: JUST WHEN THE CATERPILLAR THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS OVER, IT BECAME A BUTTERFLY and MOST OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY PEOPLE WHO KEPT ON TRYING EVEN WHEN THERE SEEMED TO BE NO HOPE AT ALL. These signs remind me to never surrender - I believe it is the best advice for all writers.
Rochelle - Read, read and read even more in the genre in which you choose to write. If it is romance, then read across all the lines until you find your niche. Attempt to identify authors whose writing style matches yours, then read their body of work. Above all – have patience.
Mason - How do you go about doing research for your writing? Is it a process you enjoy or just find it necessary?
Sherrill - I LOVE research! I've been to prison - been in the operating room observing open heart surgery - hung out with a voodoo priestess - to name just a few incidents of my in depth research. How can I make my stories come alive for my readers if I haven't "lived it" in some way!
Rochelle - Doing research is necessary and something I do enjoy. Once I determine the plot, then I must research the locale. I include places I know well, or visited, because settings can also be characters. I wrote a period novel in which I compiled more than 100 pages of research, but used less than one-tenth. However, what I did use gave the reader a sense of time and place. Most of my novels are character-driven, and I always begin with a detailed three-page character dossier. Once I complete the dossiers I know exactly who these people are.
Mason - Of all the authors (past and present) you enjoy reading, has any one (or more) been an influence in your writing?
Sherrill - This is a tough one for a reader! So many writers have inspired me in so many different ways. But there is a series of books I reread every few years - The Lymond Chronicles: Game of Kings, Queens' Play, Disorderly Knights, Pawn in Frankincense, The Ringed Castle and Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett. I love her fascinating characters and the worlds she brought to life. I try to do the same in my books - create characters readers want to revisit again and again.
Rochelle - I’ve read so many authors that it is difficult to identify them. But when I found myself reading romance, it was Janet Dailey, Sara Craven and Linda Howard. Linda’s early Silhouette novels greatly influenced my writing. She wrote romance with a heightened level of sensuality that never bordered on carnality. I was also influenced by Sara Craven who wrote for Harlequin Romance. Her classic sweet romances with British settings, straightforward plots and predictable endings were pure enjoyment. I found Janet Dailey without peer when it came to writing the sweet romance. Her 50-state Americana series is one I’m striving to repeat as I write about families in different states.
Ladies, thank you both for being here today and answering these questions. It’s fun learning more about an author’s writing.
Here’s a bit of background on both of these talented authors.
Sherrill has been writing stories since junior high, when she won a pair of silver skates in a state-wide essay contest. While moving 22 times back and forth across America and rearing her four children, she published 15 award-winning novels under two pseudonyms (Lynn Leslie/Leslie Lynn). Now she's decided to be herself and write about the people, parties, and high-life in the city she knows best: Chicago. When she's not in the Windy City with her husband, family, and Newfoundland and pug dogs, she's fulfilling her passion to travel to exotic locales around the world. For more on Sherrill and her writing, visit her website at www.sherrillbodine.com.
With nearly 2 million copies of her novels in print, Rochelle is a regular on the Waldenbooks, Borders and Essence bestseller lists, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold Pen Award, the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award. For more on Rochelle and her writing, visit her website at www.rochellealers.com.
Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your subject line should read, “Win PS I Love You Tour.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to U.S. residents only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. Just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at one of the 3 sets of the PS I LOVE YOU TOUR (352-page ALL I WANT IS YOU and 352-page SANCTUARY COVE) will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
What authors have inspired you? Thanks so much for stopping by. Don’t forget to drop by Cozy in Texas and say hi.