Monday, August 30, 2010

Spotlight Author with Sarah Morgan

Getting back into the swing of things… school has been in session for a couple of weeks, dance is back in full swing for my daughter and everything is starting to fall into place. Maybe now, I will be able to get back to work on my writing like I have been aching to do. This week I have author Sarah Morgan with me.

Tell us a little bit about the line that you write for and your latest (or) upcoming release.

I write fast-paced, sexy, emotionally intense romance for Harlequin Presents (Mills and Boon Modern in the UK). My next release is One Night – Nine Month Scandal and it will be on the shelves in the US late August, July in the UK.

I love writing strong alpha heroes. The hero of my latest release, Greek tycoon Alekos Zagorakis, is ruthless, driven and powerful whereas my heroine, Kelly, is a schoolteacher whose priority is her class of young children. In trying to rebuild her life after Alekos failed to turn up on their wedding day, Kelly decides to finally dispose of his ring and in doing so makes a fundamental mistake ......

Exploring the relationship between these two very different characters was tremendous fun. Alekos is so confident and sure of himself, very much in control of his world. Handling people has never been a problem for him but Kelly presents a challenge that leaves him floundering. I hope readers will enjoy their story!

I also write for Harlequin Medical and have a release out this summer called Dare She Date the Dreamy Doc? (the answer is yes, by the way!)

How many books do you have under your writing belt?

54. Now I know why I’m tired!

Did you receive rejection letters during your journey to become published? If yes what is your best advice to someone who’s received their first one?

Rejection is part of the business. I received two rejections before I was published, but both contained detailed information on how I could improve. I buried my disappointment and listened to what those editors were saying.

My advice to others would be to treat rejections as part of the learning process. Don’t let it stop you writing. Its easy to be discouraged in this business but if you write because you love it, because telling stories is part of who you are, then rejection won’t stop you. If you’re lucky enough to be given specific feedback then turn off the natural desire to defend your work and listen.

If you had to pick one character in your books, who would be your favorite? And why. Or if you don’t want to pick a favorite… which one do you connect with the most? And why?

I have to connect with the characters I’m writing about and care about them, so my favourites tend to be the ones I’m writing about at the moment. Having said that I really enjoyed creating the character of Kelly, my heroine from One Night – Nine Month Scandal because she presents such a challenge to the hero. Watching her create utter confusion in the life of an otherwise confident, controlling alpha male was entertaining. Creating contrasting characters and seeing them interact can be tremendous fun. I also have a very soft spot for Evie, my heroine from my upcoming Christmas release The Twelve Nights of Christmas. She’s the sort of down-to-earth girl I’d welcome into my circle of friends anytime.

When I write I have to listen to music. Does music or anything else influence your writing? If so what do you like to listen to while you’re writing?

I frequently listen to music when I write. Music can definitely inspire me, but it can also distract so if I find myself listening to the music rather than working, I turn it off. I use it to set the scene, to create atmosphere. I want music to push me deeper into my imaginary world, not pull me out. I still have rainforest music on my iPod from the time I wrote a Presents set in the Brazilian rainforest (nothing more relaxing the sound of rain falling through trees) and I have music that transports me straight to the Arabian desert if I need inspiration for a romantic Sheikh story.

I use different songs for different scenes, depending on the mood. I use music to enhance the creative experience. What I listen to varies – everything from Paramour to Puccini. For my last book the playlist included The Fray, Lifehouse, Parachute, Mozart, Enya, Coldplay, Within Temptation and Chopin.

In terms of influence – music, books, films, plays, conversation and observing human behaviour all have an influence on my writing.

Give us a glimpse into a writer’s daily life.

To an observer it’s fairly boring. No feather boas, no lying in the sun dreaming (well, some of that but only when I’ve met a deadline), just long hours spent alone at a computer screen. Writing requires buckets of self-motivation and the willingness to work hard day after day (and sometimes night after night) no matter what obstacles life throws in your path. I set myself a minimum daily word count because that works for me. I know that providing I stick to the word count I don’t have to worry about the deadline and I can then fit the intrusions of real life around the writing without panicking. In reality I tend to write during ‘office hours’ and then again late evening. I do whatever the book needs. If a book is going well I’m going to have more weekends off than if it’s a struggle.

Of course a writer’s life isn’t all about the writing and a book isn’t produced in solitary confinement. It’s a team effort. I have a great editor who always challenges me to think about what I’m writing and pushes me to give my best. And the work doesn’t stop with the book. Writers have to balance writing with promotion. Updating the website, writing blogs and social networking are just some examples of the extra demands on time.

Then there are the ‘human’ parts to being a writer – the bit where you get to meet people. Going to conferences, meeting your editor, meeting up with other writers – all great fun. But a writer’s life is about writing. If you take too much time away from your desk you won’t have anything to promote!

Does writing ever get any easier?

It’s easy in the sense that there is no other job I’d rather be doing and I know how lucky I am to be published. But if you’re going to be professional and meet your deadlines, then you have to be self-motivated and work hard. As for the writing itself - some books flow and others bump along leaving you bruised and exhausted. It isn’t easy but I know how privileged I am to be able to earn my living this way and I love it.

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

Be determined.

Be resilient.

Be prepared to work hard and revise your manuscript.

Be nice to others J

Now tell us a little bit about Sarah Morgan. Who are you? What do you do when you’re not writing hunky heroes and romantic love stories?

Writing is sedentary and isolating, so when I’m not writing I tend to be active and sociable! I spend time with my friends and family, I spend time outdoors cycling or walking, I read, I go to the movies, I cook and just generally enjoy life. I find it’s often when I’m away from my computer that the best ideas come.

Thank you for sharing yourself with us here at Micole Writes Romance. Where can our readers find out more about you and where they can get your books?

Thanks for having me here Micole! The best place to find out more is my website and readers can buy my books in store and online at all the usual places!

Stop by next week for another great author interview!



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spotlight Author with Larrisa Ione

I have New York Times Bestselling Author, Larrisa Ione visiting my blog today. Even though she is a very busy woman she has agreed to answering a few short questions for us. And I am ecstatic. I have to say that I have been blessed with all of the amazing authors that have given me the privilege of interviewing them. Larrisa being one of them. You may also know her as the multi-published Sydney Croft. She's here today to talk to us about her latest release SIN UNDONE. Here's a sneak peak.

HER TOUCH IS DEADLY As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnely is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she'll die before she'll relinquish her freedom again. then Sin's innate ability t kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence. HIS HUNGER CAN'T BE DENIED Half-werewolf, half-vampire Connell Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she's no stranger: He's bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left them hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld's most wanted and Con soon learns he's the only one who can help her... and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own.
Wow! It sounds amazing! Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere really. I get ideas from TV, the news, real life. And I find inspiration to actually sit down and get the book written when I read a great novel.

Can you give us an idea how long a completed manuscript takes from start to finish?

It generally takes me 6 months to a year to write a book. I tend to be a slow writer, and I always need a lot of revision and rewrites, both before I turn in the book to my editor, and after.

What are you reading right now? If nothing at the moment then what do you like to read when you have time?

Actually, right now I'm re-reading The Marshall Plan for Writing A Novel, by Evan Marshall. See. I'm currently plotting the second book in the Lords of Deliverance series (a spin off of the Demonica series about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse,) so I always go running back to the basics when I start a new novel. And yet, I never write a book the same way. It's weird! For fun, I'm not reading anything, sadly. But when I get the time, I love paranormal romance, historical fiction, and fantasy. Can't get enough of any of those genres!
What is the most important advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Don't sweat the small stuff. Learn the craft, learn to write well, but don't obsess about the little things. It's very easy to edit your voice right out of your work if you go over every sentence looking for the perfect word, the perfect structure. Before I got published, I spent a lot of time editing my stories to death before sending out to editors. i got SO close to selling, and it wasn't until I finally just let myself go, let my voice fly and be a little raw, that I got The Call.

Larissa, can you give a glimpse into a writers life. Your writers life!;-)

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee!!! Oh, and pajamas. Yep, it's a glamorous life. *g* Seriously, that's about what it's like. I get up in the morning, get my son off to school, sit down with coffee, and write. I usually work out at ome point during the day, but after my shower, I get right back into my pajamas. And drink more coffee...

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

At where you can check out all my books, upcoming releases, and you can read free short stories. I also have pages dedicated only to animals, since I am a huge animal lover. I have a especially large interest in feline diet and diabetes, since I've had more experience with that than I'd have liked. You can also check out my alter ego, Sydney Croft, at Sydney is a name I share with author Stephanie Tyler, who writes military romance. We blended together our interests to write erotic paranormal action-adeventure, and we're just finishing up our ACRO series under the Sydney Croft name.
Larissa, thank you for being a guest here at Micole Writes Romance. It has been a pleasure!

Thank you so much for having me! I really enjoyed it!
Faithful readers, I will see you next week!



Monday, August 16, 2010

Spotlight Author with Angi Morgan

Welcome back friends. Last weeks blog I talked about getting my office back in running order. Well the progress is still slow, but I am hoping by the end of the night to be done! ;-) I am excited to introduce another author to you. I have Angi Morgan with me this week. She has an up coming release, HILL COUNTRY HOLD UP, and she’s here to talk to us about it. Take a few minutes to hang out with us today. Here’s Angi.

Can you give us sneak peak of your up coming release HILL COUNTRY HOLD UP?

She’d do anything to rescue her kidnapped son… even if that meant turning to the FBI agent who didn’t know he was the father.

Dr. Jane Palmer had every intention of telling FBI agent Steve Woods he was a father. But the rehearsed lines and practiced responses were forgotten the moment her little boy was kidnapped. Now, heartbreaking and on the verge of falling apart, Jane needed Steve more than ever…

After every attempt at putting old feelings to rest Steve Woods never expected Jane back in his life. Especially not for this reason. Racing against a ticking clock, desperate to earn Jane’s trust, Steve still sensed Jane wasn’t telling hi everything. Which made him wonder why she’d come to Texas in the first place. And what it had to do with the child he’d do anything to rescue.

That sounds very exciting. I can’t wait to get my hands on that one!

So tell me… what do you think makes your writing unique?

My harlequin Intrigue suspense stories are packed full of twists and turns that take the reader across the state of Texas. The action begins on page one and never lets up. Most people who have read HCH call it a fast-paced-non-sop-what-can-happen-next-great-dialogue book. I hope to write many more that fit that description.

Sounds like something everyone is looking for. ;-)

How many books do you have under your writing belt?

Okay, officially? TWO. I just completed .38 Caliber Cover-Up out in February of 2011 (last Friday). The other stories I’ve written are practice manuscripts (and yeah, there’s a bunch). Earlier in my quest to learn how to write, I wrote several books for lines which folded. Several before I learned the craft of writing and it was just a voice in the trees telling everyone what the hero and heroine (and anybody else who made it on the page) was feeling.

Is there anything special to your writing process? Pictures? Music? Any tricks of the trade?

I find music that inspires me to write THAT particular story. And then I use the music to draw me back into the character’s heads almost every time I write. I also use a scented lotion to put me in the mood to write. AND I love ccitrusy candles. But more than anything, I’ve discovered that having a hard deadline… really gets my butt in the chair. LOL

I have never heard of the scented lotion thingy. I will have to give that a try! ;-) But I do the music and the candles. Anything I can do, to get me close the characters I am creating. Maybe I can make up a hard deadline for myself to get the MS done! It may work! ;-) talking about deadlines… how long does it take you to write a manuscript?

Whew… trick question right? The correct answer is: Give a writer three years to write a manuscript and they’ll take three years. Give a writer nine weeks and they’ll take eleven (adding two weeks for knee surgery). .38 Caliber Cover-Up sold on May 28th with 50 pages written. With the help of my wonderful critique partners, finished on August 13th at 229 pages (58.6k words). And yes, I had knee surgery and attended RWA’s national conference.

You are a brave girl! Not sure how you tackled the airports let alone a national conference after knee surgery! But good for you! And congratulations on the completion of book two!

Tell me… what is one thing that you know now that you wished you knew when you started your journey as a writer?

FIRST? God’s timing is perfect. I know that’s absolutely true. If I had sold earlier, I would have missed things important to my family and me. NOW is perfect. The kids are gone. I can write furiously when needed.

SECOND? To trust myself and my voice. A writer is the only person who knows what’s right for their characters and the story. Never doubt yourself.

THIRD? There’s always a little devil sitting on the corner of every writer’s computer screen screaming at them to doubt themselves BELIEVE. Believe in yourself, and believe in your story.

That is great advice! Thank you for that! What is the hardest part about your job?

Before I sold, the hardest thing was to justify the time I took for myself and my writing. It’s funny that AFTER I sold and I’m actually getting paid… well, it’s a lot easier to put off cleaning the toilets.

Ha ha ha. I bet! I don’t seem to have a problem doing that now. Not sure what my excuse is!(wink)

When did you know you anted to pursue a writing career?

From the time I could talk? Okay, that might be a little early, but my mom swears I picked up crayons, drew scribbles, and told a fabulous story… even when I was three.

What steps did you take to make your dreams come true?

Bottom line? I worked hard. I learned the craft of writing. I volunteered. I learned how to network. I love that RWA members know me and everyone felt they could cheer for me when I sold. But you need to find your timing, find that editor who loves your voice, or find an agent who wants you to have a long career and is willing to fight for you. I had a great manuscript, entered contests with editors or agents who I wanted to work with. Winning the 2010 RWA’s Golden heart for Series and Adventure was icing on my cupake!

Very exciting! Congrats again!!!

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Believe in yourself. Don’t just develop a plan, follow through. Be positive and surround yourself with positive people. Find your “click” as Nora put it at conference—that one person who is in your corner no matter what.

Angi, I would like to thank you for stopping by Micole Writes Romance today. Where can the readers find out more information about you and your books?

HILL COUNTRY HOLD UP should be on bookshelves by September 14th. I’d love for anyone buying the book to send me a picture of them y the display. I’ll be holding a contest for those sending a picture ( and signing up for my newsletter). Don’t know what the prizes are, but they’ll be GREAT!!! HCH is currently available as a download from

.38 CALIBER COVER-UP will be available February 2011.

My website is receiving new look in the next couple of weeks, please visit often:

Facebook: Angi Morgan (there’s also a Fan’Like page).

Twitter: AngiMorganAuthr, and

Looks like I will have to have you back in February Angi!

If anyone has any questions for Angi, fire away. She’ll be checking in throughout the day. Would you like to know anything about what happens after the sale until you hold the printed book in your hands?

Yes, yes, yes. I would love to know Angi. I will send you a comment in the morning!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today. See you again next week



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spotlight Author with Robin Owens

School starts for my kids this week, which means getting life back on track. Having a bed time, dinner time and shower time. No more free schedule. We are back to the grind so to speak. This week I am working on getting more authors scheduled for the opening spots on my blog, getting our office finally unpacked and in working order after our move, and yes... getting back to writing. Can you believe it? I have taken way too much time off. And I am afraid my writing will show it! I'm a little scared to see what the results will be. No worries. I will keep all of you posted on my misadventures of writing! ;-)

This week I have author Robin Owens with us. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Robin, please tell us about your latest release HEART JOURNEY.

HEART JOURNEY is an older woman/younger man book... also a city mouse/country mouse story. The blurb is:

Helena D'Elecampane, a renowned cartographer, is happy exploring uninhabited Celta. But she is intrigued when she finds out she has a HeartMate. Yearning for a partner in her travels, she is drawn to meet him.

Raz Cherry is an ambitious actor, dedicated to his career in the city. Uninterested in any other long-term commitments, he ignores an oracle that fortells that he will meet his HeartMate--a woman who would complicate his life.

Though their passion ignites, their lifestyles and goals clash. Only when mysterious thefts escalate to threaten their families can they reach an understanding and overcome the obstacles on their journey to love... discovering the secrets of the past that will lead to a brilliant future, together.

My "HEART" series is fantasy romance, and deals with "fated" mates (and I try to make the conflicts Between them fresh). The books are set on the planet Celta where people have magical powers... Celta was originally colonized by Earth people about 400 years previously.

What are you working on now?

LOL, I have a variety of projects- I am working on the next book in the series, Heart Search. The hero is a man who made a disastrous marriage to a woman who lied to him and stole his family heirlooms (not his fated mate, his HeartMate). The heorine doesn't trust men at all... so it is fun shoving them at each other... so is the mind sex...

What makes your writing unique?

I think that would be the telepathic animal companions - cats with attitude (redundant), dogs (a puppy and a noble hound), the occasional fox... I use the Familiar animals for comic relief as mentors and friends.

Some writers say that they have a story that has to be told others say that the characters come to them and demand that their story be told... how does it work for you?

I'll be writing a story and a character will walk on stage. Depending on his/her nature I'll decide whether to kill'em or marry'em off.

If you had to pick one character in your books, who would be your favorite? And why?

Wow tough question. I wrote a 5 book series for Luna (the "Summoning" series), which was about average American women who are summoned to another dimension to fight hideous evil... they find love and decide to stay, or not. Alexa Fitzwalter, heroin of book 1 (Guardian of Honor) was a riot to write. She was over-the-top and I had to watch her with an eagle eye in the rest of the books so she didn't steal the scenes. My father was rather an over-the top guy, and I think of Alexa as his true daughter.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Actually, physical objects provide the basis of a few of my books. HeartMate (my first) was inspired by
a bloodstone pendulum I got. Then I thought of bloodstone fortune-telling runes... and a tough guy who might use them and actually BELIEVE them (thus a different planet;)... and I got T'Ash the hero of HeartMate who threw the ruins and saw "Today you will meet your HeartMate."

How many books do you have under your writing belt?


15 published 3 unpublished.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a writing career?

Ah, I told myself stories before I fell asleep for a long time. I started seriously writing after a relationship crashed.

How long was your road to becoming published?

Ouch, eight or nine years, fourth manuscript. You know, the old 10,000 hours to master the technique, the 1,000,000 words.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, I'd LOVE to be on the New York Times Bestseller list and I'm doing my best to make that happen. I have a collection of stories on Celta (well, one is the discovery of the planet, so in space) coming out next year. Also I have a series starting in January - an urban paranormal fantasy series with a romantic subplot. The first book is titled Enchanted No More.

Thank you Robin, for finding your way over to Micole Writes Romance, it has been great having you here. For more information on Robin Owens and her books you can find her at
Her excerpts page is "READS".

Thanks for having me here, and I really enjoyed the questions. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

See you next week everyone!



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spotlight Author with Holly Jacobs

Today I have Spotlight Author, Holly Jacobs who writes for Harlequin Superomance with us. She’s here to give us a peak into her writing, her life, and what she has up and coming! Enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself Holly and what you write.

~Let’s see, I’m a happily married mother of four. I write contemporary romance that ranges from comic to dramatic.

What do you think makes your writing unique?

~I think every author has a unique ‘voice.’ When you start writing, you keep hearing that term… ‘voice’ and you quickly learn there’s not real definition. It has to do with the way you tell your story. It’s unique to every writer. It’s not just the content of a particular story that’s unique, but it’s also how an author tells that story…their voice. I guess I feel that’s what makes my writing career. My voice.

Can you share with us what you are currently working on?

~I’m currently writing for Harlequin’s SuperRomance series. In November of ’09’s boo, UNEXPECTED GIFTS, I introduced a new town, Whedon, PA and a new family, the Kellers. My SuperRomances have centered around that town and family. Zac Keller made a cameo in February’s A ONE-OF-A-KIND FAMILY, and his brother Seth is the hero of this December’s HOMECOMING DAY. Right now, I’m working on a fourth Whedon story that will be out in 2011. The working title is, A FATHER’S NAME, but that’s subject to change. And it features, Angelina Tucker. She was the heroine, Eli’s, best friend in Unexpected Gifts. I’m thrilled to give her a Happily Ever After of her own!

What is your process? Are you a plan every aspect before you write kind of gal or the one that flies by the seat of her pants and lets the story and its characters take you for a wild ride until THE END?

~When I started writing, I was a seat-of-my-pants sort of writer. I’d start with a basic idea and just run with it. Now that I’ve been published, I can sell books without writing the whole thing. That requires a synopsis. So, I do have a very good idea where a story will go before I start actually writing it. That being said, I always leave myself wiggle room—I don’t know everything about the story. That sense of discovery is half the fun of writing for me!

What do you do when you get stuck?

~This sounds weird, but truth is, I don’t get stuck. I’m a working writer, so I write every day. Now, I’ll confess, some day’s work is just drek, and it ends up being cut further down the line. There’s an old writing saying—I’m not sure where it originated, but it goes like this, you can fix crap, but you can’t fix a blank page. That’s the theory I run with.

Give us a glimpse into the day of a writer’s life? Yours to be precise. As a mother of four children, how do you find the time to write? Do you have business hours like many authors do? Or do you find yourself typing away in the drivers seat of your car, (like myself) while trying to catch the activities the kids are involved in?

~My days look something like this:

I’m up at five/six. Read the paper, drink some coffee, go online and visit my Facebook and eHarlequin pages. Answer emails. Have breakfast. By that time, it’s time for the school run.

Come home, walk the dogs (Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald), start writing.

Around eleven thirty, lunch break.

Then more writing.

About two I try to finish, and then run around doing house chores, pick up kids, get dinner, walk the dogs again….


Okay, the days have variations. But this is my basic ‘normal’ schedule. I work hard to maintain it. And it means by after school, I’m available for whatever the family needs.

Even before I sold, I had a similar schedule because I treated my writing like a business.

Did you receive rejection letters during your journey to become published? If yes what is your best advice to someone who’s received their first one?

~Rejections are part of this business. I’ll confess, I still have ideas rejected by my publishers. Most find their way into print in some for or another at some point.

When I was trying to break in at Harlequin, I got a number of rejections. Here’s what my break-into-Harlequin plan looked like.

Write a book.

Submit it.

Start writing the next.

Generally finish it.

Receive a rejection on book A.

Incorporate any comments/suggestions into book B.

Submit it.

Start writing the next one…

I basically just kept repeating that formula until I sold. I figured I’d eventually wear them down and they’d buy me in hopes of shutting me up…uh, that didn’t work on their part! LOL

Being a writer it is very important to hone your craft. Do you have any special books, classes, or on-line courses that you yourself use to make sure you are keeping up with the latest writing trends?

~No. To be honest, I think my most helpful tool for honing my craft is reading other writers’ fiction. And I don’t really follow the trends, but rather follow my own voice and interests.

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

~My biggest advice sounds simple. I’ve given the same tip for years. Write. Write every day. Treat your writing like a business and don’t just do it when the muse hits, or you can squeeze it into your schedule. Make it part of the rhythm of your life…sort of like breathing! LOL

Thank you, Holly. I am so happy you were able to make it by Micole Writes Romance. If you would like to find out more information about Holly Jacobs and her wonderful books you can go to…

Hope to see all of you next week!