Virtual Book Tours: To tour, or not to tour?


Well, if you’ve been reading my blog (if you haven’t – where have you been?) you’ll have noticed that I do a lot of book reviews and author interviews. The interviews are mainly because I’m an incredibly nosy person, but the reviews tend to be either Netgalley related (If you haven’t joined yet and you love reading – what are you waiting for?) or for virtual book tour companies. I started looking at these sites when I got the release date for my own book and decided to join a few to see how they worked and which of the many companies offering this service provide the best value for money.

I must admit, I’m having quite a bit of fun doing these tours. I’ve met some truly lovely people and been introduced to some awesome authors and books – ones I’d have never found on my own. The whole thing appeals to my organised ‘anal’ side, and it doesn’t hurt to have related content almost every day for this blog.

Now, I’m not reviewing the companies who do this, but from my sidebar you can see the ones I tend to favour and I’d encourage you all to have a click through and perhaps join as a tour host or invest in a tour for your own book. And let me know your thoughts as comments on this post.

I see a number of the same authors out there who are dedicated to using these services and repeat business must hopefully mean they’re seeing fairly decent results in the interest levels in their books. The basic equation here is that bloggers have followers, and followers might buy your book.

Most tour companies will offer a service that includes: reviews, interviews, spotlights, and guest posts. You can pick and choose from this menu, but I’d advise you to go ‘tapas style’ on it and try a bit of each to see what you like the most. Reviews can be the scariest of all, what happens if a blogger hates your book? To be honest, this is a natural part of being an author anyway – not everyone will like your work – accept that, move on, suck it up… Do you like everything you read? No. I certainly don’t. But did bad reviews hurt ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? No, it unfortunately did not!

With more and more books being released it can be hard to get yours to the front of the reading pile. And this isn’t all down to your publishers either; as a modern author part of the job is keeping social and having a decent online presence. Whether you like it or not, we are living in an increasingly digital world and blanking it is not just rude but utterly career stunting. Authors need to get their work out there, and yes this can be time consuming – so virtual book tour companies could be a clever solution for you to do just that whilst keeping your precious time on the thing you actually want to do – going down the pub, oh wait I mean write!

Interview with Cassandra Clare

Cassandra ClareTell us about your publishing journey…

I’ve always loved to write stories, but I didn’t start taking it seriously as a career option until after I finished graduate school. At that point I began writing short stories and sending them off to publications, and I also started work on a novel—The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. It was a couple of years before I was ready to take the plunge and send it out to agents. It didn’t catch anyone’s eye agent-wise, but I did send it to Angry Robot’s first Open Door month. They picked it up, and my thus my career began!

What do you love about being an author?

Well, it’s basically my dream job! I love that I’m paid to make up stories and be creative, and I love that I get to set my own hours and work from home. It really is everything I could want in a career.

What part do you dislike about being an author?

I feel like I’m not very good at the marketing side of things—I’m very shy, and I sometimes get anxious posting things on the Internet. But getting published has helped me over some of that, actually.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

This was framed as writing advice, but honestly I think it’s good life advice in general: learn to distinguish between goals and dreams. A goal is something that you can do completely on your own, without depending on luck or other people (for example, write a thousand words a day). A dream is something that’s ultimately out of your control to achieve (for example, get published). By acheiving your goals, you’re able to work toward your dream.

If you could have dinner with a literary character – who would it be and what would you eat?

For some reason, my initial response to this question was Hannibal Lecter, which is a horrific answer. But I think the reason I thought of him is because dinner with Lecter would be a grand, gourmet affair, assuming you insisted on going full vegetarian. But after thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized I could get the grandness without the horror by eating a meal at Hogwarts. I think of all the Harry Potter characters I’d most liked to eat with Remus Lupin, so if Dumbledore could arrange for the two of us to chow down in the Great Hall, eating roast chicken and butterbeers and sticky toffee pudding, that would be excellent.

What was the last book you read and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently finished Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics and I loved it! I read Night Film, her most recent book, about a month ago and it completely sucked me in, so I was excited to read Special Topics, which is her first book. I just adored the characters, the language, and the way the plot compels you forward.

You have a time machine, which era do you go back to and why?

Probably the late 1950s/early 1960s, because I love the clothes, art, architecture, and music of that time period, particularly that of the counterculture. Plus I have reeeeeeally bad vision, so I’d definitely want to go back to a time when I could at least get glasses.

If you were to cast your book, who would play the leads?cover22471-medium

For young Cat, I’d like to see Kara Hayward cast—she played Suzy in Moonrise Kingdom. For old Cat, I’d love someone like Kate Winslet, who always does a wonderful job with complex, layered characters. Finn was always the hardest for me to cast. I wrote a blog post about this very question when Mad Scientist’s Daughter first came out, and I named Danny Pudi as my choice for Finn. I still think he’d be great, but I’m also curious to hear what others who have read the book would think!

What’s your favourite TV show, and why?

This is a very difficult question for me because I love television (movies too, but in recent years TV has really been trouncing movies in terms of originality and watchablity and really general quality). There are several TV shows that I’ll always return to, like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Mad Men, but there are also several more recent shows that I’ve gotten obsessed with. I think my favorite of those would be American Horror Story: Coven. On one hand it’s full of random campy horror tropes, but on the other hand the story focuses on several fairly complex female characters and tends to deal with women’s issues. Also, Jessica Lange is a flawless queen.

What has been the best Xmas present you’ve ever received?

I grew up in South Texas, which has extremely mild winters. As a kid, I used to ask Santa for a white Christmas every year, but of course it didn’t happen, the typical late-December meteorological conditions of Texas being what they are. However, when I was in college, a freak snowstorm blew across south Texas on Christmas Eve. I was living in Houston at the time but was in my hometown of Victoria for Christmas; Victoria received eleven inches of snow overnight, one of the few places in Texas to receive that much snowfall. So when I woke up on Christmas day my neighborhood looked exactly like the end of a Christmas movie. It was perfect.

What’s the best part of Xmas for you?

I love so much about Christmas—putting up lights and decorations, shopping for and wrapping gifts, even Christmas music (I know, I know). But I think my very favorite thing is experiencing the traditions that have built up over the years. What food you eat, where you go and on what day, how the presents are opened, all of it. And it’s interesting to see how things vary from family to family. For example, in my dad’s family, gifts are opened in a frenzy of flying ribbons and paper, with people shouting thank you across the room, just on the off-chance the giver hears it. In my mom’s family, gifts are opened in a neat, orderly fashion, one person at a time while everyone snaps photos. I love the contrast.

As a kid every year my Christmases were the exact same. Now that I’m adult those childhood traditions don’t fit anymore, and every year I find myself creating new ones. It’s exciting!

Are you on Santa’s nice or naughty list this year?

Hmmn, good question.

Are there plans for another novel in the series?

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a stand-alone novel, but I am working on a couple of new novels that are similar in style and theme.

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution in mind for 2014?

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do have a set of writing goals for the year: revise and complete two YA novels and at least one adult novel.

If your characters could give your readers a Xmas message, what would it be?

Cat: Happy holidays! Hope you get all the presents you want.

Finn: May this time of year be full of happiness for you.

Where can fans find you online?

I’m on Twitter at @mitchondrial (, on Facebook as Cassandra Rose Clarke ( , and of course I have a website at

Interview with Amy Durrant

Amy ProfileTell us about your publishing journey

So my publishing journey starts on a rainy day in the UK and I’ve finally finished my first draft of ‘Prisms’. Like many other authors, I sent the book to a few UK agents and was told that while they liked my writing style, it wasn’t sci fi but vampires that they were looking for. Unfortunately, I have never quite forgiven Stephanie Meyer for this. Anyway, I decided that I’d rather get my book published by someone who would treat it with more care than larger publishing houses and that’s when I stumbled across Rainstorm Press.

What part of being a writer do you love most?

I just love that initial spark of a new story. It often starts as a remnant from a dream in the middle of the night or a line I’ve scribbled down on the back of a shopping list. Seriously, I turn into a kid on Christmas morning when I get a new idea pop into my head and then I become an obsessed writing machine. I start to see the story unfold like a movie in my head and I’m merely a vessel to record it. I think my friends wonder where I’ve gone when it happens.

Which part do you hate most?

It’s weird, but I’m not a fan of writing characterisations like traits and ticks. My characters pretty much write themselves but sometimes I’ll write ‘She anxiously twisted the ring on her right finger’ and I’ll realise that I’m just putting my own traits into the story. So the bit I hate the most is having to go back and make sure that I don’t do it too often!

What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?

I have a couple of pieces of advice that I actually keep in my head most of the time. The first has just become my philosophy which is ‘Live each day to the fullest’. It stops me from lazing around and doing nothing. And the second piece of advice I actually overheard on a train when I was younger and it stuck with me. ‘Dreams are the seedlings of reality’. If you can dream it, it’s not impossible.

If you had a time machine, which era would you travel back to and why?

This is a really tricky question and I turn into a bit of a geek when I’m asked anything like this. I wouldn’t trust myself to go back in time, just in case I changed anything major but if I had to, I would love to go back to the 1920’s . Incredible music, beautiful clothes, sophistication; I think maybe I’m in the wrong era anyway!

What inspired you to write Prisms? Prisms Front Cover

The inspiration actually came to me when I was in my room, staring out my window on a summer’s day. It was scorching, the kind of weather where your clothes stick to everything and I started thinking about frost forming on the window. I began writing a line of poetry and just kept going. I realised it began to read more like the start of a novel and I finished what became the prologue of ‘Prisms’. From there, I went back to the start and created a world for these characters I’d brought to life.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

It would have to be Catherine Morland from Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’. She’s the perfect un-heroic heroin with a mind for gothic adventure. The kinds of stories we could come up with would be terrifying and since she wasn’t incredibly wealthy, we’d probably have a bowl of soup and crusty bread by candlelight. Simple.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I have a wide array of authors who inspire me but the one who features most in my mind is George Orwell. Not only is he the true creator of dystopian fiction but his accounts of his time in Paris and the short essays which shine perspective on our society are truly inspired.

If the world ended – what epic event (in your opinion) will have caused it?

This is a bit of a depressing answer but I don’t think it will be a natural event like an almighty storm or apocalyptic tidal wave. I think we’ll all destroy each other in nuclear warfare. If one country fires missiles, so will the rest and the world will become a nuclear warzone. But hell, I don’t think that’ll happen for a while! Maybe an idea for a new novel?

What are you working on at the moment?

I have a few bits and pieces on the go at the moment. I like keeping my hand in and changing things up every now and again so I’ve got a bit of a steampunk anti-superhero novel going, I’m trying to wrap my head around the sequel to ‘Prisms’, I have a short dark comedy murder mystery in the works and a story about travel across Europe. I don’t think anyone could say that I have a singular style!

Where can fans find you online?

My facebook page,, is updated a lot with my latest news. I’m also on Twitter at where I talk a lot about cakes and gaming, and my website is Come check me out!

Interview with Holli Anderson

907264_10200814485352916_525574333_nTell us about your publishing journey.

I feel very fortunate to have found Curiosity Quills Press and to have been accepted into their fold relatively quickly. I queried 5 agents with whom I had spoken at a writer’s conference in Seattle. Of those 5, one requested a full manuscript with some revisions before deciding she couldn’t take on another YA novel just then. A friend and fellow critique group member mentioned Curiosity Quills at a meeting one evening—and I queried them that next week. The rest, as they say, is history. They loved my manuscript, and here we are today with a newly released novel! The entire process was rather short, which is why I feel so fortunate. The time from finishing my novel to signing a contract with CQ was 6.5 months.

What part of being a writer do you love most?

I love the writing process. I’m not much of an outliner or planner when it comes to writing. I know the beginning and the end of my books, and I just let the characters and the story take me there. I love it when my story takes an unexpected turn—unexpected even to me, as I’m writing it. I love it when my own writing surprises me—makes me laugh or cry. Writing takes me away from the problems and stress of everyday life, especially when writing the first draft of something.

Which part do you hate the most?

I honestly haven’t “hated” any of it. I was worried about going through the editing process for the first time. I thought I would hate it. I worried about being asked to change my story that I’d worked so hard to create. As it turned out, I realized my editor was on my side! We worked together to make Five: Out of the Dark so much better than the original version.
If I had to pick something I don’t really like about being a writer, it would be the marketing aspect. I feel so clueless when it comes to marketing and publicity! Luckily the crew at Curiosity Quills has been fabulous to help promote my book. My husband, Steve, has been a huge help with this part of it, as well, and we really appreciate the many answers to questions and advice from CQ while he’s learning.

What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?

I love the advice given by Thomas S. Monson, “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” I wish I would have realized the wisdom in these words as a stressed out young mother.

If you could have a magical power, what would it be and why?

This is a tough one. If I could have only one magical power, I would choose healing. I am an ER nurse by day and a writer by night. It would be wonderful beyond measure to be able to help people suffering from horrible injuries and diseases. To lay my hands on someone and banish cancer to the outer regions of hell where it belongs, or to reconnect a severed spinal cord so a paralyzed victim could walk again, to relieve the terrifying inability to draw a breath caused by an asthma attack, to take away someone’s chronic pain—yeah, definitely healing.

What inspired you to write “Five Out of the Dark”?7762084-256-k921909

The idea for Five started with a very vivid dream I had. I woke from it and immediately wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. Teenage kids in an underground setting, fighting some unseen enemy that was trying to take away their ‘space’ there. I can’t remember if the kids were magic in my dream, but they definitely had to be magic for my book!

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

This is another hard question! I love so many of the characters I’ve come to know over years of reading. I think I would choose Harry Dresden—the wizard from Jim Butcher’s amazing series. Harry very frequently makes me laugh out loud as I read.
I would eat . . . pizza, not because it’s my favorite food (it isn’t), but because Harry lives in Chicago and I’ve always wanted to try the pizza there!

Who are your favorite authors and why?

If I had to pick one favorite author it would be Brandon Sanderson—the man is a genius! He could re-write the phone book and make it epic. His Mistborn series is one of the few series I’ve read in my life that I was completely floored by the unexpected ending. I had no idea it was coming.
I also love Jim Butcher (see the dinner question above). His characters can have me laughing one minute and crying the next—always sitting on the edge of my seat.
And, J.K. of course. I could re-read the Harry Potter books a hundred times and never be bored.
I could add dozens more, there are so many amazing authors out there.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on Book 2 of the Five series. The first draft is done and has been through my awesome critique group, now I just need to find the time to sit down and implement their suggestions and fix a few things before sending it off the my publisher.

Where can fans find you online?

I have a website that can be found at They can also like my Facebook page, Author Holli Anderson. I have a Twitter account @HaAuthor and I’m on Goodreads.

Buy Five out of the Dark

Nicky, thank you for the interview. I hope you all read and enjoy “Five: Out of the Dark”.  A pleasure Holli, I’m looking forward to book 2!

Interview with Debra Mullins

Deb MullinsTell us about your publishing journey.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I sold my first book in 1998 to Avon Books, a historical romance about pirates that got published in 1999. Since that time I have published a total of 13 historical romances, all with Avon. PRODIGAL SON is my first paranormal, published by Tor/Forge. I’m very excited, because I’ve wanted to write paranormals for a long time.

 What part of being a writer do you love most?

The ability to communicate with so many people through the written word. I write a story that I just made up from nothing. I make you believe it, and maybe you forget about your own troubles for a while. I’ve received letters from readers who told me exactly that, and it is very humbling. I want to keep doing that, to bring people a way to escape their problems, even for a short while.

 Which part do you hate most?

When the story is being stubborn. Writing is an almost mystical thing. I have no idea where my talent comes from, where these stories come from or where these characters come from. They just show up in my head and make demands. When I try to write the characters in a direction where they do not want to go, it’s like they fold their arms and stamp their feet and refuse to move until I turn them in another direction. Of course, I have to figure out what that direction is first! They won’t tell me. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

 If you could be a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A mermaid, definitely. I’ve always been fascinated by them, and I used to pretend to be one when I was a little girl swimming in the pool. I was a good swimmer and had long hair, so there you go!

 Vampires – scary monsters or romantic leads? Which do you prefer and why?

I’m not much for the scary. My imagination is too vivid, and if I watch scary things, I have nightmares for weeks. I’d have to say romantic leads, partly for that reason and partly because I am a huge Joss Whedon fan. He made vampires into romantic leads, and I loved every second of it.

 What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?

I wish someone had pointed out to me that I could go to college for writing. I wasted a lot of years bouncing around from different day jobs when I could have been making a living at other kinds of writing, even if my novels hadn’t been published yet.

 If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would have to go with Roarke from the J.D. Robb novels. I am first and foremost a romance writer, and my heritage is mostly Irish, so I am a sucker for a handsome Irishman, especially a smart, rich one! We’d dine on all my favorites: lobster and shrimp with risotto, a nice salad and cannoli and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.

 Who are your favourite authors and why?

Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb obviously. I’ve read every book she’s written, and I learned a lot about writing from her. She can say in three sentences what it takes other writers pages to say.

Mercedes Lackey. I adore her Valdemar series and have extra copies of The Last Herald Mage trilogy, since I keep re-reading them until they fall apart. So glad e-books exist now!

 What are you working on at the moment?

The second book in my TruthSeers trilogy. PRODIGAL SON is the first book.

 Where can fans find you online?

I have a website: You can email me there. I am also very active on Twitter (@debramullins).

About the Author:

Debra Mullins is the author of thirteen historical romances for Avon Books and one paranormal romance for Tor/Forge. Her books have been translated into several languages and nominated for awards from both the magazine RT Book Reviews and Romance Writers of America and its chapters, including the Golden Heart, the RITA, the Holt Medallion (twice), the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and the National Readers Choice Award. She also won the Golden Leaf Award for Best Historical for her book, A NECESSARY BRIDE.

Debra has spoken at various RWA chapter meetings, as well as the national RWA conference, the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference and the Emerald City Writers’ Conference in Seattle. In August 2009, she gave a full day special event for the Orange County chapter of Romance Writers of America with author Charlotte Carter, where she spoke on the topics of character and conflict.

Born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area, Debra now lives in California and has been actively writing for over twenty years. A language nerd, she could speak four languages by the time she graduated high school. At age 16, she went to France on a student exchange program for a summer. By the time she came home to the U.S., she was dreaming in French.

She is currently finishing a paranormal trilogy for Tor/Forge. The first book, PRODIGAL SON, is due out in October 2013. Debra is a member of Novelists Inc., Liberty States Fiction Writers, and several chapters of RWA. You can find her on Twitter using @debramullins and on the web at

ProdigalSonProdigal Son

By, Debra Mullins

Bounty hunter Rafe Montana is a Seer, descended from the fabled Atlanteans. He uses his inherited power to “see” criminals across the globe and track them down, and he’s just started on a new case. Danny Cangialosi is accused of disappearing with a stolen car…but for the first time in his life, when Rafe goes looking, he is unable to “see” him. Instead, his search leads him to Danny’s stubborn, meddling, and very cute stepsister, Cara McGaffigan.

Cara is looking for Danny, too, but not to turn him in. He is her brother, after all, and she’s convinced he has a good heart. If she can just find him before the cops do, she’ll figure out a way to get him out of this. But Cara didn’t count on a scorching-hot bounty hunter getting in her way.

Despite instant chemistry, Rafe and Cara know they’re never going to see eye-to-eye when it comes to Danny. What they don’t know is that Danny didn’t just steal a car—he stole a precious stone, a stone right out of the legends of Atlantis. It holds powers they can only dream of…and its owner wants it back.

Buy Debra’s Books

Interview with Kat Bastion

Shoe PhotoHello, Nicky! Thank you for inviting me to interview with you. I’m honored to be here.

Tell us about yourself?

I love paranormal romance novels, getting lost in the beauty of nature, and acting like a kid every chance I get! I also have an analytical business mind connected to my creative spirit and push paper around in an unglamorous day job. {whispers} I can see the phone booth and my red cape from my office window. ;)

Seeking to give in the world before I receive, I’ve become a champion for charities, the details of which can be found on my Charity Support and Awareness page.

A funny thing happened on the way to getting published…

Ooo…fun! Oh, am I in the middle of the sentence still? Well, that’s exactly what happened on the way to getting my award-winning paranormal romance novel published. I got distracted by the incandescent Robert Frost and then self-published Utterly Loved, a romantic book of poetry, for charity. With all the shiny, distracting options available to indie authors, my course changed. I decided to become an indie author. The adventure has been amazing.

If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be?

Only one? Hmmm…that’s a tough question. The easy answer would be one of the main characters in Forged in Dreams and Magick. I never go for easy, though. {grins}

I would love to have dinner with the brooding, immortal Skorpius. I’ve a strong feeling Sunshine has much to say, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. ;)

Do you believe in soul mates?

Absolutely. We each correspond to another soul in this world who complements our spirit as if created with the other in mind, bringing us alive and whole when connected to them. Could there be more than one? What an interesting thought . . .

If you had a time machine where would you go and why?FIDAM-Cover-682x1024

If I had a magickal box, I would go to the medieval Highlands . . . no . . . I’d go further back to the land of ancient Picts. Wait, I don’t have to. Isobel will take us there. ;)

Seriously. If I could, I would travel to the destinations Isobel does. And to the places she’s glimpsed along her journey: ancient Egypt, a pre-recorded Japan, Atlantis . . . how about the ancient Mayans? {adds them all to my travel itinerary}

What social media outlet do you find most rewarding as an author?

Twitter is unparalled for its immediate interaction and reach. I’ve made great friends in the 15 months I’ve been there, and continue to form connections and build relationships. Follow me on Twitter and say hello!

In addition, I’m new to Goodreads. Their wonderful platform enables me to connect with readers of the same genres of books I love to read. Friend request me there too! I’d love to chat about and share favorite paranormal and Highlander romance books with you!

What book are you reading at the moment?

I have a new reading addiction. Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling Series. I’m on the sixth book in the series, Branded by Fire.

What was your least favourite part of writing your book?

I don’t have a least favorite part. Each stage of the process feeds a different part of my creativity, from the drafting, to the editing, to the proofing. Even something as monotonous as proofing is rewarding to me when I find that missing typo or end quote. My favorite part? Editing. I love polishing with editing magic until the story shimmers off of the page into a vivid work of art.

Who are your favourite authors?

With regard to Highlander novels and authors who inspired me to write them, there were two. Judith McNaught’s A Kingdom of Dreams was my first Highlander romance. Julie Garwood’s Ransom was the next Highlander romance that blew me away. Both books I’ve read more than once, and I highly recommend them.

In the paranormal realm, J.R. Ward, with her artfully executed paranormal Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, and Karen Marie Moning, in her unparalleled urban fantasy Fever Series, have both inspired me to write more complex stories and deeper characters.

In contemporary romance, Sylvain Reynard penned two amazing contemporary romance novels about faith, love, and redemption. Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture are both new favorite books of mine. Reynard has become an inspiration in how he uses his author platform to support and bring awareness to charities. His influence was an integral part of the foundation for Utterly Loved and inspired a greater purpose for the proceeds of my writing.

A treasure I stumbled across and cherish? Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her writing is an incredible reflection on finding happiness as we discover who we are. The journey she takes us on is a coming-of-age story not defined by the number of years in our life, but in the happiness we find within it.

In paranormal romance, I also love Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lara Adrian, and as I mentioned above, Nalini Singh.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Relax and have fun with writing. Creativity comes from the free-flowing, adventurous place in our minds.

Where can fans find you online?

Below are my online locales:


Goodreads profile


Talk to the Shoe blog

Kat Bastion’s website

Forged in Dreams and Magick on Goodreads

Bound by Wish and Mistletoe on Goodreads

Kat’s Charity Support and Awareness Page

Interview with Karen Greco

Karen Greco Author PhotoTell us about your publishing journey
I came to it late, I suppose. I was a playwright, and then life kind of sent me down a different path. I started and stopped a number of different projects, but always put them away. I just had no interest in playing the agent game, the submission game, and all that. It’s all quite arbitrary really. Then my mom got sick with a rare neurological disease, which may be hereditary, and I had that moment when I realized if I didn’t at least try, I would probably regret it. That’s when the clock started ticking.
What part of being a writer do you love most?
Spending time with my characters, even the naughty ones. They make me laugh, exasperate me, make me cry. It’s either great fun or really cathartic, depending on their behavior!
Which part do you hate most?
This is more a love/hate. I love just being alone with my writing, but at a certain point, I really wish there was someone plowing through it with me. I have sounding boards, but after spending so much time in my own world, bringing others in can be complicated.
What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?
I am not sure if it was specific advice exactly, but I think it was to ignore the naysayers. There will always be naysayers and critics. Can you live with yourself if you don’t try? And it’s really really hard to get over that fear. Writing is such personal work, to get criticized hurts on a personal level. But then you have to remember all the people who love your work and are amazing supporters. You have to write for them.
If you could have a magical power, what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to concoct potions. I love to cook, so to cook up magic potions… That would be amazing.
What inspired you to write Hell’s Belle?  belle
A whole bunch of things. My mom, my daughter. But the actual idea came from its location–Providence. It’s such a neat little city with such great history and beautiful old architecture. The setting really inspired the story.
If you could be a supernatural creature – what would you be and why?
Oh wow. I think I would have to go with witch. While you don’t get immortality or super strength, you do get wisdom and power. I think that’s a great mix.
Vampires – romantic leads or monsters that have lost their literary way? 
How about romantic loads that are also monsters! Vampires were born seducers–killing someone by taking something as vital as blood by the intimacy of a bite. It’s really quite seductive when you think about it. Even the Stokers Dracula was a hopeless romantic. Dracular, at its core, is a love story.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Oh this is HARD. I would love to spend a night on the town with Sandman Slim (Richard Kadrey).  I know he loves donuts, but I think our date requires steak. Or a really solid burger. And there would be lots of beer and tequila and much carousing. I bet we’d get in a lot of trouble.
Who are your favourite authors and why?
Richard Kadrey and Mike Carey create these amazing worlds and I love that they have these really gritty sexy anti-heros. I will pretty much read anything those guys write.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on book two of the Hell’s Belle series, and I am also working on a horror novel — I am about to take a class with Jack Ketchum to kick start, and I am really stoked about that. There is a YA novel is simmering on the back burner, also urban fantasy but for a younger audience, so my daughter can read it. I wish I had more hours in the day to work on them. Unfortunately, I can’t quit my day job, so it may take me a while to plow through. But I am really excited about all of them. They are stories I am dying to tell!
Where can fans find you online?

Book Review and Interview: Resilient by Patricia Vanasse

Resilient book cover finalSynopsis:
Livia has never felt like she fits in. As normal as it sounds, Livia is anything but ordinary. She can feel every emotion of every single person around her, and it’s maddening. In pursuit of some psychic quiet, she moves with her family from New York City to Whidbey Island in the lush and sleepy Pacific Northwest. But when a horseback riding accident in her new home gives her a broken leg that heals in a day, she finds that another unexplainable ability has manifested, and her life isn’t about to get any easier.

Adam has no problem fitting in and making friends. In fact, he’s the top of the school, the boy everyone knows and loves. However, people only see what he allows them to. No one knows what Adam is truly capable of. After witnessing Livia’s accident, Adam sees something intriguing in her quick recovery, something that gives him hope that he’s not alone.
Adam is the only one whose emotions Livia can’t read. Afraid of not knowing what goes on behind his dark eyes, Livia decides to keep him at a distance. Yet the more she tries to ignore him, the more alluring he becomes, and while their personal quests for identity will inevitably bring them closer together, it is the confirmation of what they really are that threatens to tear them apart.

Resilient, told in alternating point of views, is a gripping story of survival and romance, in which two teenagers face the consequences of being anything but normal.

About the author: Patricia head shot

Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two adorable children, and two crazy dogs. She has been trough Culinary Arts, Psychology, Law School, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing. She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible. Her weakness- an obsessive relationship with caffeine.


Tell us about your publishing journey.
I started writing Resilient July 2011. I took it slow in the beginning. I was just messing around. I had never written anything before, I was just testing it out, wondering if could do it. When I reached page 50. I decided to ask for outside opinions, and I found this amazing freelancer editor, Sarah Cypher, who gave me great feedback and helped me polish Resilient.  I attended my first writer’s conference and loved it. I learned so much. Also, I learned that I needed an agent in order to reach a publishing house. 
I researched for hours and days reading about the average 20-30 rejections author get before finding an agent. I knew how important it was to have an agent for many different reasons, but I was not excited about rejections and didn’t want that experience. However, I met a couple agents at a conference. I liked them and I decided to send them a query. I learned that rejection stings and that I had enough. I wanted to send Resilient straight to a publishing house, but they didn’t take unsolicited queries. I research some more and found out that I could query smaller publishers. I remembered hearing authors praising small presses. They loved working with small publishers because they felt like part of the family. May 2012,  I sent Resilient to five small publishers. Three requested a full, two offered a contract. I went with Pants on Fire Press because I felt like we connected better. I’m glad I did, they’re amazing and very approachable. It was the right house for Resilient. 
Who are your favorite authors and why?
I have many favorite authors, but to name three in the YA world. I’d say Simone Elkeles- She made me fall in love with YA. I love the way her characters feel so real.
Katie McGarry- She writes with so much emotion I feel like I’m in the book. I cry and laugh then I think about her stories for days. 
Jenny Han, I just can’t put her books down. 
What was the last book you read?
Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
What advice would you give to inspiring writers?
Read, read, and read. Attend conferences, workshops, research, connect, learn, and believe in yourself. 
What made you pick the genre you write in?
I love everything YA. When you are young, you are constantly changing, learning, and growing.  Your life is full of possibilities, and you can change everything in the blink of an eye. You’re free, not rooted, and your emotions are running high. I believe that with YA, anything can happen. 
Which of your characters in Resilient is most like you?
I try not to portrait myself into my characters, I don’t want to be the book. But I’d say Livia. She cares about people around her, she’s thankful for the good things she has in life, like her family.  She’s determined when she knows what she wants. I think I’m like that too. 
Which character would you not like to meet in a dark alley?
I would not like to meet Aaron anywhere. In Awakened, the sequel of Resilient, we’ll see more into his psych, but it’s safe to say, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around him. 
What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?
I don’t like the second round of edits and revisions. The more I read, the more I change, and then I don’t like it anymore. 
You write in present tense – was this difficult to maintain?
No, I find it easier than past tense. 
If you had a super power – what would you like it to be?
Teleportation- the ability to instantly move between two locations.
My Review:
I found Resilient a really interesting book. It was incredibly well written and thought-out. The characters draw you in and it gives readers a real YA book that doesn’t simply revolve around a doomed love triangle. It’s told from both the girl’s and boy’s point of views so gives the author more opportunity for depth of both characters and intrigue for the readers.
From a writer’s perspective I was impressed that present tense is used well and consistently throughout. Most books tend to be past tense, but writing in presence really gives it an air of tension that past wouldn’t give. The plot was a little slow in places, but very believable – even though it deals with some sci-fi style themes.
The front cover is ok, but I feel it really doesn’t do the book justice. It really should have had both main characters on the front – as they are equally represented in the text. If I had been marketing the book, I’d have also stuck one of the horses in their too (horse led YA seems to be a genre all on its own so would have widened it’s instant appeal to potential readers)
Overall I’d give the book 4 out of 5 stars. Beautifully written and well plotted out. Looking forward to book 2.
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Book can be found at: GoodReads | 

Interview with Mathias Jansson

With me today is Mathias Jansson  who is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has been published in magazines as The Horror Zine Magazine  SNM Horror Magazine, Dark Eclipse, Schlock, The Sirens Call and The Poetry Box. He has also contributed to several anthologies from Horrified Press as Just One More Step, Suffer Eternal anthology Volume 1-3, Hell Whore Anthology Volume 1-3.Homepage:
When did you realise you wanted to be a horror writer?
I haven’t realized it yet. I started as a young boy to write drama and non horror poetry in Swedish, but about a year ago I realized that it was fun to write horror and people seemed to like my poems, so that´s how it started. It´s to soon to say what will happen in the further if I will be a horror writer or not
What was the first story you got published? Is there anything you’d change about it now?
If we talk horror genre I can’t ‘ remember, a poem of course. Since it got published I must have made something right, but I think as all people that write a lot, you learn by time and after a while you see your old stories and poems with new eyes and always find things that you could improve or change.
What’s your thoughts on authors and social media? Which sites do you prefer?
I think Internet and social media have been a great improvement for indie and new authors.  It’s much easier to find people with the same interest, readers, authors and editors. It have help me a lot. I would call myself a Facebook junkie.
What’s your favourite horror monster and why?
Dr Faust but he is not a horror monster, but an interesting character, mythic and mystic,in his dualism between good and evil. Otherwise I would say the Golem, as an example when people try to control nature but are hit by a backlash.
 What is the worst mistake a new writer can make? And what advice would you give them?
As a new writer you make a ton of mistakes, that’s how you learn to write. But the worst mistake is not to listen to your inner voice. You can read books how you will write a good story just followed the standard horror genre template, but to succeed you need a true and unique voice, and then you have to follow your own path. So a good advice is to write what you want to read yourself and not what you think others will read. And then you need a great confidence to continue despite all rejections. There are lot of histories with famous author that were constantly rejected before someone published there book or authors unknown to the major public during their lifetime but now are know worldwide, that kind of stories could inspire you in your work.

Interview with Lisa Collicutt

Lisa Collicut

Lisa Collicutt

A big welcome to my fellow Noble Romance author Lisa Collicutt. She likes to write dark and twisted tales of magic and romance. She has a passion for Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal. When she’s not conjuring tales about witches, demons, and other magical beings, she can be found leathered and bound to the back of her husband’s Harley, touring her homeland of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Enter Lisa’s imagination where light ends and fantasy begins. But heed these warnings . . . it’s dark, it’s magical, you may experience tingles.

The Gathering Darkness see soul mates re-uniting – do you believe in soul mates, and what’s your take on modern love?

Sure, I believe in soul-mates. I’m married to mine. Although sometimes I think we’re complete opposites. I also believe destiny brought us together. So, soul-mates and destiny – absolutely.

Modern love could use a touch of chivalry for sure. That’s where being a writer comes in handy. I can easily add all the chivalry I want – or not – into my romance novels. Here’s something I’ve said before: there’s nothing like first glances, touches, and kisses. These firsts are one of my favourite aspect to write about. It puts me back in the day

What book (out at the moment) did you wish you’d written, and why?

Great question. I’ve read so many and actually said “I wish I’d written that.” But the latest one that comes to mind is; The Red Brick Road. Now, I didn’t read the story, but I so wish I’d thought of that title first. The Wizard of Oz has deep meaning to me. And I’ve always wondered where the red brick road lead, but never thought about writing about it until I saw that title somewhere. So I’m quite bummed that I didn’t think of it first.

What’s your fav mythical creature and why?

Dragons are by far my favourite mythical creature. They can be good or bad. They come in rainbows of colors. Can be very wise or downright nasty. And they are magical. There’s so much you can do with a dragon.

If you were to cast The Gathering Darkness, which actors would you chose and why?

Well, I always saw Matt Lanter as Marcus. And Victoria Justice would make a perfect Brooke. But you know what? I’m not at all apposed to making stars from new talent, as long as I get to pick them. I haven’t really thought about the rest of the cast.

Your book The Devil’s Flower has a number of genres delicately wrapped between its petals – what’s you fav genre to write in?

That’s hard. I’d like to say paranormal romance and call it one genre, ha-ha. I need both, but I guess the one I couldn’t write without would be romance.

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now, I’m working on the beginning of the second book in the Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt series (Book one out July 25/13).

How can fans find you online?

I would love it if you all would visit my blog, follow me on Twitter, and like me on Facebook.

Thank you so much, Nicky, for your hospitality – You are very welcome, come back anytime!

To Buy Lisa’s books click on the front covers to be taken to Amazon.

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