y'all it's happening again.we're moving. this time back to the motherland of Gainesville, home of the University of Florida. I'm excited because I love Gainesville. it's a nifty little town. so no more country living for us. moving in the summer isn't fun unless you're moving somewhere cooler. for those of you who don't know, Gainesville's temp is equivalent to that of the planet Mercury. we're moving ourselves so we are doing a little everyday, which makes the work seem like a death march. I never knew we had so much stuff. and I've even gotten rid of a bunch of things. the worst thing about moving is I have no energy to write. :(. that's bad because I've gotten behind. hopefully we'll be all moved in by july 4th and I can get back to writing. my characters are talking to me and I'm too tired to pay attention!
Ami, first congrats on The Day the Flowers Died. It’s a very powerful story.
I know the preface talks about why you wrote the story but did you have any previous interest in the period? Certainly. My family and I have watched many movies, documentaries in that time period. Just yesterday on PBS they showed lost footage filmed by a German for propaganda covering the Warsaw area. It really was astonishing and so sad. War time is always a very sensitive and volatile period to write in...I am also interested in Medieval period.
It’s a very dark period of history. Did your research leave any lasting impressions with you? I had never seen raw footage of Hitler in Munich before researching this and that stayed with me. The way everyone revered him like a God was freaky. I saw footage of President Hindenburg voting in black and white. I heard beautiful music from that time and all of it will stay with me. Reading accounts of survivors and some of their stories also left lasting impressions. The scene here Rebecca is in the hospital and the wounded Jewish won’t be helped is based on one such account.
The main characters are very realistically drawn. What methods do you use for character construction? They formed in my dream first and I think from that they left a very real impression which I tried to stay true to. I can’t say I use this method regularly, because its never happened to me before except for this book. But to stay authentic to the time period I had to go through many drafts of rewriting, educating myself on the behaviors of that time and language used.
How hard was stepping away from what you usually write to write The Day the Flowers Died? Well, that was the third novel I ever wrote and honestly history/culture is a big part of who I am too. I intend to write more historical and cultural pieces later. Glass Tears will be out in 2012 and that is a story based in Tibet -occupied by Red China. I do write more paranormal/science fiction/fantasy than History/Cultural, but all of that is a big part of me. So, to answer the question shortly- it felt natural.
Tell us about your writing process. I begin with a seed of an idea, a storyline. than character are born who usually drive the plot lines further than I could have on my own, often changing or adding to the original story/plot. I outline as i go. I have a place I know I will begin and end with, but the middle is outlined as the characters become alive. What do you have next for readers? I am writing The Mers (A Mermaid twist) and She Speaks to Angels (An angel twist) and then Don’t Speak (a medium twist). Then I will write the last book in the shifter Evolutions, and Elfin saga and release Glass Tears as well.So I have my hands full for the next year!
Any advice for struggling writers? DO more, talk less:) BELIEVE in yourself against all odds! Ignore the critics, they are the ones who never DO!
Thanks Ami! Good luck with your tour of BOTH books!
Ami Blackwelder is a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. Growing up in Florida, she went to UCf and in 1997 received her BA in English and teaching credentials. She travelled overseas to teach in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered her second home now. She has always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, her novels began when she was in Thailand.
Having won the Best Fiction Award from the University of Central Florida (Yes, The Blair Witch Project University;), her fiction From Joy We Come, Unto Joy We Return was published in the on campus literary magazine: Cypress Dome and remains to this day in University libraries around the country. Later, she achieved the Semi-Finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest and published a few poems in the Thailand’s Expat magazine, and an article in the Thailand’s People newspaper. Additionally, she has published poetry in the Korea’s AIM magazine, the American Poetic Monthly magazine and Twisted Dreams Magazine.
Hugs go out to Adventures of The Cautionary Tale for joining in on the blog tour for A Warrior’s Witch. We’ve chatted along the way and discovered a bit about Talon, but let’s chat a little about the Master of Witches, Zia.
When I wrote The Magical Sword series, Zia always felt like the mother figure. She’s very sensible and is always the voice of reason. She seems to know what’s going on with others—even when they wish she didn’t—and for me, she always pushed for Nexi to find peace in her life.
So when I decided to write, A Warrior’s Witch, I wasn’t quite sure where the story would go and how Zia’s character would develop. I must admit as the story progressed, I fell in love with her even more than I already was. Not only was she a strong woman, had a wonderful heart, but she amused me every step of the way. Her reactions to the situations she found herself in made me laugh, and I got to see a whole nother side of Zia I didn’t know existed. She’s a feisty, sweet woman, who let her own emotions take a backside to her responsibilities.
Creating a happily ever after for Zia felt more like an obligation than a plot in the story, because she deserved it, and I enjoyed being with her every step of the way.
To celebrate this release I’m giving away reader’s choice from my backlist. Leave a comment with your email address to be entered, and don’t forget to stop by my website (http://www.staceykennedy.com) to choose which book you’d like if you won. Good luck!
Decades old guilt collide with a murder, igniting a battle in a warrior’s soul to choose between love and duty…
Murder has brought Talon, Master of Guardians, as well as Zia, his witch and Master of Witches, to Chicago. The manner of death appears to be a suicide, but Talon is far from ready to close the case. To avenge the Guardian linked to his past, he agrees to take on the assignment, and find her killer.
As they dive deeper into the investigation, they find themselves entering a world where BDSM is the norm. A lifestyle that Zia is uncomfortable with and, rattled by this new development, she is more than ready to return to the Otherworld. But their investigation quickly takes an unexpected twist when they discover that they’re not only hunting a killer but also someone who is controlling supernaturals in Chicago.
Their mission not only brings danger, but also forces Talon to deal with decades old guilt that corrodes his soul. Every event that unfolds only deepens his fight and pushes him to face an ultimate choice—what is more important—his duty to the Otherworld or the witch he holds closest to his heart?
Stacey Kennedy is an avid lover of the paranormal romance, urban fantasy and erotic romance genres. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband. Be sure to drop her a line at www.staceykennedy.com, she loves to hear from her readers.
Follow the tour and enter!!
Next stop is June 22 at Kelsey's Book Corner http://kelseyopsahl.blogspot.com
But don't forget to comment here so you can win one of Stacey's awesome books!FREE BOOK= AWESOME!!!
Mom is reapplying her lipstick when I open the car door. She startles at the sound and shoves the tube of Tutti Frutti Pink up her nose. I don’t even try to cover my laugh. Really, that could not have worked any better if I’d planned it. I wish I could say this chronic primping started after the divorce, but sadly, no. I wouldn’t be surprised to find dividend checks from all the major cosmetics companies in our mailbox.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that!” she says, examining the mess in the mirror.
“Sorry.” As I slide into the front seat, I move her makeup bag to the armrest and hand her a tissue to wipe the lipstick off her nose. Then I flip open the mirror in the visor to check my own face. Yep, it’s still there behind my geek-chic specs. My glasses are top, but it would be nice if my eyes didn’t have that mopey puppy look. I slam the visor back in place. Aarf.
“Don’t do that to my car,” Mom says, completing her retouch with a mist of Christian Dior Poison, which sticks to the back of my throat. I give a little hairball cough.
“Sorry,” I say again, and then wonder why I’m the one apologizing when she just tried to asphyxiate me with a poison cloud. I hate that the word sorry comes out of my mouth more than any other in my vocabulary when I’m around her. It’s only one of a jillion reasons I’d rather be with my dad. The problem is I haven’t yet come up with a clever plan for bringing Dad back from all his business trips. And it seems like some corporate emergency always interrupts my weekends with him. Not that I would ever admit that to Mom.
I talk to Dad more often when he’s out of town than I do when he’s here. We use that walkie-talkie thing on our cell phones all the time. I give him the lowdown on Mom’s most recent embarrassing moment, and he tells me the latest factoids he picked up from watching CNN in his hotel room. I’ve blocked Mom’s number from mine so that she doesn’t have that same instant access to me; she has to use my phone number like everyone else. What’s funny is she still hasn’t figured out what I did. She keeps calling the company to complain about it, and she even exchanged her phone once. I felt kind of bad after that, but I refuse to unblock her. I have my boundaries.
“So what did you talk about?” Mom says as soon as we pull out of the parking lot.
GRRRR. This is exactly the reason she can’t know about my panic attacks. Not only is she prying, she’s also taking it for granted that I’m going to spill. I open my mouth to deflect her nosiness with some clever bit of sarcasm, but then I feel the first warning: a tightening in my chest.
Oh, come on. Not now.
I close my mouth and try to breathe normally through my nose. If I can keep from hyperventilating, maybe it won’t happen this time. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t being entirely truthful with Dr. Henry. The number of attacks has decreased. What I didn’t share was that the intensity of the ones I do have has increased. Exponentially.
“Kelsee, what did Dr. Henry say?” I hear Mom speaking, but her voice is hollow and it echoes in my ears in a pitch that’s too high, even for her. It amazes me that with all this weirdness going on inside my head, she can’t see that anything is wrong. I try to answer her in an attempt to keep reality in focus, but my jaw locks and a vibration hums through my teeth. The cars in front of us streak away on ribbons of silver, blue, and gold. Buildings and trees fly past our car in a muddy blur as if they’ve turned to liquid and smeared across the windows. Centrifugal force anchors my body in the seat, like I’m at the top of a rollercoaster loop, and the only movement I can manage is closing my eyes.
Oh Gilda, I pray, invoking the spirit of my favorite comedian. Help me now.
Keira Lea released her debut novel in April 2011. She is a devoted fan of the TV show FRINGE, a card-carrying member of the Apple cult, and a mother to two human children and three feline ones. She is working on a sequel to Replay.
Thanks for joining us here, Jennifer. Congrats on Eternal Hearts!
Thank you! And thanks so much for having me, Alison. :)
Your world building is awesome. You really put the reader in the story. Do you do a lot of research first or do you write from experience?
I think I tend to write more from experience than anything, unless I’m dealing with a character trait that I don’t have any personal experience with. For instance, Logan, the heroine of Eternal Seduction (book 1), was a homeless drug addict. I have a little bit of experience with being homeless, but I don’t have any when it comes to heroin addiction. So I definitely had to do some research to portray Logan’s addiction right. When it comes to anything else, like historical facts/dates or whatnot, I do a little research here and there – but I’ve given my supernatural world a somewhat alternate history so I don’t have to be too strict with the facts. :)
I love your vampires. They’re varied and flawed like humans. Is that how you think vamps and other paranormals should be?
Absolutely. To be honest, I can’t see them being any other way. I think when you take a character that was once human, or is only part human, there’s really only two directions for them to go. They’re either going to cling to their humanity with everything they have, or they’re going to cast it aside completely. And that one choice can draw out so many strengths and flaws in a single character, as well as recolor their entire personality. Not to mention, much like humans, rarely are one vampire’s experiences the same as the next, so it only makes sense to me that they’re as different and varied as we are.
What about vampires draws you to them?
When it comes to vampires, it’s definitely the immortality concept that draws me to them. I think the idea of someone living for hundreds of years, if not longer, is rather intriguing. I mean, when you think about all the events your parents and grandparents have witnessed over the course of their lives, all the choices they’ve made and how each one probably shaped their character somehow, it’s pretty remarkable. Now consider what living for 10,000+ years would most likely do to someone. The complexities of their personality, the ancient ideals and history they still ascribe to, clashing with the speed and beliefs of the modern world…for me it’s just fascinating to think about. Trying to bring that conflict out in my Ancient vampires, who all deal with it in a very different way, is easily what keeps me writing at the end of the day. ;)
Will you write more vampire fiction?
I sure hope to. :) I’ve planned roughly 15 books for the Darkness Within series, and they all feature at least one vampire as a lead character.
What do you plan on writing next?
Right now I’m working on final revisions of Eternal Embrace (book 3), as well as a novella trilogy entitled Ascension. I’m also working on a paranormal thriller trilogy with my husband, but it’s still in the planning stages – so it might be a while before it ever sees the light of day! ;)
Is there something you’d like to write? Something outside what you usually write?
I’d love to write an all out horror novel someday. You know, the kind of story that’s so dark and creepy, even if you’re 30 years old you still check the closet and under the bed before you turn the lights out. ;)
Describe your writing routine. Do you have a special room or chair? Do you listen to certain music?
As far as I can tell, I don’t really have a writing routine. I do have an office with a great chair, but I’m just as likely to write at the dining room table as I am in my office. All I really need is my laptop and some good music. I’ve tried before, but I just can’t write without music playing. And it doesn’t have to be anything special…just a song/band I like with a good rhythm. :)
What advice can you give to writers trying to get published?
No matter which direction you decide to go, whether you try for traditional publishing or go with self-publishing - do your research. If you’re going the traditional route, research the agents who handle your genre, research the right way to query the agents you’ve selected, and then research what to expect from the agent/author relationship as a whole. If you’re going the self-publishing route, research what true self-publishing is versus vanity publishing, research the growing list distribution options and author services available to you, and perhaps above all else - research every single professional (cover designer, editor, etc.) you consider working with…because they’re not all created equal. ;) I just can’t stress enough how important it is for you to know and understand the publishing industry before you even think about dipping your toes in!
Back cover blurb
Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago’s vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.
To ensure Toni’s safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can’t explain. But unbeknownst to him, he’s tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.
Drake’s legendary heritage holds the key to Toni’s survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all, can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?
Jennifer Turner lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, with her husband, twelve year old daughter and two cats. She regularly claims one of the aforementioned takes far more work than the others to maintain – but she won’t share which one. She’s the middle child between two brothers, and the favorite child of her parents. Of course, that’s always subject to opinion. Jennifer began her writing career as a self-published romance author, but is now represented by Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident Media Group. www.darknesswithinnovels.com her website! www.twitter.com/darknesswithin www.facebook.com/DarknessWithinJen www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferTurner www.jen-turner.blogspot.com
Jennifer has agreed to give away a copy of her awesome book Eternal Hearts! Just leave a comment with your email and I'll pick a winner on June 18th.