Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Q&A with Lisa A. Adams!




1.  Tell us about your newest release.

"Fire on Ice" is a LGBT short story that is being released with Breathless Press under their Flirts Line. It features two male characters. The lead, Marcus, is a hockey player and is forced to "come out" within the first page of the story. His world is turning upside down. In a sport known for its manly men, how will the world accept his sexuality? 


2.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

The story all started percolating when I went to go see my first live hockey game. The drive and the stamina was amazing and the players were hot. When Marcus first came to mind, I didn't know he was gay. I had him pictured with a sultry business minded brunette. It was very surprising to me that he was more interested in the men. But, the more of his story he told me, the more I knew that I had to write it.

3.  Do you have any interesting or quirks or rituals?

I cannot, absolutely cannot, write without a fresh cup of coffee when I sit down. Maybe not that strange for some, but it's bad. Even if I have half of a cup left, I have to finish it, and make a fresh cup before I start writing. I also force myself to write the first line of the next scene or the next chapter before I log off for the night. Somehow, just reading that first sentence the next day helps me remember where I was going. I start very quickly.

4.  What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

My father was a huge influence. He was addicted to reading and passed his love on to me. When I told him I wanted to write, he was excited and I remember spending nights with him hashing out the perfect sentence. My only regret is that he passed before I became published. My first book released was dedicated to him.

5.  What does your family think about your career as a published author?

All of my family members are extremely supportive. My mother, 83 year old grandmother, my husband, and my all of my children. My youngest are ten and tell their friends and teachers that I am a writer, my teenagers have read some of my books and even passed them on to their friends. I couldn't be more ecstatic about the amount I get from my family.

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Well, they tell you when you start writing, "Write what you know." I've taken this very literally. My heroines have taken part in my hobbies from quilting to camping. I love sports and watch football, soccer, and hockey regularly. These sports very often appear either as a side blurb or a main portion of my story line. I love watching the history channel and have written several historical short stories. Then there is the music I listen to. Often, you'll find song titles in my novellas based off of some of my favorites.

7.  Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?

I'm spreading my wings once again. I'm trying self-publishing and am working with a professional editor and cover artist to make sure I am ready to fight the good fight. My goal is to self-pub at least one short a year. Do I think I'll go there permanently? No. I enjoy working with the people at my publishing companies. Some of my editors have become my best friends. I can't give that up.

8.  How can readers connect with you online?

I absolutely love hearing from readers and aspiring or current authors! I do hope that would like to chat with me as well. If they're interested in keeping up with what's going on in my crazy writing life, they can always find me on Facebook, Twitter, or on my blog. I also have a great Pinterest account, but I don't use it to communicate much, but I do love to post boards that revolve around my books!  Catch me here!

-       Twitter: @LisaAdamsWriter
-       Blog: www.pen-the-dream.blogspot.com

Blurb:

Marcus Zankoriewicz is a leader in the National Hockey League… and has just announced he's gay.

Facing a firing squad of reporters accusing him of adultery with another player's wife, Marcus Zankoriewicz sees there's only one way out. He must make the announcement he knew would come one day.
But, this is hockey. Well known for its rough and manly men, Marcus must prepare himself for an onslaught of changes that threaten his career and love life.



Excerpt:

Marcus chuckled. "After all this time I ignored the questioning looks and there were still people who figured it out. I should have guessed."
"Don't get me wrong. You're definitely not flaming. In fact I bet my ass you're the hitter in the game."
Marcus grinned. "Really? You bet your ass?"
Justin rolled to his knees and stood in front of him. "Of course, you'll have to catch me first."
 


Bio:

Lisa A. Adams writes from a little plot of country, tucked away in the North Carolina Sandhills. When she's not writing, Lisa can be found in her sewing room, in a classroom, or at a local soccer field. When asked about her family, Lisa will be the first to tell you that they have been the backbone of not only her writing career, but anything she chooses to pursue as well. She has been married to her husband for over ten years, has five wonderful children, and two very spoiled cats.


 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Interview with B.J. Daniels with a book giveaway


1.) Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming release, Mercy?


I've never done a serial killer book because I like murders that are more personal. When I began writing MERCY (I write by the seat of my pants without any idea where the story is going until the characters tell me) I saw the opening and thought, "What is this about?"

The next thing I knew, I was on the trail of a possible serial killer with my rogue U.S. marshal Rourke Kincaid. I loved his perseverance (something writers know well.)
He took me for quite a ride before the book was finished. I ended up in the hospital at 3 a.m., 20 degrees below zero outside, with my first migraine. MERCY, the 5th book in the Beartooth, Montana series, became the book that almost killed me - and my first serial killer book.

2.) How did you come up with the title?

At the end of the first chapter, my killer is telling her victim to "Beg for mercy." But to me the title is more about having been given mercy (compassion, love, understanding) at some point in our lives and how that makes us the people we are.
When I was doing research on serial killers, I became fascinated by how one person in the same type of family situation becomes a killer and the other person doesn't.

3.) The cover illustration overlooks a small town. Can you tell us how this cover sets the tone for the book?

I write about small towns because that's what I know. The Beartooth series takes place in and around a small Montana town where everyone knows everyone else - and their business. But there are always secrets. Also, things work differently in places where everyone knows each other, so I have more leeway when it comes to even how law enforcement operates.

4.) You said that the books that you struggle with the most are the ones that you end up loving the most. Can you talk about the writing process for Mercy?

 
You mean the book that tried to kill me?  I do love this book though because of it. It was hard to write, but they say write what you know. I often write about characters from dysfunctional families. I grew up in one though I later realized there were families a whole lot worse than mine. Instead of becoming a serial killer, I became a writer. We both live in fantasy worlds where we settle scores, get revenge, make those in the wrong get what they have coming to them (at least what we think they have coming to them.)
Where I struggled with MERCY was giving the reader enough information and yet not giving away who the killer really was. I didn't want any of them to be the killers at one point. I cared too much about them and what they'd been through. I kept telling myself that I was wrong about who I suspected. There had to be someone else who did the killings. Talk about denial.
Also this book took a twist I wasn't expecting. I think all authors draw on their own life experiences. A lot of me and my life ends up in my books. I grew up with a mother who was…somewhat psychic. It scared her. I often wondered how that ability (who knows how strong it was since she fought it) would shape a person's life - or torture that person.
So it was bound to end up in one of my books.

5.) Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others?

I often struggle with the action scene during the climax. I just feel as if every fight scene has been done. It's easier to figure out how the good guys get the upper hand than the choreography of the fight.

6.) What was your favorite part of the book to write?

I loved creating all of the characters. I felt I knew them by the end. That's why I didn't want any of them to be guilty of the murders. They all wanted to be good people, but they were flawed and struggling with the hand they'd been dealt. We all know it isn't fair to blame your childhood once you're an adult, but that childhood is what shaped you and some people fight and fight to overcome it and just can't.

7.) Can you tell us a bit more about the town of Beartooth, MT and the people who live there?

They are mostly rural people who appreciate where they live and don't want it to change. They are often suspicious of newcomers. I know when I moved to a very small Montana town eight years ago, people kept asking me why I'd done such a thing. There are always those who dream of going to a bigger city. They are usually the ones who never leave though. So Beartooth and the community around it are people who know each other, who depend on each other and take care of their own.

8.) How do the dual locations of Seattle, WA and Beartooth, MT add to the story?

It's interesting but when people leave Montana for the big city it is often Seattle. It is surprising how many Montanans end up there because of better paying jobs.
But in this story you have a marshal who is like a fish out of water in a small town like Beartooth. Of the two women in the story, most people go to a big city to disappear but Cassie came to a small Montana town. Laura is a prime example of someone leaving Montana for greener grasses.

9.) How much research went into portraying a serial killer?

I can laugh about it now but a year ago the first week of September I took a whole stack of research books on serial killers and headed for the mountains. I was off the grid for a week and did nothing but read about serial killers. I swear between the grizzly bears that wandered through camp and the serial killer true stories, I had nightmares.

10.) Did things get too real when writing this book?

They did get too real in this book. I remember interviewing  Tim Cahill years ago when I worked for the newspaper. He was writing Buried Dreams: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer, the story of John Wayne Gacy. I remember him telling me that his wife hated it when he came home after interviewing Gacy. He said it was impossible not to bring it home with him and that thoughts of it lasted for years.

11.) Did you base the character of Callie Westfield on anyone?

I base my characters on no one and everyone. I've known people who did well in life and others who didn't. I've always been curious about what made them the way they were.
Callie had a classic serial killer background. One characteristic of a serial killer that I found very telling in my research was the person's relationship with his/her mother. The mother seemed the key.

12.) Can you tell us a little bit about Rourke Kincaid's internal struggle?

 
If you have ever loved someone you shouldn't, then you know what Rourke is going through. Love picks us sometimes, not the other way around. It is hard to go into something like that with rational thinking. You know you shouldn't for so many reasons and yet when you see that person, all rational thought goes out the window.
Also don't most of us think love can conquer all? Even as we are getting in deeper, we make excuses. We tell ourselves that we're fine, that we can get out at any time. Or worse, that the other person will change.
If this wasn't true, then there wouldn't be so many bad relationships where the warning signs were apparent before the couple went into it - and yet they couldn't seem to help themselves.

13.) Who would play Callie and Rourke in a movie?

I would love Amy Smart for Cassie and Alanna Uvbach for Laura. For Rourke…Paul Walker!


14.) What is the best advice you received when writing Mercy?

To not give up. It is hard sometimes. I would go home after work and tell my husband that this could be the book that never gets finished. He always says, "Oh, you'll be fine. You always finish them." He's not helpful.

15.) What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I hope they enjoy the mystery and the romance and it takes them away for however many hours it takes them to read it. I don't kid myself. I write escape fiction. It's okay too if I scare them a little. Mercy intrigued and scared me. Ultimately, there are some people who can't be saved - or let loose on the rest of society.


16.) What is your next project?

The Beartooth, Montana series continues with the six-book series: The Montana Hamiltons. The first book, WILD HORSES, will be out in March, followed by LONE RIDER, in July. It is the stories of the six Hamilton sisters. Their father, Senator Buckmaster Hamilton, is running for president of the United States. But as each of his daughters find romance - and trouble - it threatens his candidacy. The future of the country hangs in the balance by the sixth book because Buckmaster has a mystery of his own.




Learn more at: www.bjdaniels.com


Readers: Post a comment to be entered in a chance to win a copy of MERCY