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Currently Browsing: Author Guest Post
Feb
6

Author Guest Post: Sharon Lynn Fisher

Author Guest Post: Sharon Lynn Fisher Sharon Lynn Fisher Originally I had planned to write about what women bring to sci-fi, but the more I thought about that, the more I thought it would be easy to fall into the trap of stereotypes and generalizations. We’ve all heard it said that female-penned sci-fi focuses more on so-called soft science than the hard science preferred by their male counterparts. Whenever I hear this, I think about the sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land (author Robert Heinlein), considered by some to be the greatest sci-fi novel ever written. I recall that book mostly being about relationships and culture and sex. In contrast, one of my favorite recent sci-fi romance reads (written by a woman), a story I judged for a contest, was the grittiest, techiest thing I’ve ever read. I’ve also heard it said that female authors’ characters have more depth. I had a much easier time identifying with Wool characters (author Hugh Howey) than with the protagonist of The Left Hand of Darkness (author Ursula K. Le Guin), who by the end I still didn’t feel like I understood on a personal level. And if you want to bring relationships into the discussion, whether romantic or platonic, Howey’s are of a far kinder, gentler variety than those written by literary sci-fi great Margaret Atwood. After pondering all this for a while, I came to the conclusion that people write how people write, and saying male authors are one way and females are another is not particularly useful because we either enjoy their storytelling or we don’t. I love Atwood’s writing, but if I’m looking for something uplifting it’s the last thing I’m going to pick up. But if we tweak this question a little bit I think it gets more interesting. What do romance writers, male or female, bring to sci-fi? How are their stories different than those classified as pure sci-fi? This I think I can speak to a little bit. Sci-fi romances are character-driven by their very nature. For a book to be characterized as sci-fi romance, the romance has to be central. Its development has to move the plot forward. External factors have a role as well — often a strong role; my own stories are about half and half — but the story is always moving toward a satisfying relationship outcome. While there can be a lot of variation in how strong the romantic tone of the book is, they all...
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Nov
4

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Hailey Edwards

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Hailey Edwards Today paranormal/urban fantasy author Hailey Edwards is here to share with us more about her new Black Dog series. Please help me welcome Hailey to That’s What I’m Talking About… Ominous Beginnings When the wisp of an idea for the Black Dog series floated through my mind, I dismissed it. My first thought being that fae in urban fantasy settings were overdone. (Not that it stops me from gobbling them down!) But whenever I sit back and try to tell myself what I shouldn’t write and why, the final decision ultimately boils down to Do I want to write this book? Me? Even if no one else ever reads it, will I be happier for having written it? For me, the answers were yes to all of the above. What’s the point of writing if not to enjoy it, right? So here we are. I wrote the series, and I used an unusual fae to do it. The heroine is named Thierry Thackeray, and she’s the daughter of the Black Dog of Faerie. She’s also half-human, and her powers are one part grim reaper and one part skinwalker. The Black Dog is the name for a death portent that appears most often as a huge dog (often calf-sized) with large glowing eyes. The color of the fur and the eyes vary, but the beast is most often black or green furred with green or red eyes. Stories of the dog are fairly common in European folklore and they’re frequently mentioned in Scottish and English lore. Sometimes called hellhounds, the spectral creatures usually haunt specific locations. Dark and winding roads are a favorite, as are crossroads. More than instruments of death, they’re also blamed for changes in weather patterns and occasionally charged with guarding treasures of great importance. The Black Dog series is built around the Cù-Sìth myth in particular. The Cù-Sìth is the Scottish name of a mythological hound. Its appearance is similar to that of a wolf with shaggy, dark green fur. It’s known for prowling the moors and highlands for its next victim. Similar to the grim reaper, the Cù-Sìth is a harbinger of death. They collect souls and escort them into the afterlife. It’s said they release three barks and no more. If you haven’t reached safety by the third bark, you literally die of fright. In Dog with a Bone, my heroine, Thierry, is the daughter of the Black Dog of Faerie. Half-bloods with Thierry’s skill set are given...
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Oct
3

Author Guest Post: Kenya Carlton

Author Guest Post: Kenya Carlton Today author Kenya Carlton shares a fun post about the differences between comic books and graphic novels. She’s also sharing an excerpt from her latest title, Sinfully Ever After. Please welcome Kenya to That’s What I’m Talking About… Comic Books or Graphic Novels? What’s the difference? During my young and impressionable youth, comic books were everywhere. My big brother’s main hobby still remains with him until this very day. To be honest, I’m not much of a comic book fan. I can show appreciation for the art, but I was never truly pulled into fandom. The storylines closely resemble a daily dramatic television program (get where I’m going with this?). Whether or not Cyclops ever found his true love with Jean Grey, or married her clone, Madelyn Pryor, never fascinated me much. An avid book reader from yonder, I stuck to the written word … until I came across Graphic Novels. No, it’s not the same. Comics and graphic novels are vastly different. Comic books consist of long standing story lines. Clark Kent and Lana, or Clark Kent and Lois. Batman and The Joker, or Batman and Mr. Freeze. These love affairs, or feuds, (same thing) have and will last forever. Comic books are basically a well drawn soap opera (yep, I went there). Generally PG to PG13, comics are a shorter read targeted at a younger audience. Graphic novels are not a series of books where the storyline lasts for over 50 years. Closer to short books, this art form has a limited amount of edition before it completely ends. With a rating around PG 13-R, graphic novels are mainly for adults, hence the term graphic. A story arc that has a beginning, middle, and an end, these novels don’t necessarily have an ever after. Every year, comic related movies hold the top spot on every summer movie list, and a number of graphic novels have followed. I’ve been through a few of these popular series, and there is a couple still in my TBR pile. Here’s a rundown of some popular titles that have been made into movies, or are on their awesomely drawn way to the big screen. Easily accessible on DVD or internet streaming, these titles were chosen for all of those virgins in the crowd. That way we can ease everyone in slow (yep, I went there as well). 🙂 300 Frank Miller The Wanted Mark Millars Hellboy Mike Mignola The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Alan...
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Sep
18

Author Guest Post: Kim Mullican

Author Guest Post: Kim Mullican Please welcome author Kim Mullican to That’s What I’m Talking About. Kim is here to talk about the fun research she did while writing her latest title, Thicker Than Water.  While I try not to be a chauvinist, I have said more times than I care to admit that men just don’t grow up. What does this make me? Well, it makes me a hypocrite. When researching for Thicker Than Water I found myself distracted by the tools of the Private Investigator trade. Sure, a high powered camera is the first thing that comes to mind but what about spy stuff? Like real spy stuff. Cameras that take pics at different angles so the target doesn’t know you’re photographing them? My “research” led me to twelve hours of googling my little heart out and a true A.D.H.D. moment when I started looking at spy equipment. I totally forgot I was doing research for a book. I forgot that I needed to research how Michelle Mott would tail people without being seen. Because…toys. As many tools of the trade that there are from specialty cameras and listening devices, there are counterintelligence measures that can be taken…all for sale through Amazon! Holy Smokes! You mean I could spy on people and keep them from spying on me? Cool. Okay, so every prepper who runs across this post is now searching Amazon for counterintelligence devices. I turned into a 9 year old girl when I saw some of these devices. Buyers beware – some of these toys run into the thousands of dollars!!! About the Book: Blood may be thicker than water, but family isn’t necessarily who you’re related to. In this suspenseful mystery with a romantic twist, we follow Private Investigator Michelle Mott on her most exciting case to date. Wisecracking Mott has been a loner since her parents died. When Daniel Cardinale walks into her office with her most interesting case yet, his world threatens to turn hers upside down. He needs her to find out who is sending him anonymous money and what the truth is behind his dead fiancé’s demise. If his case weren’t complicating her life enough, local crime lord Gino Salito has taken an interest in Mott. Mott’s empty life begins to fill up with an unexpected and rag-tag group of people, and she’s afraid her dangerous life will take them away, leaving her alone once again. In truth, it’s Mott’s life that may be the one at risk....
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Sep
16

Author Guest Post: Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Author Guest Post: Sylvia Izzo Hunter Today we have debut author Sylvia Izzo Hunter at That’s What I’m Talking About. I asked her to talk tell us about what it’s like to write a cross-genre story. Ms. Hunter’s new book, The Midnight Queen, was released on September 2, 2014. Please help me welcome her to the blog.  Crossing the Streams: On Writing a Historical Fantasy It’s interesting that you raised this topic (thank you!), because I’m not sure I had thought of Noctis Magicae as a cross-genre series before. The more I think about it, the more I think that’s because many of my favourite books cross and mingle genres in a similar way. I’m going to actually add one more genre to the mix: alternat(iv)e history. (See next paragraph but one for explanation.) When I first got the idea that began THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN — it was just two people having a conversation in a garden in my head — I thought they might be Edwardian, or maybe Victorian. I knew that the young man was a university student, that he was working in his tutor’s garden under duress; I knew that the young woman was the tutor’s daughter, that she was the middle of three sisters, and that she was unhappy with her life; and I knew that their names were Gray Marshall and Sophie Callender. I didn’t yet have a firm sense of what their story was going to be, what country the garden was in, what the time period was — believe it or not, I didn’t even realize that there were going to be fantastical elements in the story! But the more bits of story I wrote, the more the characters started to speak and behave in ways appropriate to an earlier period, and thus we ended up with a setting that looks and feels more like Regency England than like the vaguely Edwardian era I started with. And once I’d made that shift, something interesting happened: the setting felt more real, elements of plot started to emerge more strongly, the characters and their voices took on a more defined shape, and the writing started to go faster. The historical and fantasy aspects of the book interacted in interesting ways during the writing and revision process.  The first thing that happened was that, having established that this world has magic in it and how that magic works, I started trying to imagine how the Church of England would deal with...
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Sep
15

Author Guest Post: S.M. Stelmack

Author Guest Post: S.M. Stelmack Today the writing team of Serge and Moira Stelmack, aka S.M. Stelmack, drops by for a fun, albeit a bit unconventional, author guest post. They are here to share more about their newest title, Midnight Everlasting and their series, The UnderCity Chronicles. Please help me welcoming Serge and Moira to That’s What I’m Talking About. The Starbucks was virtually empty when Serge arrived. Just a pair of giddy-looking young brunettes who’d been liberally imbibing the café’s beverages, and a 40-somethng knockout in a tight leather jacket, calmly sipping her latte by the corner. Moira Stelmack. His partner in crime. Together they’d been on some wild adventures, many of them well outside a PG rating, but as strong as their bond had grown he wasn’t sure how she was going to react to what he had to say today. Ignoring the over-caffeinated baristas he took a seat across from her, not waiting for an invitation. “Thought you hated this place.” She smiled, her green eyes lit with her trademark tease. She’d been thrown enough in life to not take anything too seriously. Especially him. “This time of day it’s quiet,” he replied. “And we’ve got business to take care of.” Her smile widened. “Kinky.” “I mean business business,” he clarified. “A blog called That’s What I’m Talking About.  They’ve been kind enough to invite us to write a post.” She pouted a little, swirling her coffee. “You’re no fun, and you know what they say about all work and no play.” “Moira, this is serious.” “Fine,” she replied. “So what do you want to do?” “I want to tell people about The UnderCity Chronicles.” Immediately he had her full attention, her casual demeanor evaporating as quickly as the steam from her latte. “Serge, those books are dangerous. They’re not what people are used to reading. Hell, they can’t even be classified as a specific genre. And the secrets—you really think the public’s ready to learn the story of what went on—what’s going on—beneath their feet? If they knew half the truth most of them would probably never be able to sleep with both eyes closed again.” Serge knew she was right. The Chronicles were a chimera of a series. They’d won the 2014 Rone Award for Best Mystery, but even with that label people couldn’t agree on what they were. Romantic Urban Fantasy seemed to fit the bill, but so did science fiction and horror. And yes, they weren’t for the Twilight crowd. The...
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Sep
11

Author Guest Post: Rebekah Weatherspoon

Author Guest Post: Rebekah Weatherspoon Today I welcome back Rebekah Weatherspoon to That’s What I’m Talking About. She’s here to share some of her personal experiences that went into the writing of her upcoming New Adult title, Treasure. Please help me welcome Rebekah to the blog. I think when a lot of people think of the New Adult genre, “angst” is one of the key descriptors that comes to mind. There are bad boys, all sorts of wrong sides of the tracks, the almost sexual assaults, and more dark pasts to shakes a stick at. One thing I like about the New Adult genre is that it tackles a period in life that is often overlooked in media. There are tons of books and television shows for kids from preschool to 18. and then the world seems to pick up again for the 25+ crowd. I think between the ages of 18 and 25 a lot of us did a lot of growing. I know I did. I finished college. Got my first car. Moved in with my first partner, worked THREE jobs at once, learned I wasn’t cut out to be a middle school teacher. During that time I also found my love of writing. It was a time for growth, but it was also a time when I struggled a great deal. I felt the first pull to end my life my senior year in high school. I was struggling with depression, undiagnosed vision problems, and undiagnosed ADHD, along with all the other fun stuff that comes with being an overweight black girl at a predominately white boarding school. Luckily, I had my father close by, and just having him there to listen and take as much of my pain as he could, gave me the will to hang on. He was there for me again in college when I felt the same pull and again in my early 20’s when those dark voices came back. It was his voice, and the voice of my significant other, who kept me from the closest I’ve been to the edge when in 2011, I finally made plans. I didn’t follow through with those plans and have since taken steps to really care for myself and put my own mental health before anything else. I’ve found joy in self care and joy in the strength it gives me to keep writing. When I decided to write Alexis and Trisha’s story, I wasn’t going for the angst factor. Instead I...
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Sep
9

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy

Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy Today I am happy to welcome author Jeffe Kennedy to That’s What I’m Talking About. Jeffe is here to share a little bit about her new release, Rogue’s Paradise. Please help me welcome Jeffe! Also, be sure to stop back later today for Una’s review of Rogue’s Paradise. Many thanks to Jen for hosting me here today, to celebrate the long-awaited release of Rogue’s Paradise – third in the Covenant of Thorns series and the culmination of Rogue and Gwynn’s adventures and complicated love affair. This has been such a journey for me, too, as book 1, Rogue’s Pawn, was my first published novel. It took me a long time to get that book placed, as it didn’t quite mesh with anything else out at the time. Since then, the genre of Fantasy Romance has really blossomed, with more and more readers discovering both the genre and this series over the last two years. It’s really quite thrilling. Excerpt: (Note: if you want to read what happens just prior to this excerpt, you can find it on the Contemporary Romance Café blog on Monday, September 8.) “What happened to the flying monkeys?” “They’re gone.” He cupped the back of my neck, tilting my head so he could nibble the sensitive underside of my jaw. I melted, moaning a little. “You are delicious, powerful Gwynn. That was far more than I needed. I’m glutted with you.” With a flick of a disgusted thought, Darling Hercules jumped down from the saddle, mentally muttering about there being no mice in this prey-forsaken place. “What did you do? How do we know they won’t keep coming?” I asked, my breath coming unevenly. “I…reversed them in a way. Instead of finding us, they go backwards.” “Clever.” “I’m flattered you think so.” He found my mouth again, kissing me long and sweet and deep, rocking against me. So help me, I wanted him like nothing I’d felt before. As if all the months of buildup, all that teasing and torment, had layered on, fueling my desire just a bit more with every encounter. This close to him, to his deeper thoughts and emotions, I knew Rogue felt it too. The unbearable need to bury ourselves in the other. “Gwynn,” Rogue murmured. “Say it can be now.” All those times I’d said no. All those arguments and my determined resistance. I might have paid my life debt to Rogue by promising to bear his child, but I’d at least been able...
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Aug
28

Author Guest Post: Kathy Bryson

Author Guest Post: Kathy Bryson I’m happy to introduce you to author Kathy Bryson who is here today to talk about how her characters torture her during the writing process! Plus learn more about her latest title, Restless Spirits. Please welcome Kathy to That’s What I’m Talking About! Writing coaches sometimes suggest that you need to torture your characters, that putting them in difficult situations can help move the plot along and give the characters more depth. Well, two books later, I’m here to tell you the truth. It’s the other way around – characters torture their authors! Take Megan O’Malley for example. In Feeling Lucky, she gets tipsy at her cousin’s wedding and pinches a cute guy’s butt. Is that any way for a grown woman to behave? How many of you would go crazy over a cute bum? Okay, you don’t have to answer that. We’ll move on – The guy she pinched, Fergus O’Reilly, is a leprechaun. And no, he’s not tiny. According to Irish etymology, leprechaun means ‘sons of Lugh’ or the Celtic god of commerce and war. Leprechauns are actually closer to Marines, doing whatever it takes to preserve their gold. Turns out the story of the wee folk is the leprechauns’ greatest trick! I suppose I really couldn’t expect full cooperation given the play I used as a basis for my story. If you research fairies, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes up regularly. I thought the fairies would be fun, but in that play, the Queen of the Fairies is tricked into falling in love with a donkey. Do you see the mentality I’m dealing with? I really should have thought that through more. My second book, Restless Spirits shares the same background in fairy folklore, though each can be read independently. Marilee Harper is already on the edge between her difficult mother and the prospect of losing her job. So does she knuckle down and get on with renovating a B&B? No, she does not! She fights with customer service on the phone, fires and rehires the help, and flirts outrageously with her boss! John Smith, poor guy, I did get to abuse. He’s kidnapped by the King of the Fairies. Shakespeare may have brought a long-standing feud to light in 1590-something, but it’s heating up in the modern-day Midwest. As if the ladies of Fayetteville didn’t have enough to manage with jobs, family, and erratic love lives, they’ve got a civil war on their hands! So bless my...
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Aug
14

Author Guest Post: Rebekah Weatherspoon

Author Guest Post: Rebekah Weatherspoon I am excited to have as my guest Rebekah Weatherspoon, author of adult and new adult romance, both contemporary and paranormal. Today Rebekah is here to share with us a little about her upcoming story, Burn, which is part of the All You Can Eat Anthology. Please help me welcome Rebekah Weatherspoon… Thank you for having me! Whenever there’s a conversation about me offering up a piece of writing, whether it’s a blog post, a full length novel, or a short story, there’s always that moment of pure panic. What in the heck am I going to write about? I’ve had a busy year. Novellas and short story releases almost back to back. My brain is pretty much fried, and the year isn’t even close to being over yet. For this post, being hella busy with release after release gives me a chance to talk about my next bit hitting shelves, Burn, which will be featured in the anthology All You Can Eat. I’ll let the editors of this steamy collection of works give you a little background on the project in their own words. First, R.G. Emanuelle and Andi Marquette have done an anthology prior to this. That one, through Bedazzled Ink, is “Skulls and Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates.” We had a great time with that, though doing anthologies is kind of like herding cats in some respects, because you’re dealing with several different authors and you’re trying to coordinate their schedules with the publisher’s schedule. So after we did that anthology, we decided that eventually, we’d like to do another one. But we weren’t really sure what topic that would be, so we back-burnered anthologies and focused on other projects. But then we started talking about it again last year. We had floated the idea of doing something with regard to food, but things didn’t really gel until last fall, when it hit us. Food. Romance. Erotica. Duh. R.G. is a lifelong foodie; she learned food and cooking from her mom, who immigrated from Italy via Argentina. She completed culinary school and worked as a food and travel writer, and also had her own personal chef business for a while.  Andi just likes food, and enjoys the interplay of food, culture, and social ties. So the two of them combined their different perspectives and decided to invite several authors to participate in an anthology whose main themes were food, romance, and/or erotica. They left it pretty open-ended, for writers to...
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