Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freedom Giveaway Hop!

This is stop #46 on The Freedom Giveaway Hop!
Click HERE to go to the whole linkly list!
First things first - I know you are all wondering about the giveaway right?!!! 
I am giving away EIGHT (8) ebooks from Leanore Elliott!  There will be EIGHT (8) winners!



The Giveaway is open July 1 - 7, 2011 ~ To enter:
1. Must be a follower of The Wormhole
2. Must be at least 18 years old.
3. Must fill out the form below.
Good Luck!
I have had the opportunity to interview Leanore Elliott - 
- Please welcome her!
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? At age 6. Yes, was writing shorts at that age. Was a full-fledged verbal storyteller by ten years old.
? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer? Lots! Baker, Chef and Pastry Chef. Food server for Marriott's and even Denny's. Owned three restaurants and managed countless others. I've even cooked for thousands of Boy and Girl Scouts at camps. I was known as Momma Bear to the LA county Girl Scout Association.
? How long does it take you to write a book? I've been known to write a full novel in three weeks time. Did that for six books in a row, I wrote ten novels in 2010 and I've already written 4 novellas this year as well as two short stories.
? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I get the story idea from a dream and I feel if I don't start it right away, I'll lose it. The other is, I won't allow any plot or story changes by editors. They can change all else, but I'm superstitious about the story itself.
? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write? No, I have a by the seat of your pants way of writing and I just let it flow.
? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters? From dreams and once I saw an old John Wayne film and by accident, it had the Griffith Observatory, up on a mountain in the backdrop while he rode across the plain. If gave me the idea for my Western Paranormal story.
? How do you decide what you want to write about? I don't. I believe I have a muse and she decides and she spins it. I am nothing but a glorified editor.
? What books have most influenced your life? Romance novels of course and tons of them in my past. However, I have not read a full book since I took up writing professionally. Five years now, I guess because I don't have to. I get to read and write at the same time!
? What do you like to do when you are not writing? I'm obsessed with writing and all else has been shoved aside. I do cook and garden though. Hubby and I love to watch all the old classic in movies, especially old westerns.
? What is your favorite comfort food? That freaking awesome chocolate!
? What do you think makes a good story? Intrigue, mystery and a lot of suspense. Two people who are at odds, and then have feelings for each other. Some hot scenes and great action. I also must write paranormal, I've tried to write a contemporary story and it always takes that paranormal turn.
? Who would you consider your favorite author and why? Emily Dickinson, my hero. Why? She changed the way people looked at female authors.
? What book, if any, do you read over and over again? I've read the Flame and The Flower many times in the past. It's old I know, but it influenced me early on. I loved that book.
Fun random questions: 
·        dogs or cats? One dog and plenty of cats!
·        Coffee or tea? Both but coffee a lot.
·        Dark or milk chocolate? Both, and again; throw in some white chocolate as well and I'm so there!
·        Rocks or flowers? I garden flowers but I have a rock collection?
·        Night or day? Night… always night.
·        Favorite color? Red, have to admit it--Red bold and flashing and any variation of it, love burgundy.
·        Crayons or markers? Markers, they flow better and I'm all about the flow. (wink)
·        Pens or pencils? Pens, only I can never find one when I need it.
You can check out my reviews of Beholder and Lace and Leather by clicking HERE.


Thanks so much to Leanore for the fantastic interview and you all for reading it!
***you can buy Leanore Elliott's books on Amazon ***

These are some of the titles offered :

Review: Bonded by Blood by Laurie London

Bonded by Blood by Laurie London

*purchased this book

Amazon Product Description:
In this sizzling, sexy novel, debut author Laurie London invites readers into the Sweetblood world...

Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for
supremacy--Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill
like their ancient ancestors. 


Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she's cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations--vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him--and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her....
My thoughts:
The author takes the reader on an adventure filled with mystery, danger, romance, need, and desire.  What stands out for me are the characters!  She has created her vampires to be sexy, strong, honorable and driven.  She has given her vampires the ability to not only exist in the human world but thrive there.  Mackenzie is a rare sweet blood, both appealing and addicting to all vampires, and Dom is a vampire!  The attraction between the two is electric! Their relationship is hot, hot, hot!   Dom is fabulous and Mackenzie is simply wonderful.  The supporting characters throughout the book are strong and add volumes to the story. 
The story is fast paced, putting the book down wasn't even a consideration.  I found myself completely immersed into Mackenzie and Dom's world, hanging on each sentence while the story unfolded for me.  
*If this is what we are getting as a debut - I can't imagine what is in store for us!  Incredible!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blog Tour: Replay by Keira Lea (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the


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.

You can check out my review HERE!
Excerpt From Replay
by Keira Lea
I’ll admit that I’m a little disappointed that Patrick brought me to the Mediocre Theater CafĂ© for our date. Don’t get me wrong; this is, like, my place now. Almost as good as The Echo. But eating a half-stale sandwich is hardly my idea of a romantic dinner. I’m starting to realize that mediocre refers to the food, not the movies.
Well, I guess a date’s a date.
Looking Patrick in the eye is still weird for me. For months, I have tried to keep him from knowing that I was staring. When he goes to the counter to pick up our order, I focus on the movie screen so that I don’t accidentally gawk. I can’t help but to take a few peeks, though.
If I had to use only one word to describe Patrick, it would be relaxed. The guy does not seem to have a nerve in his body. As he walks between the crowded tables, he speaks to everyone he knows, pausing the right amount of time to say hi but not get caught up in a conversation. He smiles and nods at friends across the room. If I tried to do that, I would trip over a chair leg and land in someone’s lap at the precise second they try to take a sip of soup, leaving me with a faceful of broccoli and cheese.
Before Patrick returns with our food, I take a few cleansing breaths—being extra careful not to hit a breathing pattern that will trigger the chronokinesis—to stop my heart from beating so fast. On the third one, though, something goes terribly wrong, and I end up with a wicked case of hiccups. Oh, crap. A deep-breathing complication.
I hold my breath. (I think that’s what got me into this mess, though.)
Hiccup.
I try to suddenly think of the scariest thing ever. (My mother at five in the morning.)
Hiccup.
I stick my fingers in my ears. (What? I’ve heard it works.)
Hiccup.
Super crap. Okay, here’s the plan. As soon as Patrick gets back to the table, I will grab one of the water glasses and drink as much as I can. The hiccups will be washed away, and he will be none the wiser.
Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Here he comes.
“I hope these are okay. The bread looks a little dry, but you can’t get much better here. Sorry,” he says when he’s five feet away from the table. He’s balancing two sandwich plates and two glasses of water on an absurdly small tray.
I jump up and grab the water from him, almost upsetting the tray. I gulp down half of one of the glasses as he puts our plates on the table. It seems to be working. I tip up the glass for a little more just to make sure, and that’s when it happens.
An avalanche.
The ice water crashes into my face and slides down my shirt. I gasp when it hits my bare skin.
“Are you okay?” Patrick says, mopping my chest with a napkin. My flat, nonexistent, boy chest. Lovely. I keep waiting to hear, “Say, are there any new developments?” like Bill Murray says to Gilda in the Lisa Loopner sketches.
I respond with another resounding hiccup and then run to the ladies room.
Drying my shirt in front of the air dryer is an almost futile activity. Why am I such a klutzy geek? Why can’t I have just a tiny portion of Miranda’s grace? It’s no wonder Patrick never asked me out before this. I don’t even know why he took me out tonight. What I do know is that he will never do it again. As casual as he is, I’m sure he won’t risk being seen with clown girl in public again because no amount of self-ease can surmount the level of embarrassment I’m capable of producing.
After a few minutes of jabbing at the button on the dryer over and over, I realize that someone is knocking on the door. Thinking some poor girl is trying to get in while I’m standing here indulging in my little pity party, I turn around and open it.
It’s Patrick, of course. “Are you okay?” he says.
Involuntarily, I look down. The dryer did little to help my shirt. It sticks to my skin like damp newspaper. I cross my arms over my chest, not sure why I’m bothering. It’s not like he’s going to see anything that … well, anything.
“I think I’ve got a button-up shirt in my car,” he says. “You could wear it like a jacket until your shirt dries.”
“Okay, thanks,” I say, hoping he will leave before I melt into a puddle of shame on the floor.
Despite Patrick’s shirt, I start to shiver when we sit down again. In my embarrassed misery, the thought sneaks in before I can stop it: Maybe I can fix this. True, Patrick is digging into his mediocre sandwich like nothing has happened, but it’s our first date. I waited a long time for this. I want it to be perfect. A second chance is all I need.
After that day with Quinn’s unexpected change in clothes, I shouldn’t be doing this. That experience and all the others have made it clear I don’t have control over this thing yet.

You can buy a copy of Replay for $0.99 at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble

You can win a copy by filling out this form:



Thanks for stopping by!
The next stop on the tour is: June 30 –The Musings of M.D Christie 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Follower Location Update!

Over the weekend, I posted "Where are you from Dear Follower" in hopes of finding out where my followers are all located.  I am pleased that some of you have filled out the form and I was thrilled to find out the answer.
So...
This is a shout out to all those who have filled out the form!  LOVE YA!  Special greetings to those non-bloggers that said they were "just a reader" - so not true!

International followers from: 
Australia, UK, Malaysia, Austria, Philippines, Ontario, Lithuania,

US followers from:  
Tennessee, NH, Kentucky, Georgia, PA, Virginia, 
a couple fellow Minnesotans, Utah, Indiana, Idaho, Texas, Michigan

I hope I get more responses!  Click HERE to go the post.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In My Mailbox - This month

What has been in my mailbox this month?

From the authors for review:
Danann Frost Embraces the Darkness by Joanne Valiukas

Rising: Freestyle by Vivian Arend

Dark Rising by Lacey Weatherford

Forts: Fathers and Sons by Steven Novak
Won:
Everlasting by Alyson Noel - won at Books Love Me
Bridger by Megan Curd - won at A Tale of Many Reviews
Spider Web by Earlene Fowler - won at Once Upon a Twilight
Accidental Abduction by Eve Langlais - won at Getting Naughty Between the Sheets
The Geek Job by Eve Langlais - won at Karissas Books
*****Thanks so much to the bloggers listed above!!!
Blog tour participation books:
Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder
The Day the Flowers Died by Ami Blackwelder
A Warrior's Witch by Stacey Kennedy
Save My Soul by Zoe Winters
Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio
Replay by Keira Lea
and of course there are the NetGalley books and all the books I have purchased...who ever invented the one click button for Amazon - shame!
I hope you are taking more books off your TBR mountain than you are adding to it! Happy reading!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's a Blog Poll!

I saw that Amelia from Imagination In Focus was asking her followers where they were all from - I thought, "Wow! What a great question!" So I thought I would do the same thing.  So, in the spirit of curiosity - 
Where are you from dear follower?

Please fill out the form so I can see!
I am from Minnesota

Saturday, June 25, 2011

So Many WINNERS!!!


I have had a few different giveaways running at the same time here at The Wormhole so I decided to post all the winners in one post!  Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to the winners!!!

Stacey Kennedy offered a free backlist title to the winner:
#4 - Latisha D!


The winner of the Save My Soul Tour Giveaway :
#9 - Julia B!
wins an ecopy of Faustine!

The winners of The Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop are getting personalized ecopies of Danann Frost Embraces the Darkness by Joanne Valiukas.  Those winners are:

#32 - Angelshimmery
#4 - vidisha
# 28 - Joanna


All the winners have been contacted - Thanks again to everyone who entered!
Congrats again to all who won!!!

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton


*Netgalley book


Amazon Product Description:

First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.
Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.
Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.



My thoughts:
This was a wonderful story.  I enjoyed the characters.  They are well thought out, cleverly created and developed with a purpose.  The setting is realistic and easy to invest in.  The interactions between the characters is intriguing and entertaining.  I look forward to more from this author!

Review: The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder

The Shifters of 2040 (Shifter Evolutions: Book 3) by Ami Blackwelder

***I received this book (digital copy) in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.  The blog tour is being hosted by The Bookish Snob Tours.


Amazon Product Description:
Book three begins the saga, The Shifters of 2040. From that the reader may choose the past or the future. You may also read the saga chronologically.

America 2040.
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.

Summary: Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.

With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.

My thoughts:
     The characters in this book stand out as what drives the story.  They are creatively developed and offer a whole new look at shifters.  Ami's shifters vary in many ways from what you think of when you hear shifter.  These have the ability to assimilate a variety of forms from human to more than one animal, but each has a dominate form that they can easily shift into.  Their original form is more of an energy than an actual creature.  The children - hybrids - are limited in that they each have one animal they can shift into and remain in human form until later in life.  I enjoyed the descriptions, she is very detailed.  It was interesting to me that they had different colored skin that had mottled colors as well.  I liked how she ties the story theme into modern prejudices that we still face even today.
     The military link is frightening - a thing of nightmares and as a reader I pray is just science fiction.  The control of the high up military personnel is terrifying.  I found my heart going out to Bruce in his attempts to get Melissa to break free of the hold of both the military and her father.  At the same time I found myself both angry with and feeling sorry for Melissa.  Sorry that her very identity and sense of self worth were so tied into her work and her father's opinion, and angry that she couldn't seem to dredge up the self confidence to stand up for what she truly believed in and wanted.
     This is an incredible story of the unwillingness of the human race to accept another group of beings because of their own fear and the shifters differences, and the struggle of the shifters to coexist and survive in a world where they are persecuted, hunted, and tortured.  
     This is the story of choices, consequences, desire, fear, hatred, power, control, passion, love, and sacrifice.  The emotional intensity of the characters as they deal with their lives is amazing.  The theme that children are the future is paramount in this story.  
     This was my first Ami Blackwelder shifter read and I can't wait to read the rest of the series!  My only question now is: Do I start with the past and read 2020 or do I look to the future and read 2060?  Don't miss the rest of The Shifter Evolutions series! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

*NetGalley Book

Amazon Product Description:
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.
My thougthts:
I couldn't get to this fast enough after finishing The Strange Case of Finley Jayne and  I was not disappointed.  I was already hooked before I finished the first page.  The author is descriptive, creative, and clever with creating both her characters and the world in which they live.  She is detailed to the point where you can literally "see" the story unfold, but never find said details tedious.  She has woven mystery and romance into a steampunk adventure.
The characters are incredible.  I can't even pretend to have a favorite, they are all so easy to love.  Each of the characters has a well-developed personality and the role they are given in the story is unique and yet vital to the others.  The relationships that unfold throughout the story fuel a wide range of emotions.  I love how they test the confines of society, sometime by their very natures.  
The depth of imagination that is required to create such a story astounds me.   

Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kate Cross

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

*I purchased this book at Amazon.com

Amazon Product Description:
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…
An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this story.  I grabbed it as soon as I heard it was the prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset, so I could read it first.  Finley Jayne is a fabulous character.  I love the mystery as she wonders about herself.  I love that she lives by her own rules and that those rules are based on her principles and beliefs.  
Kady Cross cleverly weaves clues into the story and creates a wonderful tale.  I was pleased with the relationships that developed between Finley and both Phoebe and her mother.
This is a great, fast read!  If you are interested in trying out Steampunk for the first time - this is the perfect place to start, and if you are already in love with this new genre, you will have a blast with this book.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blog Tour: Ami Blackwelder


Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the 
Ami Blackwelder Blog Tour!
The tour is featuring both The Shifters 2040 and The Day The Flowers Died.  

Guest Post:


Five Star Review: The Day the Flowers Died is a Wonderful Holistic Love story. This book is a rare historical romance told with flare and passion. When I first received it I thought that it was going to be a dark and introspective sort of history of two people...but it is so much more.
This book, which is fiction relates what it would have been like for two people, with totally opposing cultures, who fell in love at the beginning of one of the darkest periods in history...pre- war Germany. Ami has enormous talent and she delivers a love story that is not only profound, but engaging. I couldn’t put the book down and I am a very busy person with almost no time to read...I almost wished I had gotten the audio version. This is a must read for those that want to escape to another time...it will change something deep inside of you in a very positive way. Well done Ami!
Thank you, Jeff Andrews Executive Vice President IPC Technologies, Inc.
   
                                                        Why did I write this novel?

Many people ask me at book events how this book came to be...how did I know what to write about during a time period I never lived.

Simply, I had a dream. The love between the two characters in my dream was so intense nothing felt more real. So, I wrote about their story, the story I felt in my dream...one night in Thailand while working as a teacher.

Scouring the internet for history and youtube videos of that time period, I was easily saturated with images, sounds, and dialogue from that time period.

Old videos of the German President, and Hitler and even some musicians and swing performers helped to recreate pre war world II Germany.  I also found a lot of propaganda from the 30's.

I also heard stories from people who went through it, stories I read about and stories from other people.

What people don't realize is that the discrimination of not only the Jews, but a plethora of peoples, began much earlier that when hitler became chancellor in '34.

The Nazi party spread their ideology as early as the twenties, ripping apart German cities.

I hope everyone who reads this novel feels as much for these two lovers as I did in my dream and feel the wake of destruction the Nazi party thrust upon countless people. 

Thanks for stopping by!
You can buy Ami Blackwelders books at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The next stop on the tour: June 24 – Ami Blackwelder’s Website http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Replay by Keira Lea

*I received this book (digital copy) at no charge in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.  The blog tour is being hosted by The Bookish Snob Tours.  The tour dates for this book are June 15, 2011 - July 2, 2011.  


Amazon Product Description:
Kelsee Lewis has a new school, a prima donna best friend, and one week to write a hit play. Throw in a self-obsessed mom and an absent executive dad, and it’s no wonder she has panic attacks—complete with time-warp special effects. When Kelsee meets comic book maven Quinn, she realizes the attacks give her the ability to rewind time.

Replaying life seems like the best way to erase mistakes. But will second chances leave Kelsee flailing in the orchestra pit alone?




My thoughts:
I was hooked at the prologue (Welcome to the Show is the header for it).  I was completely intrigued from the go.  Delay of show due to an entire audience vanishing - I had to turn the page and find out what in the world was going on!

This is the first time I have read a fiction story in play format.  I am sure there are more out there, but it is totally new for me.  I liked it.  I like how you are set up at the start of each chapter (scene) with the characters and the setting for that piece.  

The characters are fantastic.  The high school cliques and angst are so realistic.  I work in a 6-12 school and I see this every day.  Each of the characters has a highly developed  personality and the setting is right out of real life.   The drama that we see between the kids and between the kids and the adults is realistic as well.  We are run through the gambit of emotions and problems in the story: divorce, money, boys/girls, jealousy, friendship, ethics, morals, future plans, success, failure, and on top of all that - - - time manipulation!

This is a great YA read, and it's fast.  At 129 pages, it's a one sitting read.  The storyline kept me eagerly turning the pages.  The end is wonderful.  You get all the answers (and most of them were the ones I was hoping for!) I love when a great story finishes with a satisfying ending.  I would definitely suggest grabbing this one up!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blog Tour: Save My Soul by Zoe Winters (Giveaway too!)


Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the
You can check out my review HERE!
Please welcome author Zoe Winters!!!

Zoe Winters writes quirky and sometimes dark paranormal romance. She lives with her husband and two cats, and her favorite colors are rainbow and clear. For more information visit 
http://www.zoewinters.org or her blog at: http://zoewinters.wordpress.com

? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure, but I know I was writing novels in junior high school. So, it’s been awhile. I’ve got a crappy goldfish memory anyway, but I feel like I was always a storyteller. Being a writer is just a mechanical thing. It’s a mode of delivering a story. I think of myself more as a storyteller than a writer.
 ? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
33. I don’t do well working for other people.
? How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on how much I’m working on it. If I was working consistently every single day on a book and had no other writing or editing projects going on (and often I do because the Zoe name isn’t my only writing), I could turn a book around from rough draft to publication in as little as 3-4 months. Some people think that means a “rushed book”, but what they don’t understand when they make that assumption is that the calendar time that passes is no real indication of how much time the author actually spent writing the book. Many books that take a year or longer to write, the work output by the author is rather hit or miss. (And it always makes someone angry when I say that, but it’s true. If you’re applying butt to seat and fingers to keyboard consistently, you’d be amazed by how fast you can write a book.) Slaving over it or suffering for it doesn’t necessarily make it better. I’ve written books fast and I’ve written them slow. Often the faster-produced work is my better work according to reader reaction to it. Most likely this is because I don’t constantly second-guess myself, I just let the creation happen.
 ? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I try not to have writing quirks. Sometimes quirks are just cute ways of saying “neurosis”. If I allow myself to develop quirks then I become superstitious about how I can write and how I can’t write. I don’t feel that attitude serves me. Different books require different things. Like the book I’m working on now, I’ve written a lot of it out of order (it won’t be out of order in the end, but my writing process has been very different for this book). I try to work from a very minimalist philosophy where all methods are on the table as options to get a book written.
? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
I open the document, reread the previous day’s work, turn on Focus Booster (a timer app that can be used for anything, but I use it for timed writing), and I start typing. Not sexy or romantic, but the quicker I can get from “I need to write” to actually typing words, the better. As for being in the right frame of mind to write, that’s usually more about what I “don’t” do as opposed to what I do. Like... avoiding as much conflict as possible. The biggest way to kill my writing mental zone is to argue with people on the Internet over stupid crap. I’ve really tried to give that up. The better I am at avoiding the Internet, the more I write.
 It seems that once you have grammar and spelling and basic narrative structure down, learning to write and to become a good writer is all about getting out of your own way. I basically take dictation from whatever out there supplies me with stories and try not to overthink it.
 ? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
Which Character? I can give you a couple of examples, but I’m afraid a direct answer to that question would be “everywhere”. Tam in Save My Soul is a weird blend of me and one of my best friends and the friendship between them is similar to my own dynamic with said friend, but that’s just one specific example. When you’re a writer, every interaction you ever have with anyone is grist for the mill. Henrietta Baker (the rude old lady at the church), was based on an experience I had with a similarly dour old woman when I went to a latin Catholic Mass for book research.
 ? How do you decide what you want to write about?
 The thing about creative work is that it’s largely intuitive. Most people don’t create in a regimented way. The structure and rigidity we sometimes supply to our writing practice is part superstition and part routine intended to train our muse to come out and play with us. I’m not trying to be vague or esoteric on purpose. (Or snotty or a special snowflake either.) It’s just that there is no way to describe a process that is largely created by the unconscious mind. I can’t even tell you with any real accuracy how I decide what I want to write about. Most of the time when writers are asked these questions we just make things up that we feel will entertain the readers and the interviewer because we really don’t know. And the more we analyze it, the more uncertain we get about the whole thing. So I’m learning to embrace my writing process agnosticism.
 Fun random questions: 
·        dogs or cats? Cats
·        Coffee or tea? Neither
·        Dark or milk chocolate? Dark
·        Rocks or flowers? Flowers
·        Night or day? Both
·        Favorite color? Clear. But I like rainbow a lot also. ;)
·        Crayons or markers? Crayons
·        Pens or pencils? Pens

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The next stop on the tour is: June 22 – Black Lagoon Reviews http://www.blacklagoonreviews.blogspot.com/
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