Interview with the hilarious RA Winter!

I am so proud to announce this interview. RA is a writing buddy of mine. She’s had a hand in almost everything I’ve written, and she writes comedy like no other. Her romances are always sweet and poignant, and the laughs just keep coming.

RA Winter began her writing career under her married name, writing genealogy books. However, her love for reading romance novels intruded in on her daily activities. She started writing “Little Sparrow” and fell in love with her characters and is writing many more books in the Romantic Western series, ” A Kiowa in Love”. Each one of Grandfather’s grandchildren will have their story told, as will Grandfather himself.

RA spent many years travelling the world and has lived in many different countries. Turkey, Egypt, Germany, and Jordan, have all been called “home” at one time or another. She’s even been employed as a Federal Agent. Now you can find her quietly living in Pittsburgh, Pa, with her husband, writing her next novel about Grandfather and Lilly, a lively story where Lilly’s dead husband’s ghost haunts her, tormenting her at every glance.

FYI… Dingle eats him in the second chapter but can’t keep him down, or out of the spaghetti sauce. Paranormal humor at its best; romance stilted by two opposing forces. An Italian ghost and a Native American spirit come head to head. Who will win? Due out in the fall of 2016.

Me: RA, thank you so much for sitting down with me! You’re fairly prolific. The first story I read of your was Sarah and John’s love story in Reddress Two Wives, and I’ll never forget it. What are your next plans? What are your ambitions for your writing career?

RA: To make people laugh and feel good about themselves and the world around them. There is so much going on in people’s lives these days. They need to regain the laughter and lightheartedness they had as youths.

Me: I love how simple you make that sound, when it’s actually incredibly profound. Is that how you started writing? What motivated you to become an author?

RA: I used to read a book a day, then complain when they were over. I wanted more. My husband was like, “Why don’t you write one then it will never end?” Well, it hasn’t ended yet. I’ve fallen in love with my characters and created a family. Now, they won’t leave me alone!

Me: Sounds like a wise hubby! Do you read a lot? Do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

RA: Either honestly. I use more ebooks these days but I do have a full library of formal books at my house.

Me: A full library! Of what? What do you read? Who do you love?

RA:  I’ve always loved Jude Deveraux. Her series are wonderful and just what I love to read. But, honestly, I will read anything put in front of me. My library is full of works from classics to off the wall ‘odd’ stuff. Reading is breathing to me. I just have to do it.

Me: I love Jude Deveraux too. She was one of the first Romance writers I ever read. It took a while for me to switch over to contemporaries, and then thrillers and then paranormal, and now I’m back to the same, read anything wherever you talk about. Does that inform your characters? When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

RA: I developed them first and let them grow as a person. I have to have a lot of their life’s events already figured out first but I allow them the leeway to grow. I plot their history then imagine how they would react. Culture, age, gender, and life all contribute to our actions and I try to make my characters true to their upbringing.

Me: It really shows, too. They all feel so real. And so loving. It’s a big family with silly hijinks but mostly they just feel so loving and full and real. Like the family we all wish we had. Thank you so much RA! Always a pleasure spending a bit of time with you!

 

Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Author-RA-Winter-1520444794880512/

Twitter @RAWinterWriter

Follow her blog at https://rawinterwriter.wordpress.com/

Find her books on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ERCBSUC/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Read about her books at http://rsch881.wix.com/a-kiowa-in-love#!the-kiowa-in-love-books/cnec

Little Sparrow, A Kiowa in Love is a sensual romance, about finding love after loss.

Painted Girl, A Kiowa in Love is a ‘cleanish’ romance, that deals with PTSD.

RedDress Two Wives, A Kiowa in Love is a raunchy read with lots of humor.

Interview with H.T. Lyon!

It was a special pleasure to sit down with writer, H.. Lyon today and pick his brain. Something I love to do! There’s so much to learn by speaking with someone who practices the same craft.

About HT: I am aspiring writer of science fiction. A futurist with a keen interest in where our society is heading, I tend focus most of my attention on stories that examine the direction our society is taking or that shows where we could end up. Optimistic my nature, I believe that one day we will look to settle the Solar System as we outgrow our planet and some of my stories examine how this could look. Currently, I have a number of novels underway and some short stories. My aim is to get one of these up and published before the end of the year around the other committments that exist in my life. Visit my blog at https://beyondescapevelocity.wordpress.com/ for a perspective on what interests me.

Welcome HT! Thank you so much for taking the time. Science Fiction is a fascinating Genre because it relies on imagining something somewhat outlandish, or making a prediction about the future of our species in some way. So where do you get your ideas?

Originally, my ideas were few and precious. One or two things I read when I was young prompted me to think and dream up ‘how would that work?’ A good example is I found some ancient popular mechanics books from the 50’s that talked about nuclear powered aircraft. I spent years wondering where the hell would that be of any use, until I dreamed up the plot for something set in the atmosphere of the planet Jupiter.

Now it’s different, any discussion where there are conflicting opinions and no right answer can drum up a plot. The prison crisis in the US, gun control, genetic testing, the TPP agreement, whatever. Stories fall out of them faster than I can write.

The ideas can be the easiest part, in my opinion, it’s staying focused that’s my challenge. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That’s a difficult question to answer because the speed of my writing depends a lot on what goes on in my life. Overall, I seem to write in spurts where a sudden surge is followed by a period of quiet. The number one issue is editing which for me is a much slower business. For a novel end to end, I’d say it would take the best part of nine months. The short stories I’m currently writing however are much quicker. I’ll need to focus on getting some of these published and then I’ll have a better idea of how long the process takes.

I used to think writing the book was the hardest part. Now, I think it might be publishing or more still, marketing. What are your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?

My views on social media marketing are mixed. It can be a real challenge because it is a crowded market out there and with so many people marketing, there’s a lot of noise to try and get beyond in order to reach an audience. On the other hand, social media marketing is hugely democratic in that it’s very cheap (or free) and it rewards those who put the effort in and have the customer is mind. But my book won’t attract people, not like a blog could, that talks about our society, or offers writing tips, or book reviews. The secret I see to social media marketing is to add value to the lives of the audience you are trying to reach. Overall, despite the fact that it’s difficult and crowded, the democratic and customer-centric nature of it is a good thing.

I like the pragmatic approach. Does that extend to your writing in general? Do you come across any specific challenges when writing?

The main challenge is time. That’s a challenge for every new author so to help you better understand me, here it is…. Firstly, my strength is in drafting and my editing is slow, unreliable and difficult to get into. The longer and more serious the work, the harder it is. Part of that is wanting to get to perfection and part of it is fatigue in seeing the same work over and over. I have more drafts on the go than is probably good for me as a result. Also, I have a weakness with description. My work tends to have more action and dialogue and although this can help move the story along at a serious clip, it can make it seem a bit superficial. It’s something that I am aware of and need to watch. Again, it’s a bigger problem with a longer work as the reader needs to stay immersed to stay interested. Finally, I have a tendency for my characters to be a little too similar to one another. It’s something else I need to be aware of as a good story really rests on having a rich variety of characters.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

What motivates me to write is to get ideas out there. To think about things from a different perspective. To challenge what I think and what I may believe about the world. I love this more than anything would love to think that I could influence others to do the same. We live in a democracy, we have unprecedented rights and unprecedented protections over about ability to contribute to the national debate yet so many of us vote the way our parents did. I believe that we have an obligation to think critically about our choices and I want my writing to reflect that. The reason to go indie is that transitional publishing means I give up too much control. I want to control my ideas. Also, from what I’ve seen, traditional publishing takes too long!