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Interview with Vibrant Demi Hungerford!

I am thrilled and proud to introduce you to Demi Hungerford!

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Born and raised in Southern California, DL Hungerford began writing right about the time you would expect. She has worked as a child care provider, a cook, a caterer, a clerk, customer service operator, blackjack dealer, house cleaner, bird breeder, a case worker for local government, and a supervisor of case workers. She honed her writing skills through fanzines, epic letters, and minutes for various clubs. She also wrote newsletter submissions for clubs, as well as movie and book reviews.

DL loves the world of fiction, especially Regency England, but hopes to explore other horizons as time permits. She still lives in Southern California with her husband, a spoiled cat, a spoiled dog, and a flock of parrots and other birds.

She also writes under the pen name of Roxanna Haley. You can contact her through any of the various links below:

http://windr0se.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HungerfordsHistoricals/

https://www.facebook.com/RoxannaHaleyAuthor/?fref=ts

http://www.amazon.com/Roxanna-Haley/e/B00XZC10BS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

So, to kick things off, I’m going to ask a blatantly selfish question and pick your brain. I’m entering into the trials of marketing myself right now. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

I made a lot of marketing mistakes. I didn’t understand the importance of getting reviews. I didn’t put money into publicity. I didn’t even pay $5 for a Facebook ad. I put too much money into Facebook release day parties which attracted people who wanted to win prizes but not buy books. In the future, I will not do the parties, I will do ads, and I will beg for reviews.

Ha! Okay. Taking note. Takes money to make money. How do you publish your books and why? Traditional versus indie?

I’m always open to traditional publishing, but honestly indie is better for the audience and the authors. Removing the limits of what the Big Books people think will sell opens up so many horizons for story genres and finds the audiences that are out there feeling neglected. Of course, I am publishing indie right now because it’s what is available to me. I have a NaNoWriMo project that I am going to pitch because I think it’s a great story. So being a hybrid author, appeals to me.

Me too! What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors?

The strategy of getting a street team and having them help spread the word about the books is a great one, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I love ChoosyBookworm.com which gets readers to read and review. https://choosybookworm.com/book-reviews/

Jot. Jot. Jot. Blatant note-taking. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I read constantly. When I am driving, I listen to audio books. I have a reader on my cell phone so that I am never without a book. I love Jane Austen, of course, and Mary Balogh. Charles Stross, Ben Aaronovich, John Scalzi, Joanna Bourne, David Brin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Ernest Cline, Stephen R. Donaldson, Jerry Dubs, Tameri Etherton, Lisa Kessler, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Molly Harper, Mika Jolie, Debbie Johnson, Elle Kennedy, Christopher Moore, Anne Rice, Sir Terry Pratchett, Susan Squires, Neal Stephenson, Lolly Winston, Beverly Jenkins, are we out of room yet? 8)

Has this influenced how your writing process works? Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

The answer is yes. I do a chapter by chapter plot point list. But usually by the fourth chapter I have gone way off that chart and it’s time to revise the points. No book works for me in writing if I have to stick too closely to an outline.

I cannot thank you enough for your time, Demi! So much fun chatting with you!

Interview with the fierce Sherry Terry

Today, I announce with pride and interview with the fierce, outspoken and wise, Sherry Terry!

Sherry lives on Red Bull and sarcasm in a small town in Texas with her hermaphroditic cat named, Hermy.

As a single mother, she put herself through college and worked as a Radiologic Technologist for almost twenty years before she gave it all up to be a bum. In her Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, she spends all of her time writing the next greatest romance novel to hit the market. Her blog is dedicated to helping aspiring writers with how-to articles and awesome research links.

Me: Thanks so much for letting me pick your brain! What can you tell us about your writing process, and the way you brainstorm romance story ideas.

Sherry: I usually get a flash of a scene. Most of the time it’s a sex scene in a particular setting. One flash was of a bound man riding in a wooden cage pulled by horses. When that happens, I write it down as soon as possible. The character won’t get out of my head, and before long, they have a history and a goal. I find my ideas for the plot, the era, the conflicts, and the setting with my research. Then I open a blank document and go for it.

Me: I start with sex too! I’m usually too shy to admit it. Love it. How do you write? Old-school like with a typewriter? Or with a computer, dictate or longhand?

Sherry: Thank God for computers and spell check. I got a free computer with a major purchase about twenty years ago. If not for that, I would not be a writer. I am a horrible speller, and that always held me back from thinking I could be an author. Now I write on a laptop, sitting in my comfy recliner with my feet up.

Me: Spellcheck is a lifesaver! What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Sherry: The main advantages of self-publishing are the author keeps all of the money on sales, minus a small fee from Amazon or where ever they sell them, and there is no waiting for the publishing house to release it. The disadvantage of self-publishing is a lot of crap is out there, stinking it up for the ones who want to publish excellent work.

Me: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

Sherry: My gut says that no ones hard work should be free, but I need to do some research and see if doing a free promotional increases sales on subsequent work.

Me: Which writers inspire you?

Sherry: I credit my desire to tell good stories to Kathleen Woodiwiss and Victoria Alexander. I am inspired by a writer I met in an online workshop called Critique Circle, named Barbara Elsborg. Her stories are amazing.

Thank you so much, Sherry! Pleasure chatting with you!

Find Sherry Terry:

Please feel free to friend her on Facebook

Follow her on Twitter

Take a look at the inspiration for her stories on Pinterest

And visit her blog, verysherryterry

Interview with the Hysterical Julia Ward

I am so pleased to introduce to you, the kind, warm and FUNNY Julia Ward.

She is a Pacific Northwest native. During childhood she delighted in running with the family’s pack of dogs through the neighboring forest, pretending so many adventures. More stories filled her head over the years with only a few making it to paper. Now, with kids grown with kids of their own, she looks forward to sharing her stories with others and hopes they’ll bring a little fun or love into someone’s life.

A variety of disparate jobs during her years has given her some interesting experiences and knowledge leading to the formation of some quirky characters.

Currently, her primary genre leans toward the romantic side but she also has works in progress that wander into the sci-fi as well as the paranormal realms.

Julia looks forward to getting to know her readers and hopes they enjoy her work.

You can find a little more about her at About.Me/JuliaWardAuthor

And some of her rambles (and perhaps a snippet or two) at halffastwriter.wordpress.com

Okay straight on to the questions! What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

Julia: The seat of my chair. It’s really hard. Hahaha Seriously, the most difficult part of writing for me is sitting my butt in the seat and focusing on a story. Once I get started writing though it just flows and time passes without me noticing.

Ha!  Yes, it’s the same with going to the gym. Getting there is the hardest part. For your books, once you finish them, do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Julia: (laughs) We’re not supposed to but let’s be honest, we all judge books by their covers. The problem with trying to come up with a cover that will attract readers is that you might come up with a cover that doesn’t fit your story. Probably a good idea to look at what’s selling in your genre at a given moment and if there’s a trend, find a way to use that to your advantage, BUT remember that this is your book also. It needs to reflect your style. You’ll attract the right people. (Reminding myself of this too as this is the kind of thing I over-think.) ;)

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Julia: Oooo Best question. I’ve gotten some really weird comments on things, but they say any PR is better than no PR so I try to take it all with a salt lick.

Some people are going to love you because you happened to give a character the same name as their favorite aunt. Other people are going to hate you because a character has the same name as that jerk that screwed them out of whatever in college. Some will despise that you use the word “screwed” in your interview. Others will love you for it. Plus, there’s always personal taste. The story might be great but a person will give it a bad review because it was too long or short, too romantic, not romantic enough, too this or that. My plan is to focus on thoughtful reviews rather than knee-jerk reactions and improve my skill where I can. My plan is to ignore the rest (after a small breakdown because we are our craft). ;)

So… after all those stressful reviews, how do you relax?

Julia: Usually playing some game on my phone or computer, or reading a book in the tub.

Bath tub. I miss that beautiful place. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Julia: Write every day. Just write. It doesn’t have to be good, in fact don’t worry if it’s absolute crap. A good photographer will take a thousand pictures before they get The One. Musicians have scraps of paper with little bits of music on it looking for just the right progression. Writers have crap all over the place. And if you want to start with FanFic, then do. It’s a great way to get writing practice and you already know the characters.

Thanks Julia! So much fun chatting with you. Always a blast!

Thank you for your time, Immy. This was fun!

Interview with fantastic Milli Gilbert!

Milli Gilbert is a stay-at-home mom who loves to play with words almost as much as she loves to play with her kids. All of her stories involve romance, and maybe a little bit of mystery. Milli loves to write about cowboys and shifters. And smut. Don’t forget the smut. And can usually be found trying to find interesting ways to combine them. She has several short stories published, and hopes to have her first full length novel out in late Summer 2017. She just took off after one of her couples to follow them around for a few months – but don’t worry, she’ll be back. Or, you can find her on her blog,  Hairballs of Genius,  and follow her on Twitter, Her books are available on Amazon.

It is such a pleasure to sit down with you! Thank you Milli. Okay, let’s start with the most important question of all time… what’s your favorite movie and why?

I have a few go-to movies – Down Periscope, Evolution, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.. Why? Because they’re light and fun. I really don’t know why I like them. Possibly because they’re movies I can watch with the kids – who, by the way, can quote Men in Tights better than they can quote any kids’ movie – but they’re not freaking animated. Nothing against cartoons, but I’m kind of over Disney.

Ahhh, I do love Men in Tights. I’m not sure why but there’s something about the ridiculousness that always holds me captive. I guess we should talk about writing though at some point. What’s your process like? Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to edit it?


Your readers can have no idea how hard I’m laughing right now. I have on novel sitting on the back burner – it’s been turned off now – since 2007 when I started and finished writing it. The problems with it are many – including the fact that it’s the first of The Series That Got Away. (It started as 1, then 6, and I’ve put a stop to it with something like 30 different couples in 24 stories.) Now that Matt Muse has cleared most of those out of his work-order (and now that I know of at least a few different things that I need to improve upon after being on a critique site for 2 years) I can get back to it, and pull out the highlighter for edit ideas.

So you’re saying you let it stew for years somethings… ha! Me too. I’ve got some that I haven’t looked at in two or three years. I think about them late in the night. And they’ll be there when I’m ready. How about the rest of your writing process. Do you brainstorm?


I just write. Sometimes it starts with a character, other times, with a plot idea. I’m not typically a plotter, so when I write, it usually starts with a plot idea, and then I have to figure out what kind of character would that story work for. That’s about the extent of my plotting though, until I make it through my first draft, which kind of becomes an outline of sorts. I go through and pick out the events that are going to stay, organize them so they make sense, and then revise like crazy to get it shaped into the story I was trying to tell in the first place.


As far as brainstorming goes, I have a great group of friends and a husband who rolls his eyes when I ask him hypothetical questions. Sometimes he’s entertained by my randomness, and other times, he tunes me out because I’m just talking to myself. I tend to work out dialogue issues out loud, so my husband knows to mostly ignore me when I’m doing the dishes. Otherwise, I belong to an online writing community comprised of people from all over the world with all sorts of expertise, so I can ask anything I want to in the forums there.

 

Ah, two important things. A supportive partner and a supportive group of writers. Essential for me. What’s the easiest thing about writing for you?

Dialogue. I tend to end up with pages of dialogue with no action or narrative to guide me along the way, so I have to go back and add in the finer things in life – like who said what. I feel like I’m bragging, but I was once told that just by the dialogue alone, the tone of the voice and the scene was easy to follow, it was natural and not forced. Narrative description on the other hand is my mortal enemy.

You’ve been writing and publishing for some time. What is that like, having fans? What do your they mean to you?


Fans are fantastic – they keep the air flowing and cool in my house. Oh, you mean the people who buy/read my books, don’t you. They’re pretty awesome too, and I write for them. I know they’re after something new to read, and I have the honor of being the person who does that for them. Even if I do only have three stories out there right now.

Ahhhh! That’s wonderful.

Thank you again Milli! Such a pleasure!