Friday, October 26, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Cary Caffrey

Welcome to another Blog Ring of Power Friday!.  I would love to introduce you folks to Cary Caffrey. His interview with us was great, check it out!

Don’t miss the rest of Cary’s interview at:
  • Part 1 @ T.W. – Friday, Oct. 25
  • Part 3 @ Sandra – Monday, Oct. 29
  • Part 4 @ Dean – Tuesday, Oct. 30
  • Part 5 @ Terri- Wednesday, Oct. 31
carycaffreyCARY CAFFREY: I grew up reading vintage science fiction from the 60’s and 70’s, loving the works of Harry Harrison and Joe Haldeman, Ursula Le Guin, Andre Norton and, of course, Douglas Adams. I still think The Forever War may very well be the best Science Fiction novel ever written. If Ridley Scott ever gets off his can and makes this movie, we’re sure to be in for a real treat (favourite directer, meet favourite writer. Favourite writer meet… Well, you get the idea. Wild).

Let's hear a little about your Writing Life Cary

BRoP:  What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.

Cary:  I always have my trusty notebook to write quick notes and outlines when the ideas hit me, but all the "writing" is done on my laptop. I used to always write in our living room. It's such an awesome spot with a great view. But after a year of that, I think my wife had had enough of me taking over that space, so now I'm relegated to an office.

BRoP:  How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?

Cary:  Balance? What's that?

When writing decides it wants to take over, I let it. That's when things get on a roll and really get going. I love it when my project is all I can think about. Of course, I'm super-lucky to have a wife who understands what that's like. She's very encouraging.

BRoP:  When do you write?

Cary:  Definitely mornings. I only let myself edit in the afternoons, take the evening off, and then take notes at night before I go to sleep.

BRoP:  How much time per day do you spend on your writing?

Cary:  That can go anywhere from one hour a day to all day long.

BRoP:  What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written?

Cary:  Well, I don't know about surprising, but I was pretty disappointed when I got some nasty mail about the fact that my book features a gay heroine. It's a shame that there's still so much hate out there. It saddens me that it's taking us so long to evolve as a society.

At least it was only a couple of readers who seemed to have a problem with that. I'm happy to say that I've received way more positive emails on this issue, and I'm pleased as punch that so many of my readers embraced the fact that I had LGBT characters in my book.

I really hope that one of these days sexuality will become a non-issue. In my book it's a non-issue. No one ever mentions being gay or lesbian. Nobody in the book cares or bats an eyelash (maybe that's what makes it science-fiction!).

BRoP:  What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment?

Cary:  Back in the day, especially when I was still writing stage plays, I always heard the same thing: "This won't work! It's not theater, it's TV!" These criticisms were always based on the fact that my plays featured a lot of locations. People couldn't see how you could mount so many locations on a stage. Fortunately, I never believed them, and I was lucky enough to have three of my plays produced. I'm happy to say, they did work, coming off without a hitch - thanks to some brilliant stage designs by some amazingly talented people.

The best compliments I've received for TGfA (at least, they're my favorite) have been from LGBT readers. This came as a huge relief to me. I am neither gay, nor a woman, so I was quite terrified at the prospect of writing a story from a gay woman's perspective. I often asked myself if I was qualified to write this material, and wondered if I was crazy to try. I wanted to get it right. I wanted to do right by the characters, as well as the readers. I would have been devastated if I'd somehow managed to offend or put off gay or lesbian or women readers by getting it wrong.

BRoP:  How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?

Cary:  The word panic might be appropriate. Oh no! They all hate me!

Seriously, though, I'm human so I don't like negative reviews, but they do come with the territory.  I really believe you can't please everyone, and it's silly to try. I'm a strong believer in writing for a target audience. My only goal is to satisfy that target audience. If I think I've done that, then I can deal with any negative review.

You can follow Cary at:

Twitter: @CaryCaffrey

BRoP:  What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)? 
Cary:  Paperback and Kindle, both exclusively from Amazon

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Zvi Zaks

Welcome to Zvi Zaks, author of A VIRTUAL AFFAIR, come on in and have a seat.  We'd love to hear a couple of Words of Wisdom.

 BRoP:   Tell us about your route to success –how did you land your agent/publisher?

ZZ:  I haven't been able to get an agent (yet) but the website helped me write decent query letters, and
websites like helped me find publishers for VIRTUAL AFFAIR and two other novels, IMPLAC and A TRUE SON OF ASMODEUS. 

BRoP:  What tools are must-haves for writers?

ZZ:  The noted writer John Irving uses nothing more than a pen and paper, so that must be the only essential, at least for someone with his skill set.  I can't imagine again having to write without a word processor and access to the internet for research.

BRoP:   Do you have any advice for other writers?

ZZ:  Search out and accept honest criticism without being offended, and don't give up.

BRoP:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

ZZ: If you want stories that will give you something to think about while entertaining you, take a look at mine.  I have a number of short stories on Smashwords and Manic Readers so you can get a free taste of what my writing is like.

BRoP:   What are your current / future project(s)?

ZZ:  I have two novels in the polishing stage and a third with only three chapters written.  I also have an idea for a non-fiction book.  I don't think I'll be bored.

BRoP:   Is there anything else you’d like to share?

ZZ: Few writers will get famous or rich, but we can all have the enjoyment of writing something we enjoy.

Contact Information:
If you have then, we’d love to have your author headshot and/or a picture of the book cover. Please let us know where can your readers stalk you:
Is your book in print, ebook or both?  Both

Friday, October 12, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Heidi Garrett

Welcome HEIDI GARRETT, this week’s Blog Ring of Power guest! She was born and raised in Texas, lived more than a decade in Southern California, and now she resides in Spokane, WA, with her husband and their two cats. So far, she loves the snow.
Don’t miss the rest of Heidi’s interview at:
Part 1 @ Sandra- Monday, Oct. 8
Part 2 @ Dean- Tuesday, Oct. 9
Part 3 @ Terri- Wednesday, Oct. 10
Part 4 @ T.W.- Thursday, Oct. 11
Part 5 @ Emily- Friday, Oct. 12

Let's chat about a few Words of Wisdom with Heidi 

BRoP:   Tell us about your route to success – how/when did you decide to self-publish? Did you query an agent first? How did you handle the editing, proofreading, cover design, etc.

HG:  I decided to self-publish in January of 2012. I queried two earlier drafts of the manuscript. Both were rejected. I had originally planned to query the published version, but in December 2011 I got an older version of the iPhone for a great price. I randomly checked out Twitter. The story of Amanda Hocking was exploding. I started following folks who were discussing indie publishing. The changes in the industry were becoming seismic. Technology was creating a unique opportunity--in history--for dedicated writers.

I wanted to jump in the sandbox and play.

I stopped researching agents. 

Some of my writing partners had already self-published. I asked them many questions, which they patiently and generously answered. I began writing more and with more enthusiasm than ever.
Then I began researching editors and illustrators.

BRoP:  What are the most important elements of good writing?

HG:  I think structure comes first. If there is not a structure to the story, it’s hard for the reader to engage. After that I love both plot and character. The best books have fascinating characters that do something.

BRoP:  What tools are must-haves for writers?

HG:  The truth is: If you want to start writing, you don’t need much. A pen and pad of paper or computer with some word processing software on it will do. If you’re really old school, you might want to have one of those typewriter-things.

BRoP:   What do you feel is the key to your success?

HG:  Stubbornness. Persistence. Faith. Passion. A love of story. The people who put up with me.

BRoP:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

HG:  I really want to hear from you.

BRoP:   What are your current / future project(s)?

HG:  I am currently writing THE FLOWER OF ISBELLINE, Book Two in THE QUEEN OF THE REALM OF FAERIE series. I will complete the series, which I anticipate being between 5 to 7 books, before I schedule any definite future projects.

BRoP:    Is there anything else you’d like to share?

HG:  We are living in amazing times. Engage. Participate. Enjoy.

Contact Information:

Facebook page: Coming Soon

Goodreads author page:

Apple: Search the iTunes store

Is your book in print, ebook or both?

Nandana's MarkNANDANA’S MARK: A contemporary faerie tale in a magical world…
Melia has always wanted to fly, away. 
From her two sisters, who’ve found their place in the Enchanted World, despite being half-faeries with no wings.
From her mother, the full blooded faerie who practices black magic, and weeps every night when she thinks her daughters aren’t listening.
But mostly from her father, the mortal druid who broke his faerie troth, and lives to reunite with Melia’s mother. He believes incarnating Umbra—the one entity everyone in the Enchanted World fears—will give him the power to return to the Realm of Faerie.
But Melia comprehends the horror of Umbra far better than her father ever will.
Umbra seduces.
Umbra corrupts.
And Umbra destroys.
When her best friend—a pixie named Tatou—urges Melia to turn to the mysterious Illustrator for help, she gives Melia the courage to challenge her father.
As secrets are revealed and a family’s dark legacy spins out of control, Melia’s wish to fly comes true. 
It’s just not quite what she expected.