Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nightmare Inspiration

Join in the fun.

Come up with some wild ideas for nightmares and if I chose them, you could win a prize! A painting from A Brush of Inspiration, a charm from Charmed Creations or a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blog Ring of Power Presents: R.M. Alexander

I'm jumping up and down right now. I get to interview one of my favorite authors! She's really sweet to just chit chat with so this was really fun for me.  Don't forget to check out the other sections on T.W.'s blog and Sandra's blog.

RM Alexander is an author of Sweet / Clean Romances that are sometimes contemporary, sometimes paranormal or suspense, but are always ruled by the heart of true romance. 

With characters who look for love in wrong places and are victims of the worse kind of betrayals while fighting for what they want and believe in, RM's novels promise a good read with unexpected twists and turns.

When she's not writing, RM is spending time with her husband and two small children in Michigan. She loves to travel, especially to Walt Disney World, and can often be found on Twitter or Facebook chatting with other authors and fans.

Author Contact Information

Section #1: About You

·        BRoP:  How long have you been writing?

R.M.: Depends on where you start measuring from. I began writing when I was 10. It was a hobby, something I'd pick up and put back down, doing each for months or even years at a time.

When my oldest was born, something changed and it became something I was more serious about. That's when the first draft of Veil of Secrecy was written and I haven't really looked back since.

·      BRoP:   Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote?

R.M.: It was a paranormal ghost story I wrote when I was 10. No one will ever see it. LOL!

·      BRoP: When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?

R.M.: Like I said, when my oldest was born, something changed and I wanted to get published. When before that, it was always a small dream, it wasn't a goal. My daughter changed that - and I don't even know why. Maybe it was because I knew I didn't want an outside job away from the kids - I'm honestly not sure why. I just knew - it was what I wanted and so I went after it.

·      BRoP:   What genre do you write?

R.M.: Clean Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Thrillers. I like wearing different hats!

·      BRoP:   If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

R.M.: Once upon a time, I was a travel agent, and I loved it. I owned my own business that was growing, I loved planning vacations. It was fun, and kind of perfect for me, at the time. Now, aside from writing, the only career I want is taking care of my kids.

Section #2: The Writing Life

·      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.

R.M.: I used to write everything out with pen and paper. Time constraints forced to the computer, and I'm slowly getting used to it. Other than that, I write every night, curled up in bed, once the munchkins have fallen asleep until I drop from sheer exhaustion. It means very little sleep, but it works.

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

R.M.: Balance? Is there such a thing? HA! My writing does take second to my kiddos and hubby, but sometimes it has to go to the front of the line when I'm close to publication. Sometimes the balance works, sometimes it doesn't. It's always a work in progress.

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

R.M.: The business side gets a couple hours each day, the writing side gets a couple of hours each day. I wish I could do more, but it's just not possible right now.

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

R.M.: When someone loves one of the books. Honestly. It floors me. And it's very humbling.

·      BRoP:   Other than your family, what has been your greatest source of support?

R.M.: I have a wonderful team of people that help me out - from my partner in writing crimes who edits for me and talks me off the cliffs, to a street team who helps spread the word and everyone in between. The writing process is a solo thing, everything else isn't, and I'm lucky to have who I have cheering me on.

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

R.M.: In the beginning, the first ones, they really stung. Like, go hide in a corner, never pick up a computer again, stung. Now, I try to take them more constructively, and let the ones that can't be constructively construed roll off my back. Sometimes it's easier than others, but it's all part of the beast. 

Section #3: The Creative Process

   BRoP:      Where do you get your story ideas?

R.M.: Dreams and songs. Sometimes something I see - an old home, some landscape. As I grow, I see inspiration in more places. It's really cool.

·  BRoP:       How do you deal with writer’s block?

R.M.: Read. That's what seems to be what helps me the most. Writer's block is nothing more than an empty creative tank, and you have to refill it. When I get stuck, make myself stop and pick up a book. Sometimes I have to read the whole book, sometimes just a chapter, sometimes just a sentence or two, and the juices start flowing again.

·  BRoP:       Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

R.M.: I've learned I write best planning out the key points of the story in a chapter by chapter outline. The little details and dialogue, that's all as it flows, but those key points must be planned ahead of time, or else I struggle all the way through.

·  BRoP:       Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?

R.M.: Yes! They are invaluable source of feedback. When you're writing something, that old adage too close to the forest to see the trees is so true. As an author, I have the story in my head, I see the characters, their environment - it's all a movie playing in my mind while I write. But the reader doesn't have that, not unless I get it down just write. Those beta readers and my critique partner make sure that's happening for me.

·  BRoP:      How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?

R.M.: It depends on the book. For my first romance, there was very little. For Veil of Secrecy, there was a lot more. As I write, I have the Internet always open so I can go back and Google something. If more extensive research is needed, I sit with a pen and paper and take notes.

·  BRoP:       Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?

R.M.: The initial first draft. It's like giving birth. It's painful, it's difficult. It makes you wonder why in the world you ever wanted to do it. My first drafts make me cringe. They can even be discouraging. 

Rachel Brackett arrives in Sullivan, Montana with simple goals: relocate, settle an estate, and manage her own antique store. Her parents and friends back home called it running away. That’s just fine with her. 

Rachel’s curiosity leads her into the forest, and she finds creatures who know more about her ominous heritage than she does. The creatures only exist in nightmares – grotesque mutants and shapeshifters. They seek vengeance for hideous crimes in genetic engineering, and Rachel is the prime target for retribution. While Rachel searches for the truth behind the family she never knew, a bounty hunter stalks her every move. Only Leonardo, a figure shrouded in the shadows, offers protection. A were lion with the perfect blend of human and feline features. Terrifying. Impossible. Alluring. 

When Rachel’s home is ripped apart and a friend attacked, it’s clear there is no safe haven. She is no longer running from her past, but trying to survive to make it to her future.

Book is in e-book format as of now, will be in print this spring!