Welcome to the first in the ‘Day in the Life of…’ interviews – a new feature for 2018. Find out the daily challenges and successes of writers, characters, and other professionals involved with the writing process.
Welcome to Lynne Cantwell
Please give us a brief outline of who you are. I’m the author of about 20 books, mostly urban fantasy novels. My biggest and best-known series is the Pipe Woman Chronicles. Before that, I worked as a broadcast journalist; I’ve written for Mutual/NBC Radio News and CNN, among others. If you add up my years as a journalist and this indie author thing, I’ve been writing and editing professionally for nearly 30 years. I’m also on the staff at Indies Unlimited, a superblog for indie authors. [www.indiesunlimited.com]
Do you work at another job? If so tell us about fitting in the writing/editing. My day job is at a big law firm as a legal secretary. Fitting everything in is tough, especially now. I used to be able to get some author tasks done during my downtime at work, but the firm has locked down access to a lot of things on the internet due to security concerns. So I used to be able to sit at my desk at work and check my home email, instant message people, browse for cover art (I usually do my own covers), post photos on social media, etc., but I can’t do any of that now. It’s frustrating.
Do you have a family? What do they think of your job? Do they assist you? I have two daughters. Kat is 31 and Amy is 29. They’re very supportive. In fact, Kat has a degree in creative writing – she’s one of my editors. Amy consults on various things from time to time.
How do you fit in ‘real life’? When I’m writing the first draft of a novel, I don’t fit in “real life” at all. I tend to write them NaNoWriMo-style; that is, I spend every available free minute writing for three or four weeks straight. Editing is a lot less intense for me. Once I get to that point, I’m fit to be with people again!
Do you have a particular process? As I said, I tend to write first drafts in a burst. Weekends are ideal – I can shut the door, put my phone in a drawer (or even in another room!), and immerse myself in the story for several hours straight. I’m able to do this because I write a beats-style outline for the book first. That way I always know which scene I’m writing next. I don’t slavishly follow the outline, but I don’t let the story get too far off-track, either.
Once the first draft is done, I let it sit for two or three weeks, and then reopen the file and start editing it.
Are you very organised? You’re hilarious. I mean, I write the outline, and I keep my research in file folders in OneNote and in manila files at my desk. And I have a dry-erase calendar above my desk that I use for keeping track of events in the book. I guess that’s pretty organized. But there always seems to be something that I end up kicking myself for because I’ve forgotten to make note of it.
What time do you go to bed? On weeknights, my phone nags at me to get to bed by midnight, but I’ll happily ignore it if I’m writing. Most days, though, I turn out the light by 12:30am or 1:00am. On work days I’m up at 7:15am, so staying up much later is not a good look for me the next day.
What do you have for breakfast? I’m experimenting right now. My go-to for decades was cereal and milk, or oatmeal. Lately, though, I’ve been having eggs every morning. I’m also limiting my caffeine intake these days, too, to one cup in the morning – although it’s a big cup. But I don’t drink coffee all day long. I’m also weaning myself from soda because soda is bad for you. Being a grownup stinks sometimes.
Would you recommend your chosen craft to those interested in doing it? Absolutely. It’s not very lucrative, or at least not for most of us. But it has its own rewards. You’ve heard of a runner’s high, right? Well, when I’m writing and really getting into the story and things are really clicking, it’s like I’m on a writer’s high. It feels so great — and the best part is that I don’t have to get all sweaty.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/lynnecantwell
It’s sizzling where I live – I am hoping for autumn to arrive quickly lest I melt to goo. But it’s good weather to laze with a book or seven. Smashwords are having a summer sale and I have entered some of my books. Check out the comments below for other books in the sale.
Running July 1-31st.
The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Tale is free with code SS100
Shattered Mirror – A Poetry Collection is free with code SS100
Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake is free with code SS100
Outside the Walls is free with code SS100
The Light Beyond the Storm Book I is only $1.50 with code SSW50
The Shining Citadel is only $1.75 with code SSW50
The Stolen Tower is only $1.62 with code SSW50
And by my alter ego
Out Now in eBook and Audio—Lottery Losers by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #romance #steamy #SupportIA #IARTG
Winning the lottery is a dream come true… isn’t it?
Susie Parmenter and her husband of almost twenty years, Peter, are lottery jackpot winners. They’ve been able to do everything they’ve ever dreamed of—quit their jobs, design and build their perfect home, buy expensive cars, travel the world… So why is Susie bored out of her mind? She thought being a lady of leisure would be amazing, but unfortunately the reality is far from amazing. How can she possibly tell anyone that, though?
Climbing the walls, sinking deeper into irritation and misery, Susie can’t see a way forward. But what she’s not betting on is that Peter has noticed his beloved wife isn’t happy. And he’s taken steps—drastic steps—to turn things around. But will they live to tell the tale?
Note: Lottery Losers was previously published in the Love Me Hard boxed set.
All eBook and audio buy links here: https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/lottery-losers/
Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40233468-lottery-losers
Susie Parmenter let out a heavy sigh and closed her book, then put it down on the table beside her. She closed her eyes and let her head loll back on her shoulders, enjoying the warmth of the summer sunshine on her skin, which was pleasant but not too hot. It wasn’t the book that was boring her—under normal circumstances, she’d have been riveted by the crime fiction novel featuring a hunky lead detective—it was life. Just lately, her world had become so dull, so predictable, that she just couldn’t summon any enthusiasm for anything.
The worst of it was, she couldn’t tell anyone. It was a problem so utterly first world it was embarrassing. Humiliating, even. Admitting her permanent state of apathy would be ridiculous, and she doubted anyone would understand where she was coming from, anyway. After all, how could you possibly tell your friends, your family, your husband, that you were bored out of your damn mind when you had, quite literally, everything? Since winning a lottery jackpot twelve months ago, Susie and her husband, Peter, had had their worlds turned completely upside down.
At first, of course, it had been amazing. They had won more than enough money to live incredibly lavish lifestyles for the remainder of their years—even if they lived to be very old indeed. So, once the cash was safely in the bank, they’d quit their jobs. Then they’d taken off on an incredible round-the-world trip, spending much of their travel time plotting and planning what else they were going to spend their winnings on. By the time they arrived home, they were ready to hire an architect to draw up plans for a custom-build home. Another two weeks later, they’d found and purchased the plot of land, and were talking to builders. Things moved fast—but then, Susie had found that was often the case when large sums of money were involved.
Now their dream home was complete. It was, naturally, stunning. The huge house stood high on a hillside in the Derbyshire countryside, with only a handful of other properties in sight. It was situated so that from one side of the house, you could watch the sun rise in the morning, and from the other, you could watch it set in the evening. There was a covered and heated swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, a gym, a home cinema… everything a person could possibly need or want, and then some.
They employed a cleaner and a gardener, so aside from cooking meals three times a day—if they didn’t eat out or order takeaway, that was—there was nothing to do around the house. Susie had moved the furniture umpteen times, which was a novelty at first, given their old house had been so small that every single item had a place that it fitted into—barely, in some cases—and that was that. She now found herself swapping pictures around and tweaking the positions of ornaments on a regular basis, often putting them back where they’d been to start with.
She’d gotten into a routine of using the pool, gym, and sauna every morning, but that still left hours and hours of the day just waiting to be filled.
It was all right for Peter—he might have ditched his job, but these days his time was divided between playing golf, and being involved in a bunch of stuffy business boards. She didn’t really understand what he did at the meetings, if she was honest, but it didn’t matter. What did matter was that, only weeks after moving in to their beautiful new home, Susie’s boredom was at fever pitch. She was climbing the walls. Surely even board meetings were more exciting than this?
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter
Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.
Title: Full Circle
(This will be free on Amazon 20-22nd June 2018)
Author: Regina Timothy
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Main character description (short).
The main character of the story is Samia-al-Sayyid, a 33 year old Iraqi immigrant living in the U.S. She overcomes a lot, and works so hard to make a good life for her teenage son. In the end, all her all her efforts are not enough.
Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, Samia-Al-Sayyid an Iraqi refugee is living a quiet life in New York City after she fled her home to avoid imminent death.
She works hard for her cold, heartless, high-strung boss, loves her seventeen-years-old-son, and cherishes the close friendship she has formed with her best friend Susan.
Nothing can go wrong, or so she thinks – until the estranged brother she left back in Iraqi shows up on her doorstep. Then she finds herself in a cab, on her way to the hospital to identify her son, a terror suspect who has blown up the city, and with it her boss’ husband, and her best friend’s son. With everything lost, she is forced to flee to Iraq where she confronts her past. Will she make peace with her past? Can she get forgiveness for all the damage she has caused?
Full Circle is a contemporary fiction tale of friendship, family, and hope. It explores the devastation of loss, the great capacity to forgive and the lengths our loved ones will go to protect us.
Brief Excerpt 250 words:
For hours, Samia sat next to her Aazim’s bed like a zombie, clutching his hand. She did not cry, she just sat there – staring into space with his cold hand in hers. A few times she tried praying for her son, but nothing came to mind. So she gave up on the idea. Instead, she thought. She thought of the first day her uncle came to her when she was thirteen. She looked like she had been run over by a train by the time he was done with her, and it was months before she was able to shed her abaya. She thought of the day she found out she would have Aazim; she was barely a woman, engulfed in paralyzing fear and the endless pit of loneliness. She thought of her daring escape in the middle of the night aided by her best friend Mannar and auntie Menna when they found out her brother’s planned to stone her the next morning. She thought of her journey to Turkey and her terror when she got to Mardin refugee camp. She thought of the relief she felt standing in the refugee camp when she was given her refugee papers to fly to America. She thought of the first time she set foot in the United States – tired, hungry, homesick, and three months pregnant. She thought of the first time she had been called the enemy, the first time her son had been called a terrorist. Now they were the enemy.
Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?
This book is about hope and forgiveness. It tells a riveting story of an Iraqi refugee who is determined to succeed despite the hurdles set on her path.
The book has been likened to Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Librarythings – https://www.librarything.com/profile/Regina-Timothy
Twitter – https://twitter.com/gina_wann
Price Mass Market Paperback: $14.75
Price E-Book: $2.99
Buy Link: Full Circle on Amazon
Basic Book Spotlight
Title: The Beast of Talesend
Author: Kyle Robert Shultz
Genre: Fairytale fantasy
Main character description (short): Nick Beasley, a detective famous for debunking magic.
Synopsis: Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.
At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.
The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.
The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?
Brief Excerpt 250 words:
“What do you mean?” I roared. “Don’t tell me that! You said, back in the castle, that you were going to change me just to convince me magic was real, and then change me back! So why can’t you just do that now?”
“It’s not that easy,” Cordelia insisted. “Magic has rules.”
I stared at her in disbelief. “It’s magic. By definition, how could it possibly have rules? Magic is a contradiction of every law in the universe!”
“Of course it has rules,” she shot back. “If it didn’t, then you could just do anything you wanted to with it!”
“No! There are all sorts of things magic can never do. Raising the dead, for example.”
“I’m not asking you to raise the dead! Just break this spell!”
Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?
Because admit it, you’ve always wanted a 1920’s noir-ish detective novel with shades of Doctor Who featuring a snarky monster protagonist; you just never knew how to put that desire into words before. You’re welcome.
Links etc: https://bit.ly/2JNjPum
Title: Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse
Author: A. L. Butcher
Genre: Fantasy/Mythic/Dark Fantasy/Short Stories
Main character description (short).
“I am Saelth and I have come to slay your monster,” he announced. His words were bold and his demeanour bolder. Behind him rode the fiercest of his band, axemen and archers, trackers and swordsmen. A mean crew indeed and feared about the land; fur-clad and blooded, they were blades for hire.
Synopsis: He who bargains with monsters beware! A hero forges an unholy bargain with a witch and learns magic never forgets.
In a land of forbidden magic, a mysterious cave holds both riches and danger for three adventurers who discover a mighty treasure and a terrible secret.
Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse Excerpt
© A. L. Butcher
On the nights when the moon rose to its fullest, its light a silver sheen upon the roof of the Great Hall, a terrible monster came. His voice was like the rasping of flesh on a blade, his countenance blighted and ugly, twisted like melted flesh with great weeping sores and a putrid smell. Many warriors had tried to vanquish this foul creature, and now their bones lay with the prince’s in the barrow to the east of Eadsham, the settlement that had been forged by blood and toil by the first king, Aedwin. Widows were aplenty and many children made fatherless from this awful beast. Doors were bolted and barred, and not even the lord himself dared to face it. Such was his shame.
The king grew ever older and wishing to marry a man of bravery and honour to his daughter messengers once more rode out north, south, east and west in search of a hero, one with the fortitude to face this cursed beast, as they had done so many times before. On a night when clouds covered the moon’s light and rain fell in drops the size of marbles, the sky was rent with lightning as a great human warrior rode to the gates of the village. “I am Saelth and I have come to slay your monster,” he announced. His words were bold and his demeanour bolder. Behind him rode the fiercest of his band, axemen and archers, trackers and swordsmen. A mean crew indeed and feared about the land; fur-clad and blooded, they were blades for hire.
“We have slain creatures from nightmare and beasts that made grown men piss their drawers. Your curse will be lifted if the price is right!” His band nodded, for their rates were high indeed so that only lords and kings could afford their blades.
“No weapon forged by man can vanquish it! You’ll simply earn your place in the Hall of the Dead,” someone called.
Saelth looked around for the one who had spoken. “Then I shall go to the Halls of the Dead a hero, not one who cowers behind the table, or beneath the bed. I am no coward, nor simpering woman. Nothing is all powerful, or unable to be vanquished, save the gods.”
Why should readers buy this book?
The Warrior’s Curse is a tale of greed, adventure, monsters and the price of magic, set in a dark fantasy world. But it’s also a tale of people, their weaknesses and what some will do for power. It is a story within a story, as we start with a group of adventurers plundering a cave and learn of dark deeds and unholy bargains.
If you like mythic style fantasy, fast-paced adventure with a twist then you’ll love this.
Universal Link – all the major e-book stores) https://www.books2read.com/WarriorsCurse
Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2Ei0EGe
The Warrior’s Curse also appears in Here Be Monsters
I am delighted to announce the latest in the Myth, Monsters and Mayhem series of fantasy bundles. Here Be Monsters is now available on preorder.
Here Be Monsters
We love to fear them and fight them. Monsters come in many forms, from the monsters within to the monsters outside and under the bed. Dare you venture into the caverns and the castles? Dare you enter the darkness of an accursed soul?
An eclectic collection of dark creatures and those who fight them. You have been warned.
Here Be Monsters features 19 tales of myths, monsters, and mayhem.
Universal Link books2read.com/HereBeMonstersBundle
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2JBwvUY
- Monster Town” by Steven Savile
- “The Magic of Fabulous” by Michele Lang
- “A Murder of Crows” by DeAnna Knippling
- “Minotaur” by DJ Chamberlain
- “Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse” by A. L. Butcher
- “Blackbeard’s Aliens” by Robert Jeschonek
- “Caught Between Monsters” by Stefon Mears
- “Night Terrors” by J.A. Pitts
- “Beasts of Tabat” by Cat Rambo
- “Demon Daze” by Deb Logan
- “A Knot of Trolls” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
- “The Stolen Tower” by A. L. Butcher
- “The Maker, the Teacher, and the Monster” by Leah Cutter
- “One Red Shoe” by Russ Crossley
- “Dawn of the Chupacabra” by Kyle Bergersen
- “To Be a Monster” by Jamie Ferguson
- “The Beast of Talesend” by Kyle Robert Shultz
- “Children of the Monster” by Russ Crossley
- “The Genie’s Secret” by Robert Jeschonek
I ran a poll similar to this a while ago but I am interested to know if your views have changed.
How influential are book reviews to you? There are some folks who say they will not buy a book with negative reviews (of course that’s relative – what constitutes a ‘negative’ rating? 1 star out of 5? 2? 3?). Some people read reviews to look for opinions similar to their own. There are people who never read reviews. And everything in between.
Personally, I will review a book I read, but not every book – I don’t have the time – and if I really can’t think of anything beyond a line or two then it probably isn’t worth it. I am contrary – I usually don’t read the reviews before I buy. Usually. Unless it’s only got a couple of 1 stars. What appeals to me in a book is rather genre dependent – so it can be hard to judge one against another.
The poll runs for 1 week – and I will report on the findings afterwards. Get voting peeps.
Name: Kristal McKerrington
What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
Wrestling has had a big influence on me my entire life. I have longed to make their lives better just like I did when I was a dancer for other dancers. I love dance, romance and this was the only chance my friends who have passed on could have their dance characters finish a great adventure. An ending they would be proud of.
What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?
Write every single day, you’ll get better with practice and don’t let whatever publishers stop you for having your story out there. Read every day, watch something like TV or a movie at least four times a week. These are the tricks that will improve your writing. Keep notes, ask your characters questions and keep a notebook where you write down things about the characters that make them whole.
If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?
I would choose to have dinner with Dwayne Johnson, Jeff Hardy, Vince McMahon for the famous people. I would rather have a WWE dinner party. If its a character then I have to say I would like to have dinner with Claire from the Morganvile Vampire series by Rachel Caine. I’d like to have her for dinner.
Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
My husband, Rachel Caine, Catherine Cookson, Shane Helms, Rhyno, Joe E Legend, Rick Riddle, Raphaello to name a few. I have others to thank – like Katherine Tegan, Lydia Sharp, Melissa Miller, Kathi Sprayberry and Emma. I would like to think Jane Austen has a hand in my writing style. Debi Glori for getting me started down the writing trail. Barney Cohen for being what a lot of us writers long to be. Colleen Hoover for her excited behaviour. Alyxandra Harvey for keeping my spirits up when I have been at my lowest. Dinner party at my house, open invitation for you always.
Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
No, I don’t think it will, because there is a huge number of people who are always going to like the feel and smell of the book. You don’t get that with an ebook. I think that is what keeps us readers loyal and special.
Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
I can’t take just three, but I would take three series. I would take the Lakehouse saga by Rachel Caine, Alyxandra Harvey’s Vampire Chronicles and Sherrlyn Keyon’s Dark Hunter series. That should keep me busy for a really long time.
Author bio and book synopsis
I’ve had Arthritis since I was 2 1/2 years old, I’m 29 now. I spend most of my writing with my cat Bob. I like reading with my soon to be husband Ian. I just completed start writing fiction, Jane Austen module, Maternal Health and introduction to screenwriting. I’m doing more courses through future learning.
I’m a keen blogger and have a blog where I review books.