Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Interview with Lauralynn Elliott!, xkcd, and ROW80

Part Two of my guest post on Istanbul at Beth Camp's blog is up!

Meanwhile, I have a treat today - an interview with Lauralynn Elliott!

Lauralynn's the author of thirteen books, including paranormal romances, romantic suspense, and this book that's on my wishlist:

Her short story, The Beast in the Mirror, is available for free!

On writing

What's your earliest memory related to writing?

When I was somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, I wrote a story, on notecards, about a girl named Angel. The funny thing is, I didn't know how to spell Angel, and I ended up spelling it Angle. LOL

Who inspired you to write?

You know, I'm not really sure. I just naturally wanted to do it.

Do you have a favourite writing-related quote?

Well, I kind of like "It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot. Because I always wanted to be a writer, and I gave it up for so many years. But when I came back to it, it wasn't too late.

Where do you do most of your writing? What do you need to help you write? Tea or coffee?

I've finally got my office fixed up the way I want it, so that's where I go. It kind of has a beach theme. I like to snack a little when I write. It seems to make me relax. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

Which scenes are hardest for you to write?

The scenes where there's not a lot going on. Kind of the in-between scenes that connect the exciting ones.

What's the weirdest thing you've researched?

I don't know that this is weird, but it's what I researched the most. I had to research the Amazon rain forest because one of my books is partially set there.
[That sounds interesting!]

Do you have stories that might never see light of day?

Yes! I wrote a story that hit a little too close to home. It was cathartic at the time, but I have no interest in publishing it.

On characters

Do you have a method for creating your characters and their names, and what do you think makes them believable?

My characters sort of pop into my head and need to be heard. The names just come to me most of the time, but occasionally I have a hard time naming one. I guess what makes them believable is that they are like me or people I know.

Would you like to be one of your characters, or do you the writer torture them too much?

Since most of my stories are paranormal, I don't think I would want to be one of my characters. I would be too scared if I really met a vampire or ghost.

Have you secretly chosen actors to play your main characters?

Actually, I do that sometimes, especially my male characters. My very favorite character is from my book, Haunted Lake. I had a really hard time finding an actor that I could picture, but when the new version of Beauty and the Beast came out, I found my John in Jay Ryan. He has a scar (on the show), and his voice is kind of raspy. Perfect for John!

On publishing

How's the indie/self-publishing journey been so far? Do you have any advice for others who might be attempting that route?

It was very satisfying and lucrative in the beginning. There were a few months that I could have made a living as a writer from just one novella that really took off (Guardian Vampire). But as the market has become flooded with indie authors, it's much harder to be found. Readers have to wade through a lot of authors. I think you have to be persistent and just not give up if you're serious about this. Treat it as a job. And make sure your books are edited well. My later books are edited much better than my earlier ones.

Getting a good review from which author would make you freak out the most?

Well, it would be Stephen King, of course, but I don't think he reads my books.

When not writing...

What do you do when you're not writing?

I work full time, love to play computer games, go to church, and love hanging out with family and friends. I love going out to a good action movie with my husband and eating lots of popcorn.
[Full time! Now that's inspiring, to those of us contemplating the indie route]

Which is the most embarrassing song, book, movie or TV show that you love?

The movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The original one where people dressed up in turtle suits. *blushes*
[Aww, I love that movie too!]

Who is your favourite author?

Stephen King
[He's one of mine too!]

If you could invite three people from any time period to dinner, who would you choose and what would you serve?

Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. I would order pizza, because I wouldn't want to waste time in the kitchen.
[That's a great reason!]

Where would you most like to travel?

Oh, this one is hard. Maybe Scotland.

I'd love to see the Highlands. Thanks for being here today, Lauralynn!

Read all about Lauralynn's books here, and find her on Amazon here.

Lauralynn's also been a sponsor for ROW80, which reminds me that I didn't realise last week that it was the end of Round 3!

No matter, because I'm still going, still typing up Captive of the Sea, and working on the September X. I think I might be getting into the dreaded middle of the story, judging by the sudden increase in square brackets (for items that require research) and underlined words (which indicate that I know this isn't the correct word, for flow and form and anachronistic purposes, but I just can't think of a good one at the moment!).

Next round of ROW80 starts on 7 October!

Meanwhile, this is a lovely thing I learned about this week on xkcd (and if you're not regularly reading xkcd, you're missing out!)

Are the leaves changing colour where you are?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

CassaStorm is Out! and Upper Canada Village Horse Lovers' Weekend and ROW80


This week we're celebrating the release of CassaStorm!

I had one question for Alex...

If you could organize a dream book tour, where would you go/how would you organize it?
Well, I'd hire someone to organize it, that's for sure. We’re traveling the globe – going to New Zealand, back to the Orient and United Kingdom, through the Scandinavian countries... Wait, I'd actually have to make appearances for my books? Well, that doesn't sound like fun!
I could help organize one in Turkey! But not having to make public appearances is the best part of a blog tour!

CassaStorm by Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy...

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he'd put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron's ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy's mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle...

"CassaStorm is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery." – Edi's Book Lighhouse

"...mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It's a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion..." –Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon Kindle

Book trailer!

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Comment on Alex's blog this week for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag!

Meanwhile, speaking of travels... of the non inter-stellar kind... the other day I was on Beth's blog talking about Istanbul!

And I've got more photos from the 19th Century Upper Canada Village! It was Horse Lovers' Weekend a couple of weekends ago and there was lots to see!

hmm, manure...

sweet horsies!

equestrian Fawn Anderson

looking across the river to the United States

a couple of farm hands...

telegraph signal tower

playing the spoons on the front porch...




I tasted the apples and the pears... not fully ripe yet but yummy!

Loucks Farm House


...and scholars

fairy tale scenes

monument for Royalist American regiments


Brief ROW80 update - this month's forum exercise is going really well! And I've been typing. If I manage to type every single day between now and 1 November, without one day off, I just might finish typing Captive of the Sea before NaNoWriMo starts and I focus on a whole new story.

Any last minute summer vacations?
Or do you already have plans for autumn (and spring down under!)

Who's doing NaNo this year?

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem)
  • The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem;
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary
  • Managed by Kristen Callihan
  • beta read! (JB)
  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at