Monday, April 23, 2012

Interview and giveaway with Rachael Wade


Today I am pleased to welcome Rachael Wade, author of Amaranth and her new release, The Gates. After the interview, be sure to catch my review of Amaranth and The Gates and Enter to WIN a copy of The Gates.




Welcome, Rachael. I have to tell you I was ecstatic when you agreed to this interview because I loved Amaranth and The Gates and can’t wait until .  


Wow, thanks, Regan. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m honored to stop by your blog today. :)

1.       My first question is one that I’ve been wanting to ask you ever since I read your fantastic novel, Amaranth. I love the title; it’s what drew me to your book, well, that and the awesome cover. How did you come up with that name?

Good question. I’m not sure exactly what inspired it. All I know is when I came up with the concept for the Amaranthian exile, I wanted to name it something that the city represented. So I was thinking about eternity and immortality, and then the theme of Gavin and Camille’s love—an everlasting, loyal kind of love. So I began playing around with words that meant “everlasting,” and Amaranth happened to be one of them. Apparently, it also refers to an imaginary, undying flower and a plant. And while I wasn’t referring to the plant, I do like the idea of this indestructible flower that “freezes” life. Hence the frozen souls in the series...

2.       I read that you always have a playlist while writing and that you sleep, eat, and shower with your  iPod. Can you tell us a little about the playlist for The Gates, and why you chose those songs?

Haha, yup, I do really eat, sleep, and shower with my iPod. It’s my little sidekick. Well, music really helps me set the tone for painting the scenery in my stories, and the songs on The Gates playlist were chosen because something about each one was very atmospheric and eerie. Additionally, the words in each song on the list meant something literally or figuratively for my characters during the progression of the story. I always say that if you listen to my playlists from beginning to end, you’ll pretty much see and hear the entire story in sequence. It’s that crucial to my writing process—I pretty much outline the story with a soundtrack or I can’t write.

3.       Here’s a question for other newly published authors if you wouldn’t mind sharing some of your trade secrets. What are some of your best strategies for marketing your books?

Sure thing. When it comes to marketing, I basically invest what I able to financially in advertising, particularly sites like Kindle Nation Daily. Other than that, I mostly focus on interacting with readers and writers in general. I focus on being myself, being a person, talking about normal things like life, music, art, and the day-to-day grind. I’m not a fan of shoving my work down peoples’ throats. I don’t hop on Goodreads or Twitter and spam people with links to my work. I figure if they get to know me and they like me, they might check out my work some day. I leave the hard-selling tactics to paid advertising and some occasional plugs on my Facebook and Twitter, and put most of my energy into building relationships with people. I enjoy that naturally, so I think that’s why it works for me. Goodreads is my backyard. I live there. But aside from the occasional event invite offering a giveaway copy of my book, I spend time there discussing books and life with the people I meet and that seems to send a lot of readers my way. It’s a win-win. I meet some really great people, make new friends, and build my platform at the same time.

4.       This is a two-part question. Have you always lived in Florida and if not, where else have you lived? And part two, if you had a choice to live anywhere in the world, regardless of price, where   would it be?

I’ve lived in Florida since I was 3 years old. I was actually born in Philadelphia and lived there as a baby. But I’ve been a Florida girl ever since. And if I could live anywhere in the world regardless of price, it would be right near Eastsound on Orcas Island in Washington. It’s my favorite place in the whole world and hope to make it a reality some day. I’m trying to visit once a year now because I can’t stand being so far away. Coincidentally...it’s used as a setting in Preservation. :)

5.       Did you always know you wanted to be a writer and if not when did that occur to you?

I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid, was always interested in writing for film and writing screenplays. But finding out a career working with marine animals wasn’t going to be my path after all is what led me to finally decide to write for a living. (I worked and volunteered at Sea World for a while, was going to work with animals.) That and too many dead-end jobs. It hit me hard one day that I wasn’t happy with my career goals and it was because I wasn’t doing what I loved the most—storytelling. I just never thought it was possible as a “real” job, even after English teachers in high school and college encouraged me to pursue it. I never bothered. I used to write lyrics for music, used to sing and perform, so during that time, I found an outlet to use my love for words through writing music. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to write full-length stories, so I finally did and am thankful I took the plunge.

6.       Here’s a question you recently asked me and I thought it was a great question, so I’m asking you. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?

It is a great question, but a tough one, right? Haha. I’d say Katniss Everdeen because of her strength, but I wouldn’t want to be dropped into her world. So I’d say Ana Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey, just to have a few minutes with my favorite book boyfriend. I could go on about a movie character I’d love to be, but if I start down that road, I’ll never shut up. ;)

7.       As a novelist, what part do you like best, creating the story or editing it and can you tell us why?

I like creating the story the most, coming up with a concept and getting to know my characters. The characters are always my focus, so developing them is my favorite part of writing.

8.       Many authors go through their manuscripts a multitude of times and as a writer I know, we are never really ever satisfied, but there comes a time that we have to say, “finished.” How many     times did you edit your books before you finally said, “enough?”

Oh, man. I think that is the toughest part of the writing process—letting go. I tend to be a perfectionist, it’s definitely a flaw of mine, so I always find something that I want to improve. Now when I read Amaranth, I cringe, wishing I could’ve changed this or changed that. And I’m sure I’ll feel that way with my new releases. I think I already do. Typically, though, I go through 3 or 4 drafts on my own before I hand it over to my critique partners and editor. Those final rounds, when my editor is cleaning things up and handing it back for the final pass—that is when I’m absolutely spent. I want to toss the manuscript in the ocean at that point. Thankfully, I’m learning to let go with each new work. When you’ve exhausted your resources, spent hours tweaking continuities, and have done all you can, I think you just know you’re done. It’s the best you can do. If a typo of grammar error makes it through after all of that labor, most readers will recognize that you are human, and so is your editor. Nothing will ever be perfect in the eyes of the author or the reader, so accepting that helps me to know when it’s okay to let go.

Oh yeah, one more question. What exactly is sponge candy?

LOL! I take it this question is referring to a stop at Anna Dase’s blog? In my book, it’s the best candy ever. It’s a Buffalo NY and Canadian thing, which is where a lot of my family is from, so I grew up with it. It’s always really hard to explain because it has a distinct taste and you won’t know how good it is until you try it, so I always send newbies here:  http://spongecandy.com/faq/what-is-sponge-candy/

Thank you so much for joining me today, Rachael I wish you all the best of luck with all your books.

Thanks again for having me, Regan. I really appreciate your support.

The Gates is in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is available on Kindle and Nook on 4/25.

MY REVIEW OF THE GATES:



The Resistance Trilogy is not your normal vampire story. Rachael Wade has created an amazing world for these creatures and she does a terrific job going from our world to theirs. The Gates has everything, vampires, witches, spells, portals, villains, suspense, mystery, and my favorite, love. Even sex this time. J

I love reading from the male point of view and was quite pleased to see some of that in this book. I think reading from the male POV gives that extra edge into the hero’s mind, and quite honestly, men baffle me so when I get to read what they are thinking, even if it is just someone’s fantasy and imagination, I consider it a treat. That might be why I love reading romances written by male authors so much. But I love it even more when a woman does it, because after all, we know what we want more than the guys do and when a female writer can do it and make it sound believable, that’s magic, and Rachael Wade knows magic. I loved the twists she weaved into this one and was extremely pleased by the turn of events.

Ms. Wade’s writing is spot on and solid. I’m really looking forward to the next one in this trilogy and her next book. 


MY REVIEW OF AMARANTH:





This little gem took me by surprise on two counts. One because it was very good and the other, because I read it based purely on the cover. In fact, I never even read the short synopsis posted so I had no idea what it was about and the title gave me absolutely no clue, since the word amaranth is a plant often cultivated for food and cereal in Central and South America. (I admit, I had to look that one up to be sure, I knew it had something to do with plants). The name, Amaranth, and the cover intrigued me so much I had to read the book. I know you’re not supposed to base a book on its cover, but this time you can.☺



I find it fun sometimes to read a book not knowing anything about it. It really makes the journey, somehow, more magical, so I won’t tell you much about it and the beginning didn’t give me much of a clue either, but I was drawn in immediately from the very first paragraph. Amaranth is an enjoyable, quick read (mainly because I couldn’t put it down) with a lot of twists, which I love. Great job, Ms. Wade, I am looking forward to the next book in this trilogy. 



NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!



Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Comment or Not


This subject has come up a lot recently. Not only whether an author should comment on a review of their own book but should authors review other authors?

I review other authors if I like their book. If you see a review on my blog, it is because I liked the book. If I didn’t like your book, I won’t review it, but I will tell you privately, if you’ve asked me to review it, what I didn’t like and why. I believe constructive criticism is helpful and I would want the same treatment.

Should I comment on a review of my own book? Hmmm … it depends. If I know the reviewer and I’ve been on her blog before, chances are I will comment. If I don’t know the reviewer very well, I will thank them privately through email. I also believe that reviewers should respect the author and if they were given a free copy of the book to review, they should thank the author for it.

As for my own blog, I love comments so if an author wants to leave a comment on a review I'v done for them, then I'm all for it. I think readers like seeing what the author has to say. It makes them seem real.

I will be reviewing The Gates, by Rachael Wade with an interview this Monday, April 23rd for her blog tour.

My next review after that should be of Anne Carter’s StarCrossed Hearts another great book by a great author.

By the way, check out this awesome review by my brother as he gives his take on my novel, Whisper Cape, on his blog. He is my brother, so he might be a tad biased but it fills my heart with so much joy that he took the time to read my book and write such wonderful things about. With this review, I feel very confident in commenting and saying thank you. 

Thanks for reading,

Regan

Monday, April 16, 2012

Writing Sequels or Series




As some of you know, I am in the process of writing the second book in the Whisper Cape series, Reflections, and I thought I’d share some of my journey with you.

First, writing the second book is not as easy as I thought it would be. Keeping facts consistence from one book to the next with settings, locations, existing characters, and making sure I haven’t changed their personalities is a bit of a challenge. There are times when I have needed to read over several scenes from Whisper Cape to make sure I didn’t accidentally change something. Adding new characters is easier, in my opinion. There’s not much you can screw up there—everything about them is new and fresh.

I tend to let my characters tell the story and drive the plot, which can take me to places I hadn’t intended, but most always welcomed. Adding new locations and doing research is always fun. I enjoy the research part, exploring countries I’ve never been to but would love to visit so that I can give firsthand experience of the local customs and landscapes justice. But when it’s not possible to actually go there, I do rely heavily on Google Earth and other websites. It was easier with Whisper Cape, which is set along the Oregon Coast, albeit a long but manageable drive from my home. The story occasionally ventures away from there, with visits to the Sectory to meet some of the members of the Sectorium and of course, let’s not forget the scene in Bora Bora, which I’ve actually had the pleasure of visiting. So I had the experience of learning what those places are like. It is a different story with Reflections.

With Reflections, though, my characters are taking me to new locations I’ve only dreamed of visiting and I’m having a blast researching. Reflections is Gerry’s and Maia’s story and it’s no secret that Gerry is from Scotland, so it’s only natural that he takes us on a journey back to his roots.

I love when a book takes me away to wherever the characters are at the time. So when I write, I like to describe the area so that the reader feels like they are actually there. I only hope I can make the second book as fresh and as exciting as the first and give all the new locations the imagery they deserve.

If you've ever written a sequel, please feel free to share your experience. 

Now it’s time to get back to writing.  

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.

Regan

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Save My Soul, by K.S. Haigwood







Blurb from Goodreads:

Kendra Larkin had everything going in the right direction. Her life was seemingly perfect, and she wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Unfortunately, the course of her life was about to be forever altered. A tragic repelling accident lands her on Dr. Adam Chamberlain's operating table.

She agrees to a deal proposed by a guardian angel to help save the soul of the man who is both her doctor and soulmate. If she is successful, she gets to keep her life. However, she later learns that it isn't just her life that's in jeopardy, but her soul as well.

Even with the help of her handsome guardian angel, Rhyan, it seems there is no happy ending in sight. Torn between her newly discovered love of Rhyan, and the undeniable attraction she has for Adam, Kendra finds herself at a crossroad. With Adam's steadfast rejection of God, and his guardian demon conspiring against her, she fears her soul may already be lost.

Will she find a way to overcome the evil her life is suddenly burdened with? Or will Adam's guardian demon win both their souls and make Kendra his own personal puppet in Hell?


My Review:

Lucky me! I had the pleasure to be one of the first to read and review this awesome story. Save My Soul has so much going for it. Kristie Haigwood has such a uniquely charming voice in this debut novel. I honestly felt like I was reading about a real person. She is a force to be reckoned with that’s for sure. Although quirky at times, Kendra is a strong, likeable young woman and pulled at my heartstrings immediately. This story was so charming and had the magical influence of the old angel on my shoulder, devil on the other. It reminded me of a few old movies I’d seen; Heaven Can Wait, It’s A Wonderful Life just to name a couple. A quarter-way into the book, I started questioning whether or not this was a religious book, but then realized there wouldn’t be any swearing in it then. There’s not much, just a little. Kristie made Kendra so believable the way she showed her working with the students during their photo sessions, I had to wonder whether Ms. Haigwood was in fact a photographer on the side. She did a remarkable job with the details.

There were a few twists in the story, I won’t give anything away, but for me, the more twists and surprises a story has the better. The love Kendra had for her guardian angel was an honest love that no one could deny and his love for her was one you would expect if you knew your own guardian angel and could actually see and talk to him. If you love books about angels this is a great one to read. You will be charmed along with everyone else who reads it. Great Job, Kristie!  Great Cover too! Thank you for allowing me to read this little gem.

Thanks for reading.

Regan




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

REFLECTIONS Cover Reveal


I’m excited to reveal the cover for REFLECTIONS  
(A Whisper Cape novel, Book 2)
Releasing November, 2012
Publisher: Amber Glow Books

Don't forget to add it to your TBR lists.




Description:



Gerry has loved Maia from the very first moment he laid eyes on her and now that she's pregnant with his child, he's over the moon with happiness. Likewise, Maia is overjoyed about having Gerry's baby, but when she starts seeing and hearing an old woman who always seems to want to warn Maia about the pregnancy, Maia starts to think she is losing her mind. 

But Maia’s nightmare has only just begun . . . A most sought after beautiful woman, a talented lead singer in an up and coming rock band sets her sights on Gerry determined to rekindle an old flame. But murder befalls the sleepy town of Whisper Cape once again, creating suspicion and betrayal, and a love, considered invincible, begins to crumble and fall apart.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Join the Giveaway

Rachael Wade, a fellow author friend of mine is giving away 2 Advanced E-Book Copies or her 
new upcoming release, PRESERVATION 


Check it out!