Tuesday, November 26, 2013

J.R. Loveless MIA?... Nah, Just Busy

An idea of the Thayne pictured in my head while writing!
I know it's been super long since I posted. I am sorry. I don't want to fall off the grid, but with work and getting old(!) I'm always tired. I've been trying to finish the follow up to Chasing Seth. It's almost there! I'm at just over 73k words and my target is at least 80k. I have to update my word count meter here to reflect the change. I have been posting my progress on my Facebook so if you aren't already friends on there, send me an invite and I'll accept. My profile is private on Facebook since I post pictures from time to time that are a tad on the racy side and I don't want to be flagged by someone for posting them.
My dog is doing well. He has his days where he experiences troubles with his pancreas. The only thing I can do is be with him and if he seems to be in pain give him one of his pills. As long as I keep him relatively calm and on the weight management food he seems to do well.

Are you attending RainbowCon in Tampa in April next year? I am! I have an author spot and would love to see you there! I will be giving away LOTS of goodies in the swag room so I hope you'll come! I'll be putting together a set of those goodies as a giveaway after I come back from the Con so make sure to keep an eye out for your chance to win just in case you aren't able to make it to Tampa! It sounds like it's going to be a blast and I hope to keep going each year! Especially since it's not that far from my home and easy to drive. (Not a fan of flying!).

Ain't that the truth?
Is it just me or does Black Friday no longer quantify as Black Friday? I mean now the stores are opening on Thanksgiving!? What's up with that? Seriously? Those poor employees and not being able to enjoy one day off to be with their families! The all mighty dollar rules again! SMH. Such a shame how commercialized the holidays have become. It makes it hard to enjoy them anymore. Christmas movies and decorations are shoved down your throat now before Halloween is even over. It just seems as if our country is getting away from the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I saw how many stores are opening as early as 4pm on Thursday this week I couldn't help but scoff at how greedy the stores are getting. And you would think the stores would put some kind of process in place to prevent the injuries, fighting, and all out mob mentality that happens EVERY year. There hasn't been a Black Friday gone by in years where someone wasn't hurt over stupidity.

Keep an eye on my website soon because I'm going to be posting my previous Christmas release with Silver Publishing on the site as a free read. I also am going to be self publishing the other two stories from there as well in the next couple of months. I just have to find the time between finishing Forgiving Thayne and work to format it for upload to the various sites. I had the cover redesigned and I am very happy with it. More so than the original. I was never happy with the original, but after multiple attempts to relay what I wanted I gave up and accepted the best of the lot. So there will be new covers! :) Also will update my website once those are available again.

Okay, it is almost three a.m. here and I have to be up for work soon. Going to log! Have a WONDERFUL rest of the evening and an even better day! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Make sure to appreciate the day and enjoy the time with your family. Remember what it's all about because if we continue to lose sight of what it really means to be thankful, I'm not sure our future is going to be very bright.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Author Spotlight: Anne Barwell & A Knight to Remember

Hello, everyone! Today's author spotlight is on Anne Barwell! Please be sure to let her know you stopped in by leaving a comment for her. :)


Not your stereotypical hero...
A big thanks to JR Loveless for hosting me today J

I'm not a fan of stereotypes, and prefer to write and read about characters who don't necessarily act in a way their position in the plot, or in life, might dictate.

Heroes who run in save the day, and aren't fazed by the fact the body count is piling up don't interest me. I prefer a reluctant hero who does what needs doing either because there isn't anyone else, or it's to save someone he cares about. While banter is a good thing, as it prevents the story from being bogged down from doom and gloom and too much angst, it shouldn't come at the cost of an emotional response.

My heroes, although capable, don't always know exactly what they're doing. Aric, in A Knight to Remember, is sent by a dragon on a quest to find a sword. But he has no clue what the magical properties of the sword are, or how he's going to use it to unite his kingdom. Where would be the fun in that, let alone the fodder for sequels?  He also has a tendency to get distracted by letting his thoughts wander, but that's what makes him human.  He does, however, know how to use a sword and can hold his own in battle, and will do whatever it takes to keep others safe.

I'm also not a fan of female characters who constantly need rescuing. My female characters are more likely to end up rescuing someone else, or giving their companions a good kick up the proverbial arse. Sometimes they're also needed to make sure the heroes don't get too distracted by each other and get on with the plot.

One thing that will turn me off reading a story very quickly is an amazingly capable hero or heroine who is better than anyone else. They save the day, kill bad guys before breakfast, and hardly break a sweat. *cough*Mary/Marty Sue*cough*.  I'd much prefer someone who uses his wits to think outside the box to defeat an enemy who is stronger and faster than he is.  After killing someone for the first time, the reality of what he's done hits him in the gut and he promptly throws up.

Perfect characters are perfectly boring. Give me a hero who makes mistakes and has to deal with the consequences any day. Besides being way more interesting, they're so much more fun to angst, with perhaps a good dollop of hurt/comfort thrown in for good measure.

"The last of your line will be in the embrace of a dragon."

Aric, Crown Prince of Astria, has been brought up to believe that all dragons are evil. But when he speaks with one, he finds himself questioning those beliefs. The dragon tells him to find a sword in Sherwin Forest to save not only his kingdom but also his sister, Georgia, who must otherwise wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom.

At the start of his quest, Aric dons a disguise and meets Denys, an archer and herbalist who lives alone at the edge of the forest. Denys agrees to guide Aric into the forest, but then Georgia appears, revealing Aric’s true identity.

However Aric learns he is not the only one keeping secrets. Denys has a few of his own that could change both of their lives forever.
Buy link:


“You said you had something to tell me.” Aric cleared his throat, not wishing to reminiscence about such things, at least not now. He was losing his mind, he must be. This was a dream, it had to be. Yet why did it feel so real? “And my name is not Brandric. It’s Aric. Brandric is what my father calls me.”

“Aric, then.” The dragon inclined its head again, lowering its voice. “Your sister is to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom. This must not be allowed to happen. It will not unite your kingdoms, but is merely a ploy to gain your father’s trust.”

“I already know that.” Aric had heard two of King Malachite’s men talking. Once the marriage had taken place, King Malachite planned to invade Astria and claim it in the name of Logan, his own kingdom. “He… they talked about using magic.” Aric had told his father about what he’d overheard, but he hadn’t been believed. King Malachite, King Brandr assured his son, would not attempt to betray Astria by using the evil that was magic. Nor would he use their children’s marriage to gain control over Astria. He was an honorable man who had stood by Astria and its people many times, their armies united against a common foe. Together they had triumphed over those who might use magic against them, and worked to rid both their lands of the threat of dragons.

Aric had never trusted King Malachite. There was something about the man that made his skin crawl, but if asked to explain, he couldn’t. Only two people had ever believed him: Georgia and Aunt Hannah.

“The only way to fight magic is with magic.” The dragon looked around, then cocked its head to the side as though listening to something Aric could not hear. “You must seek the Sword of Sherwin, Aric. The quest will not only save your kingdom, but also your sister.”

“I….” Aric stared at the dragon. He’d heard of the sword, of course he had. It was an old tale told to him by both his aunt and his mother. The sword was a thing of power. “It doesn’t exist. It’s just a story. Or if it did, it was lost generations ago.” He shook his head. Surely the dragon couldn’t be serious?

“Then it is time it was found again, isn’t it?”

“You make it sound simple. It’s not.” Aric looked up at the dragon. Its eyes were the same color as its scales. They seemed to bore into his own, searching his heart, and his soul. There was something ageless about it, powerful yet lonely. He shivered, and averted his gaze.

“You see what others don’t, young Aric.” The dragon opened its wings. Aric gasped. They were the length of several men, black cobwebs of fine leather and scale. “Follow your heart, and trust your instincts.”

“But I don’t know where to look.” Aric wanted to believe the dragon, he truly did. Georgia couldn’t be allowed to marry Prince Thorold, and Aric could not stand by and let his kingdom fall. Killing dragons had only been part of the oath he’d taken. He might not intend to keep that part of it, but he certainly would keep the other.

The dragon had already begun to flap its wings. It was preparing to leave, and Aric knew once it took flight he’d never be able to stop it. “Follow your heart, Aric. Do what is right.”

Aric stumbled back, his sword falling to the ground. He couldn’t kill the dragon, but more than that, he didn’t want to. “I don’t know where to look,” he yelled after it. The dragon did not reply but instead took to the air, gliding, hovering above him, its movement graceful, majestic. Something about it called to him, touched him.

He wiped at his eyes. They were wet.

When he looked up again, the dragon was gone.


Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Update on Forgiving Thayne, RainbowCon Information & Self Publication

Happy Tuesday, everyone! :)

I know it's been a while since I really posted much. It's been a rough few months. I fell and injured my leg which has led to doctors and hospital visits as it wasn't a simple bruise this time. How can you tell you're getting old? You hurt yourself more than you used to when you fall! I'm pretty sure I'm well on the way to being mended now, will have more information on that after this Friday. Another doctor's visit. :-/ Hopefully the last. *crosses fingers*

But since about Thursday last week I've had some major progress in the sequel to Chasing Seth. I have added about 10% which is the equivalent of 8k words and finally broke the 50% mark! So that's extremely exciting for me. I am hoping to push to finish this by the end of the month, if not before hand. Although I do not believe it will be released this year. Dreamspinner is booked up through Feb and most likely if they accept the sequel will be set for release sometime next year. But hopefully it is in time for the RainbowCon in Tampa in April which I will be attending! :) Hope to see you there!

I am going to begin working on my handmade promotional items within the next couple of months as I want to go for a unique twist that hopefully my readers will really love! These will only be available at the RainbowCon in Tampa, but I may make one or two extra to do giveaways on my Facebook Page or blog. So please keep an eye out on my blog and website for these! :)

Over the next couple of months I will be re-releasing Swift's Temptation and Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul as self publications and White Rain will become a free read on my website. I have already touched base with someone to design my covers and I am going to work on some cover specs for them to design for me. I will make an announcement when they are available for purchase.

Tha'ts it for now! Will post again as I have more information. ^-^ Thanks for being so patient for the sequel to Seth and for continuing to follow the barely there posts.


Monday, July 8, 2013

I finally bit the proverbial bullet....

Happy Monday, all. :)  Just wanted to post an update and let everyone know I'm still alive!

After agonizing over it for the longest time and finally seeing my numbers dwindle as well as not receiving any communication from them, I have pulled my three stories - Swift's Temptation, Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul, and White Rain - from Silver Publishing. I have removed all covers and photos tying to them from my Blog and Website. My Facebook page and wall are next. I am very sad to have to do it, but I decided it would be better for me to step away from them before it became a further complication in my life.

On that note, I will either be pursuing self publishing with the three stories or I will be subbing them to another company. I am not sure it's worth trying to push them to another publisher because they've run their course and sales on them have dropped significantly so self-publishing it most likely the way I will go. I've been putting feelers out for a cover artist and I am probably going to see if I can pick someone's brain on exactly how to go about doing the self pub route. So please keep an eye out for a re-release on those if you missed out on having them. With new cover art of course.

This Friday coming, July 12th, is Yoshi's next appointment with the specialist. I have a long weekend coming up as I took some time off. I am hoping to really get into the meat and potatoes of Forgiving Thayne, no pun intended LOL. I've slacked off a lot in the last few weeks. First because of Yoshi, and then because of other health issues. But I want to pick up the reins and push forward. Hoping to finish it for submission by the end of summer so I need to get my butt in gear.

This 4th of July was definitely an explosive one! We lit off fireworks in the front drive and had a lot of fun. Afterward, my brother decided to pick them up and put them into a plastic bag and dump them in a garbage can... without putting water on them. So needless to say there was one still smoldering and about an hour and a half later WOOSH! There went the garbage can. Thank God I was outside with a friend or the house may have been in danger. I saw the flames and had to go get my dad since I had my dog with me. There's still a black scorch mark on the side of the house that my dad is going to have to paint over.

That's about all right now. Hope you're all doing well. I look forward to being on the 'market' again in the near future, lol.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Update on Works in Progress & Overall Life Information

Hogtied and gagged
So my sequel to Chasing Seth took a major hit in progress because of some things going on in my life. There is nothing quite like going full steam ahead only to hit the crossroads in the track and end up running off the rails. It can really damage your motivation and your muse. I think my muse ended up hogtied with dynamite wrapped around her.

A little over a month ago my baby pup, Yoshi, got sick and during an exploratory surgery, my vet of nine years tells me that Yoshi has pancreatic cancer. He says its inoperable and that he wants my decision to put him to sleep. Needless to say I was devastated and blown away by this information as I expected them to extract what we thought was the problem, a hair tie he'd swallowed and got stuck. (DON'T let your cats or dogs play with those rubber band hair ties, you know the ones.)  
Yoshi - My baby boy
But that wasn't the case. I brought Yoshi home that weekend and located a specialist to see if there was anything they could do. The specialist Dr. Rebecca Seaman at Broward Veterinary Specialists is a very kind and wonderful person who gave me the options of what they could do. An ultra sound and a needle aspiration to see what we were dealing with. My vet of nine years, no longer my vet now, did not do a biopsy during the surgery and Dr. Seaman did not believe it would be prudent to open him again so soon as he had only had the surgery mere days before. The problem was that the needle aspiration is not 100%, but the pathologist did not find any cancer cells in the needle aspiration. So we are hopeful it isn't cancer.

It has been a long road over the last month with constant worry and stress about what's going on inside of Yoshi and whether or not I will lose my baby before I was expecting to. Now, I know dogs don't live forever. That's impossible. But I did believe that Yoshi would live to be the normal amount of dog years, 14 to 16 years. So to be told otherwise at such a young age was like a ton of bricks. It impacted my frame of mind and has really left me wanting to do nothing more than zone in on something that wasn't my life. There is still not clear definite answer on what is wrong though. So there is still hope it isn't cancer and that it is merely a flare up of pancreatitis or something similar to do with the pancreas. I take him back tomorrow for another ultra sound and x-rays of his chest to make sure there is nothing going on there. He developed what we thought is kennel cough. The emergency vet last night said she didn't think it was that. So... another worry to add on top of the pile. Is it cancer? Has it spread to his lungs? Am I going to lose him?

I was able to add an additional 2k words to my WIP of Chasing Seth's sequel, Forgiving Thayne though, bringing me up to 40% complete. That's an excellent sight to see of course for me and I am certain for the many readers waiting for it. I am going to try and work on it as much as possible. Whenever Yoshi is not feeling well, I tend to find it hard to focus. My attention is on him because I'm afraid if I look away... Anyway, that's my progress at the moment. I wanted to let those anxiously awaiting for the sequel know that I didn't fall off the face of the Earth and I am writing as I can. My goal is to at least have it out this year through Dreamspinner Press and to begin working on some of the other projects I have in the works. You'll see on my sidebar that I have three WIPs and what their progress is at. I have two of them that I wanted to make into a series of novellas, but I've always found it hard to write those types of continuing stories. I want to write all of them before I submit. That way I know I won't disappoint my readers. :)

Yoshi - 1 and a 1/2 years old.
Please keep my pup Yoshi in your prayers and send positive thoughts that he will be with us for another several years. He is my heart and soul. The idea of him not being there, following me, loving me, letting me love him, breaks my heart.

9 Years old this year. He's such a goofball and loves people and attention. His favorite thing to do is chase the neighbor's dog up and down the fence separating them. I pray that he has a lot more time to do his favorite thing and to be his smiling, happy self.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Author Spotlight: Lex Chase on Her Novel Pawn Takes Rook

Hello Earthlings! I’m Lex Chase taking over JR’s blog today. So thanks for having me JR! I’m the author of superhero romantic comedy Pawn Takes Rook, the first installment in the Checkmate series. There are some things about authors that you may have never known, or may delight you. So today, I am talking about the five facts/quirks/oddities about yours truly.

1.      Tabletop Roleplaying Games Got Me Into Writing
In my much younger days, I was a pen and paper gamer. Rolling up characters, creating their backstories and skills all got me thinking about worldbuilding and storytelling. I wasn’t into AD&D so much because of the sheer amount of math and dice rolling involved. But Cyberpunk 2020 by R. Talisorian really got me into creating stories taking place in the world of Cyberpunk’s Night City. At 13, and inspired by this, I created my first original world of cyborgs, genetic experiments, and gene splicing, and asking the question of What Is It To Be Human. Very complicated stuff for a 13 year old. But as an adult, I’m back to trying to find an answer to that very question in a new Cyberpunk novel.

2.      Speaking Of The Math In AD&D, I Have A Learning Disability In Math
Math. Ugh. Math. I didn’t learn I was math disabled until college algebra and had to be tested to prove it. My mom used to tell me stories of how when I was little and had math worksheets from grade school, I’d just sit and cry and couldn’t explain why. It wasn’t until much later I realized that numbers read like gibberish to me. I can hardly add and subtract and frequently have to check my work on a calculator. I can’t tell time on an analogue clock. At all

3.      Before I Was A Writer, I Was An Artist
I had always been telling stories and making up characters since I was young, but I was always drawing the characters over writing their epic tales. I had dreamed of being a comic book artist, even attended Savannah College of Art and Design to hone my craft, but when I realized I was hopelessly outgunned in how to ‘play the game’ I left. Something had to give. My sanity was sadly the thing that gave. One of my professors who I stayed in touch with always said in class, “Have a Plan B.” Writing became my Plan B. I don’t have a Plan C.

4.      I Got A Degree In Journalism For Novel Research
This December I’m graduating with a bachelor’s in journalism. How the hell did that work? At SCAD, I worked on the school paper there and was rather fond of the journalism process. And in hindsight, as art students we pretty much got away with murder. When I left, I had started a novel and one of the characters was a war correspondent. Seeing as I needed to finish college with some kind of degree, and I wanted to get a better view of the inner workings of a journalist… Off I went.

5.      I Name My Cats After Famous Artists
Fact: I’m a cat person. Pathetic Fact: I work the weird things my cats do into casual conversation daily. Honest to God Truth: I love my furbabies more than anything.
It all started thirteen years ago when I adopted a female grey and white ragamuffin kitten with a peculiar vacant stare that I ended up naming Dali Salvador Rorschach. Because she was an ink blot test in the style of a Dali painting, makes sense right? Just go with it. Dali was the best cat ever. She was very docile, friendly, and was quite clever despite her vacant stare. We called it her “Duh Face” because she always looked like she was going “Duuuuuuh…” Dali sadly passed away three years ago, but my family remembers her fondly and knows there will never be another one like her. Now, we have a tuxedo girl named Rembrandt, or Remmi for short. I secretly think she’s the devil. She is really cute, but she’s smart, insanely clever, and can be quite the creep. She’ll sit across the room and stare at you like she’s pondering killing you in your sleep.

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 Pawn Takes Rook: Blurb

The first time Hogarth Dawson sees superhero Memphis Rook, he comes to Hogarth’s rescue by cracking the heads of two thugs like eggs into a skillet. Hogarth is utterly smitten, but he soon discovers the superhero Power Alliance has ejected Rook for failing to protect a civilian.

Hogarth devises a plan that will reinstate Rook and might even earn Hogarth a place in Power Alliance roster. But what he expects to be a simple few missions rescuing kittens and helping little old ladies cross the street turns into a shocking reality of citywide chases, foiling robberies, and facing his ex. Then Hogarth discovers the beating Rook saved him from wasn’t a chance attack. It’s possible Hogarth is just a pawn in Rook’s game….

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Pawn Takes Rook: Excerpt

When I first saw Rook, he was cracking the skulls of two goons like eggs into a skillet. I sat there like a freaked out choir boy on my butt between the trash cans lining the alley behind Ted’s TV Tabernacle, gazing in awe and wonder. Rook had hands that could mold steel like Dollar General Play-Doh. He did just that by wadding up Random Thug Number One’s Louisville Slugger into a sadistic snowball and beaned the guy right in the ear. Getting snow in your ear has to be the most excruciating sensation in existence. I can’t imagine getting Kentucky’s finest steel shoved into your noggin. 

I don’t remember if I screamed. I likely did. Totally did.

Random Thug Number Two went flying past me in an expert over-the-shoulder throw, his open mouth smacking wetly into the bricks. Broken teeth bounced over the sidewalk. Random Thug Number Three ducked behind the trash cans opposite me. He popped up once in a while, hidden behind the mound of bags and cans. His alligator eyes inched over the unfolding scene from the safe vantage point of the trash bag swamp.

Rook surveyed the alley, making sure he had gotten them all. He snorted a puff of steam with menacing satisfaction at seeing one guy out cold and another on the fast track for full dentures before sixty. Then he came to me. Now, when I say he was smoldering, that’s totally what he was doing. Smoke rose off his tattered trench coat in ethereal coils. Rook’s smoking frame could have been caused by the chill of the oncoming winter and the steam of sweat, but it definitely added to the sexy first impression.

His eyes, oh my Christ on a cracker…. They were not quite blue, not quite green, but like that girl on the National Geographic cover. Those haunting Afghan eyes.

“Are you okay?” Rook rumbled in a perfect antiheroic growl while reaching for my hand. His fingers, broad, callused, and strong, hung there long enough to cue the musical montage in my head. I couldn’t believe it. The one and only Memphis Rook had swaggered into my mugging, ready to bust heads. It was like he planned it, really. Or our universes collided in some awesome poetic way that I can’t think straight at the moment because holy crap, those hands are huge!

That’s when Random Thug Number Three opposite me decided to ruin the amazing moment, popping up like a spring-loaded Halloween skeleton and launched at Rook.

Rook turned in a smooth whoosh of muscle and fabric, and I shrieked as the knife skewered into his gut. He latched onto his killer’s knife hand in surprise.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God!” I screamed. I knew in that infinitesimally dark moment, I was going to die alongside the guy who fought in vain to save my life.

Confused, the thug glared at him, then to his captured wrist, and back again. “W-what are you?” he stammered as courage ran down his pants leg.

Rook released him. The thug held up the knife with the blade crumpled onto itself like a bullet impacting a Kevlar plate. The thug backpedaled, falling backward over a black plastic trash can after slipping on a greasy Five Guys burger wrapper. He screeched, twisting in an about face, and ran like a kid who had spilled orange juice on his dad’s vintage Playboys.

Then Rook turned those Afghan eyes on me, and the musical montage returned. The sleepy, sultry lyrics to Dream Weaver crooned in my head along with the accompanying halo of sparkles. His hand, those powerful, thick fingers, reached for mine….

And then he flat fuck fell over in my lap like a Buick dropped from low earth orbit. Steam rose from his body in the not so sexy eau de parfum of burned rubber and gasoline. He lay there, crushing my pancreas while out cold.

And that’s how Memphis Rook fucked up my life.

By coming into it.

Where To Buy:

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Lex Chase
Lex Chase is a journalist by day and a writer by night. Either way you slice it, she makes things up for a living. Her style of storytelling is action, adventure, and a dollop of steamy romance. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes it’s never a party until something explodes in a magnificent fashion, be it a rolling fireball of a car or two guys screaming out their love for one another in the freezing rain.

Lex is a pop culture diva, an urbanite trapped in a country bumpkin’s body, and wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse. She has learned that when all else fails, hug the cat.

She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ‘burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d have a sweatshirt on because she’s freezing.

You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
And her blog at http://lexchase.com.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: An Interview with Pinkie Parker

 Today's Author Spotlight is on Pinkie Parker! Please sit back and enjoy the interview, read the blurb for her upcoming release and make sure to comment to let her know you stopped by. :) 


Welcome Pinkie, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I was born in the southern United States, and I “inherited” the nickname “Pinkie” from my paternal female relatives (the oldest female child is always “Pinkie”). No one is quite sure how that tradition got started, but I also have cousins named Bootsie and Newtsie, so we are a slightly eclectic bunch.

I had my first short story published in 2004 through a college literary magazine, and Dreamspinner Press published my first m/m short story this year with two more on the way.

When did you start writing m/m romance and why were you drawn to it?
I first started writing m/m romance at age twelve. It began with fanfiction for the Japanese animation Sailor Moon. I had been watching the American dub of the show when a friend showed me the original Japanese version. In the original, two of the main villains in the first season were male lovers. However, the show had been censored for American audiences by the U.S. distribution company, and one of the males had been airbrushed to have breasts and was given a female voice actor in order to make the romance “acceptable.” Watching the original, I realized that the love between the two characters was the same, regardless of gender. As I began writing, I wanted to explore that, and I have never really stopped.

Do you write full time?
 The simple answer is yes, but, sadly, I am not always writing fiction. Usually, I am being crushed beneath archival material for research.

How long did it take you to get published? Was your book/novella accepted on the first submission or did you have to submit to more than one place before it was accepted? 
I have been trying to get published in starts and stops since I was about eighteen years old. After getting a lot of rejections, my college’s literary magazine published a short story of mine in 2004. After that, I gave up the idea of being an author while I was getting my undergraduate degree. In 2011, while doing some thesis research, I began to write again, and, after nine months of submitting to a dozen or more  publishers, Dreamspinner Press published my short story “Curtain Calls” in their Snow on the Roof anthology.

What event(s) in your life helped you to decide to become a writer? 
 I think that I have spent most of my life alone with my own imagination. I do not have any siblings, and I have always been a bit of a loner. Writing my characters having social lives became a lot easier than having one of my own.

Are you the type of writer who edits as they go along or do you finish and then go back to the beginning to start the 'polishing' process?
I do edit as I go, but it slows me down terribly.

Do you write from experience or are you the type who researches a subject until you feel you know it inside and out?
As a cultural historian, my brain will not leave me alone unless I have thoroughly researched everything I want to write about. In my upcoming short story “Joie de Vivre,” I had to research several French locations along with recipes. I even tried cooking a few of the dishes that I wrote about to limited success.

How do you come up with the title of your works? Is it during the writing process, before, after? Do you outline or fly by the seat of your pants when you start a new piece?
I would have to say that most of the titles do come about during the writing process, usually when I am doing an overall outline of the story.

How much of yourself do  you incorporate in your characters? Is it intentional or does it come out subconsciously? Do you ever use people in your life for inspiration?
I do not see much of myself in my characters, but I am told that many of my characters speak like me. I have a tendency to overuse the word “indeed” in my regular speech, and my characters do it as well, so I have to be mindful of that. It is probably more common for me to use people in my life for inspiration. When I spot a quirk or a unique mannerism in my colleagues, sometimes that gets thrown into the mix during my character creation process. In “Joie de Vivre,” the character Henri has a lot of mannerisms that come from a close friend of mine, particularly the weird way he eats bread.

 What do you hope your reader feels or experiences as they read your work?
I hope that my reader feels like that they are truly experiencing a vignette in someone else’s life. I hope the atmosphere is tangible, and the emotions relatable. I try to strive for a sense of genuineness in my work.

Since your first publication, has there been any surprises or funny/interesting stories you'd like to share?
When I visited my family for Christmas, my  grandmother kept asking to see my story that was published in the Snow on the Roof anthology. While there are members of my family that know that I write romance fiction, my grandmother does not, and it made for a very awkward holiday.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing a fantasy novel set in medieval England, so I am doing a lot of research into the fourteenth century.

How do you overcome writer's block?
I start working on my academic writing. Imagining all those far off places and time periods I will never get to experience usually recharges the old inspiration batteries.

Do you like to read as well as write? What types of books do you enjoy? Do you ever find yourself incorporating pieces of books you've read into your stories?
I love to read, but I am normally stuck reading economic records from the eighteenth century. For pleasure, I enjoy fantasy novels, such as Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files or George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. I think that enjoying those books inspired me to write a fantasy novel myself, and I adore the world-building process.

Where does your inspiration come from?
History inspires me most of all, both for fiction and nonfiction writing. Reading the letters of Katharine of Aragon or even the records of the menagerie at Versailles under Louis XIV gives you glimpses into a different world. You can become attached to people and places in ways that are hard to describe.

Any special projects coming out soon that we should watch for?
“Joie de Vivre” will be featured in Dreamspinner Press’s Closet Capers anthology, coming out on April 22nd, and another short story, “Luck of the Dice” will be published in DPS’s 2012 Daily Dose anthology.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet, watching video game reviews. I also love to draw comics and make delicious baked goods.

Please tell everyone where to find you  on the internet.

My story "Joie de Vivre" will be featured in the upcoming Dreamspinner Press anthology, Closet Capers, which will be released on April 22nd.

Story Blurb:
Aspiring restaurateur Jules hopes to honor his aunt’s memory by placing one of her recipes on his menu. However, while visiting the farmhouse he inherited from her, he discovers her treasured recipe box has disappeared and encounters a host of needed repairs that make staying in the house impossible. When a childhood antagonist, Henri, reappears, can Jules take him up on his offer of help… and maybe more?

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