Friday, September 28, 2012

An interview with author Denise Jeffries

Denise, would you give the readers your bio to start off the interview. Well, certainly. I’ve written my entire life. Having journaled and penned short stories since I was in grade school, after the prompting of a friend I decided to turn a short story I’d written into a book. My first book, A Walk in the Rain, was published in 1999. I’ve been at it ever since. To date, I have several books published. This includes five single titles and several anthologies, and single title novellas. I’ve also had several short stories and essays published. I have an alter ego and her name is Alexis Ke. She writes erotic romance. Oops, some people still don’t know that. I guess I just gave away the secret. I am an avid reader of any genre that is well written and it keeps my interest. I will always love a good page turner. I also love to travel, people watch and just chill. I live in the Tidewater area of Virginia with my hubby Leon. 1. So, Denise, who are your favorite authors and do you read them in print, E for both. Oh my. I have so many favorite authors. I love any author who writes tight books that keep my turning the pages. I love those books that when I'm reading them I know I'm going to over sleep in the morning before I can even get to bed. They are just that good. But I must tell you, the book Body and Soul by Felicia Mason will always be near and dear to my heart. A great friend gave me this book when I didn't even know we were writing romance and it was contemporary. I fell in love. And After I meant Felicia at a workshop she presented at a local book store it was then that I realized everyday people wrote books. That's when I decided to follow the pushing of friends and write my first book. And as for formats. Geez, I love the print book. I have over three hundred on the book shelves in my home today and I go to the book store at least once a week. I have a Sony E-reader, the Nook on my tablet and the Kindle on my phone. I will never be caught without a book. 2. If you could be one of your favorite heroines. Which would it be and why? Now why do you have to go and ask that? While I love all of my heroines I must say, I’m in a mood today was well. I just finished a contemporary romance and the heroine has a tattoo right above her hip bone on her stomach. I keep threatening to get a tat but keep changing my mind. It’s probably because I know my hubby isn’t into it and he definitely won’t fall off a roof trying to look at it like the hero did in my book. There are things in each of my heroines that I love. Dominique the cop in Whispers in the Dark, because she is tough and is also a take no prisoner kind of gal, Jade the medium in Visions in the Dark because of her softness and wanting to help Hunter and Samantha the CEO/owner in Masquerade because of herself assuredness and hey, she doesn’t take prisoners either. There is also Stormy in Sleeping Beauty because of her strength and the will to do anything to save the man she loves. And there’s Deatra in Yesterday’s Promises, the sequel to Sleeping Beauty that will be out in Feb/March of 2013 because she held secrets no one knew of and when she let them out all they could say was ‘wow.’ I think, now that I think about it, I’d have to be a heroine that covers them all. 3. Okay, so maybe I'm not so subtle. How about you tell us a bit about your latest book or books. I actually have four latest projects. My book Retribution was released in August. It’s a paranormal romantic suspense. Got the idea of a day walking female vamp and a male werewolf. They are both running from who they are until they are shoved together to save each other’s life. It’s now available in E-book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It will be in print by the end of the year. The other is the sequel to Sleeping Beauty, ‘Yesterday’s Promises.’ The title speaks for itself. In Sleeping Beauty, if Stormy could embrace her beast she could break the curse. In Yesterday’s Promises, we realize that the things that may have been promised aren’t necessarily the truth. And lastly, last year I feel in love with Zumba and was very impressed by my Zumba instructor, Anika. Well, her energy and the transformation I saw in my body inspired a book. The heroine is an exercise instructor who has tailored her business to fit her desires. Her business is called Rhythms and ‘Rhythm of the Soul’ is right now sitting on an editors desk and I’m hoping she’s reading it and smiling and laughing. And lastly, I am waiting for the edits on Lost in the Dark, book three of my St. Agnes series. This one has St. Agnes’ newspaper publisher lost when he wakes up with amnesia. Now he has to trust the cop who has vowed to help him and find out who is trying to kill him. Especially since he is already supposed to be dead. 4. What's your next project? I visited New Orleans back in August and while there I got the inspiration for a story. I’m still working it out in my head and jotting down notes. I’m hoping to be ready to start this one in November. I also will be starting book four of my St. Agnes series. This book circles us back to Dominique and Jericho. If you remember from Whispers in the Dark, Jericho mentioned a crazy ex girl friend who came after him with a knife. Well… She’s backkkkk. 5. What mistakes have you made in the writing journey that you'd like to help others to avoid? Don’t jump at the deal. When my first book came out, I realized I knew nothing about writing, and my publisher was just as green. Learn the business, learn the market. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We all want that big pay day, that contract, but when it comes, read it a hundred times, sleep on it. Get a lawyer to read it and go with your gut. 6. Turning the table for a moment, what genre do you the writer read? Any and all. My favorite is romantic suspense. I love the page turners with the love tossed in. It makes a great mix. However, paranormal, scary, certain historical, fiction, nonfiction you name it. If it’s good I can get down with it. I’ve been reading books since I could hold one. I remember winning a book reading contest in the seventh grade. I read more than any other student in my school. I guess it’s ingrained in my blood at the atomic level. 7. Where can the readers reach you and will you write them back if they email you? I write back to all everyone who contacts me. My website is: www.denisejeffries.com I’m also on face book. I have two blogs. www.denisejeffriestheauthor.blogspot.com. And www.4getthedishes.blogspot.com this is my travel blog and its loads of fun. And finally, my monthly newsletter, Shenanigans. If you email me I will make sure you are on the list and you are entered into that months contest. Until next time…

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Professionalism




Hi Ya'll; 

Every now and again I have this urge to be serious. It does not happen often for I love to laugh and see others smile. However, when I find the need to speak, it usually helps someone, so, here it be...... Authors are people too. Allow me to explain why I’m making such a silly statement.

When we sit down at a computer or grab pen and paper, we are opening ourselves up to scrutiny. We take hours, days, weeks, months and yes sometimes years to put on paper a story we feel is worthy to entertain, educate or enhance the lives of people we don’t know. Some do it for the love of writing, others for the love of money. In which case, I feel for you. Each author has their reasons for sharing their lives, imaginations, loves, smiles and in some cases blood, sweat and tears with others. Whatever the reason, we open ourselves up for anyone and everyone that reads our work. Some times the results are wonderful, helpful, enlightening and very often educational. Then there are those times when the results are not so gratifying. At times, it borders on cruel and unusual punishment. 

As professionals, which authors are, those not so gratifying times should be handled with as much grace as the award winning moments. We cannot, nor should we, approach or attack reviewers of our work in a public forum. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, there are times when the content of the individual’s opinion becomes personal. In those moments, after you have (in private called the a-hole every non-biblical name in the book) really thought about it, the individual does not know you as a person. They read some of your work and were not pleased with the final product. Okay, that’s fine, simply because for everyone that does not like your story, there are twenty that will, you do the math. 

You see, the public is watching you and your reaction to these situations. They are not watching the person that mercilessly degraded your name. If you go at the person the same way they came at you, it will only hurt your reputation. You have more stories to tell and more books to sell. Once you go negative, you can’t go back. Yes, you can try to clean it up afterwards, but for some they will never know, because you lost them with the outburst. 

Never allow anyone else’s action determine your public image. Behind closed doors, curse, scream, or even break a few things, but in public, smile and say thank you, for the person did purchase your book, and/or took the time to read your story. Then move on. Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits. Believe in yourself and your work. Stay professional at all times.

Sorry for the serious nature of my thoughts, but it was on my mind. I’ll be back with Love Letters next time. 

Until then,
Iris

www.irisbolling.net


Friday, September 21, 2012

Literary Events: Attending or Not So Much?

The year has been flying by and as an author, I get excited when a new release is pending, don't you? Remember, I was a reader long before I penned my first novel. (That was a long time ago, another story for another blog.)

Today's notable is on literary events. Authors: Have you attended any this year? Why or why not? Were they well organized? Overwhelming? Maybe just not as informative as expected? This goes for writer's conferences and gatherings as well.

With E-books at the ready of a one-click, paperbacks are still in demand. I love having personalized novels in my collection, which is why I love attending book fairs, events, even dressing up for the theme it holds. Yes, I've done that and it's a lot of fun.

When attending literary events, are you networking with other authors, publishers, editors that provide specific services that may tailor to your future needs? I know we're all trying to sell our products, but usually in the midst of the madness, a gem or two fall into your lap. Be aware and research the business to see if it's a good fit for you.

Noted book fairs like the BEA and Harlem Book Fair, have become staples in the industry, along with a few others. One event on the rise is The Annual Authors Literary Festival being held in Richmond, Virginia from November 2-3, 2012 at the Sheraton Richmond Park South.

This particular festival will feature over forty authors including: Gwyneth Bolton, Brian W. Smith, Booker T. Mattison, Trice Hickman and many more. A meet and greet will be held on Friday, November 2, 2012 from 8pm to Midnight featuring poets from all over the country.

This is one event that will be talked about for months to come. Don't be left out.
Visit: www.theannualauthlitfestival.com for more information.

I'll be there with the lovely young lady featured below as "Nieva Claiborne" in the RENDEZVOUS Series. See you soon!
Loretta R. Walls, Author of RENDEZVOUS 2: Nieva's Dilemma #nucherte



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Love Scene vs. The Sex Scene

Sometimes, you want your lover to make love to you. You want to be caressed, you want to be kissed softly and sweetly and you want your hair to be stroked gently.

Then. . .sometimes, you just want to have sex! Or that other f-word. You want it against the wall, skirt hiked up, panties pulled to the side.

When I write, sometimes my hero and heroine want to have sex and sometimes they want to make love.
Take Freddie and Cleveland --the couple from More Than He Can Handle --they had sex more than they made love because Freddie Barker wasn't feeling Cleveland, a sexy firefighter who could have and had any woman he wanted.
Freddie didn't want to be like those other women, fawning over him, but she wanted him.
So, the first time they hit the bed: they were ***king. (LOL)



 All she knew was she had to have Cleveland inside her and fast.
            She took the condom from his hands. “Allow me,” she said as she pushed him on his back, then straddled his hard body. Freddie stroked his thick erection back and forth.
            “Miss Barker, you can do whatever you want to do,” he said with a sly smile.
            Freddie rolled the sheath into place then she guided him to where she needed him most. At first, it was a tight fit because it had been so long since she had been with a man and Cleveland was all man, thick and long. For a moment, it felt as if it was going to be too much for her to handle, but Cleveland shifted his hips and it was a perfect fit.
            He groaned as Freddie rode him slowly. Her intensity was building as they ground against each other and then it was as if she was possessed. She bucked like a stallion, grasping his shoulders as he pressed deeper and deeper into her wetness.
            “Oh, Freddie,” he exclaimed. “Damn.”
            She felt as if she was about to climax, but Cleveland wasn’t finished with her. He flipped her over on to her back, taking control of their rendezvous. Freddie arched her back, pressing her hips into his and matching him thrust for thrust until they were both spent from the experience. Collapsing in each other’s arms, they both exhaled. Freddie glanced at Cleveland, his eyes were half closed and he had a satisfied smile on his lips.

Now, of course, my characters make love. They revel in tender touches, feather light kisses and declarations of love and devotion (who doesn't!).
One of my favorite love scenes comes from Too Hot For TV.


Imani nodded, slowly feeling the tension easing from her shoulder. Raymond pushed the straps of her dress down her shoulders, kissing the skin he exposed. Imani shivered with desire as his tongue eased down the back of her neck. With his free hand, he unzipped her dress and it fell off her body, pooling at her feet. Raymond spun her around and drank in her image. She was clad in a pink lace strapless bra that held her breasts the way he wanted to and a pair of matching lace panties that clung to her hips and behind. Raymond ran his hand down the center of her chest, stopping at the waistband of her panties.
“May I?” he asked.
She nodded nervously. He pulled her panties around her ankles, then slipped his hand between her thighs. Imani was wet, hot and waiting. “I want to taste you,” he said, salivating at the thought of wrapping his lips around her bud. Raymond scooped her up in his arms and carried her into the bedroom. He could feel Imani’s heart beating in overdrive. “Are you all right?” he asked again.
“I can’t lie, I’m a little nervous,” she said as he laid her in the center of his king sized bed.
“We can stop.”
“We haven’t even started,” she said.
“If you’re ready, I know how I want to start,” he said as he slowly spread her thighs apart. With the palm of his hand, he stroked her wetness back and forth. Imani squirmed under his touch. Her body seemed to take on a life of its on, responding to Raymond’s touch in ways she never imagined that she could do. Easing between her thighs, he parted her wet lips with his fingertips, then gently licked the folds of flesh until Imani’s moans turned into screams of passion. “Raymond, Raymond,” she cried as he sucked her throbbing bud of desire. She was so sweet, so delicious. Better than he’d dreamed she would be. He licked and sucked until she trembled and exploded in his mouth. Propping up on his elbows, he looked into Imani’s sated face. “How do you feel?” he asked.
So which do you prefer (in books, that is): lovemaking or sexing? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Mind Wants What the Mind Wants

Readers email me all the time asking, “Angie, when are you going to release the next book to the series.” To be honest, I never know quite how to answer because I really don’t have much control over what I write next. I’m serious. My characters speak to me.

I can sit down to the computer all set to write one story and before I know it the book has gone in a totally different direction. It’s like my fingers are possessed or something. Sometimes I even hear those characters in my head, talking to me. I guess that’s okay. Until I start talking back then that’s when we have a problem. LOL

Okay… so check this out.

Remember the little boy who whispered, “I see dead people.” Well, I’m one of the ones who would have never thought he was crazy because “I hear head people.”

Now if I say that too loud someone might try to admit me to the psychiatric ward where they would heavily medicate me and kill all my creative juices and Angie ain’t having that. Instead, I actually consider my “head case” my “thought process.” I wake up every morning meditating and outlining what I plan to write about. Each scene has to have a purpose and then I need to figure out a way to connect the dots.

And that’s where those crazy voices come in.

You would think we were at a Presidential debate the way my characters and I go back in forth with plots until finally a light goes off and we share an aaah-haaa moment.

It may sound crazy but it’s the way this author operates. It’s not so bad. At least I 'll always have a writing partner.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Day in the Life

Denise Jeffries inspired me to describe my day, but not just any day. I want to talk about my writing day.

Just like Denise and, I'm sure, a whole host of other authors, I have a day job, a regular 9 to 5, or rather 6 to 5. When I get home from work, I'm back on the computer but mainly doing promotions. I answer e-mails. Sometimes I plot out my next book. Rarely to I write on my current WIP (work in progress).

"So when do you write, Bridget?"

How did I know you would ask that? I do a lot of my writing on the weekends. I drag my laptop onto my lap (laptop tray underneath, of course) and I sit in bed and I write. The pros of writing in bed is that I'm comfortable. I have what I need all around me. I get inspired easier in bed. The con, a rather big con, is that when I get sleepy, and let's face it. Who wouldn't writing in bed? I tend to take a lot of naps. Just push my laptop to the side and get snuggly under my blankets.

So after my nap(s) -- don't judge me -- I get down to writing. I have my notes next to me. For novels, I do a chapter-by-chapter basic outline. I write key points I want to see happen in a story.

Before that, I do a full character outline. Even if I don't use it, I write out the characters' full names. I write down where they live. What they look like. If I'm inspired by a celebrity, I write down that celebrity's name. Then I write down the charcters' internal and external conflicts. Those are what propel my stories. If you ever hear an author say that they have writer's block, the problem is that the conflict(s) is/are not strong enough to push the story along. Yeah, it hurt me when someone told that to me. But I realized it was the truth.

Anyway, so I write all day and sometimes all night into the early morning. I write until I get to a good spot or when my wrists hurt. Whichever comes first. I keep that up until I finally writh "The End." After that, I push the story aside for a few days, maybe even a week or so, then I come back to it and reread it again to edit it.

Once I submit the story, it's off on to the next one. I know of other authors who are able to write more than one story at the same time. I'm not one of those people. I can't mix all of those voices in my head. Call me simple. That's just how I roll.

Speaking of rolling, I have to go now. The books won't write themselves.

Stay sexy,
BridgeT http://www.BridgetMidway.com/

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chaos and Disorder (And Not the Prince Album), Plus Kianna Stops by BRAB

Hi, Y'all,
It's pretty hectic at Casa Alexander these days. I'm swamped with freelance work (my "day" job), school has started for my son (he's a first grader), and my appointment book runneth over. I had no idea I'd be echoing Loretta's earlier post about how crazy life can get, but, it is what it is.
So, as I juggle the many appointments of my special needs son, and struggle to get my own self together, I sneak away to write and revise, whenever I can. I have to write. It is imperative. And I'll tell you why: these days, with so much going on, writing is the only time I can be in control.
And I relish that control. My characters are my creations, to torture or give happiness at my very whim. I can make them suffer, or I can give them bliss. When life feels too much like it's "happening" to me, without  my input, writing anchors me by giving me control over something.
I've been working on a historical short for weeks now, and a certain editor from a certain house has her eye on it. I've decided this will be my first attempt at erotic romance- and I'm sure I can glean some great advice from my fellow M.A.M.A.'s in this arena. I really, REALLY want this deal- the house is well established and has a large, devoted following. It's hard for me to get time to put into the revisions these days, but I'm determined to get it done. Y'all pray for a sistah. ;)

 Cover Photo


If you get a minute this weekend, stop by BRAB's Facebook page this Sunday, September 9th, at 3pm EST, where there will be a lively discussion of my historical sweet romance, Kissing the Captain. Knowing the ladies in this group, I'm sure a good time will be had by all.

Until Next Time,
Kianna