Sunday, July 27, 2008

[Interview] Linda Ballard

Romance novelist Linda Ballard lives in California in the United States.

Her books include Dreams of Forever, which was first published by Lavender Isis Press in March 2007, and Moments in Forever (Lulu, 2007).

Currently, Linda Ballard is working on the next three books in her "Forever" series of romance novels.

In this interview, she talks about her concerns as a writer.

How would you describe your writing?

100% Romance! I’m a romantic at heart, and I love the whole process of falling in love.

In real life we struggle with our hearts. The uncertainty and fear of when you first fall in love consumes us, unrequited love and the exquisite pain it produces, and the absolute joy when you discover that the man you pined over loves you just as much in return. However, in fiction, that fascinating process can be enhanced into levels of passion the average reader will never completely experienced in life. It is a fantasy of love, but based enough in reality that we can share the process and root for the lovers.

Who is your target audience?

Women between the ages 15 and 50, really, for all women in general.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I have been telling stories all my life, but dyslexia prevented me from realizing those stories on paper. It took years and my first computer before I was able to express my thoughts in an organized fashion. Unfortunately, it does take me twice as long to compose even to this day. Yet, the dream and my own determination to write was always there, even in childhood.

Who influenced you most?

Probably the work of Jane Austin. She has such a simple, but direct way of telling a story. I admire her very much.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

Without a doubt, it’s telling the story. As a writer, we have the rare privilege of taking our readers on a journey, one hopefully, they will enjoy and remember.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

While I am writing I don’t realize how much of “me” or my life experience is being infused into the manuscript until I read back over it. Though I have a unique perspective on Hollywood through my own personal experience, I end up asking myself how I would feel under the circumstances I have created. Every question is basically answered by my own heart in a very human way.

Do you write everyday?

I am the most creative in the morning, so I am up about four. I will write five or six hours before I will take a break. Then I will come back later in the day to reread what I worked on earlier. As the manuscript expands, I jump from scene to scene, editing, rewriting, deleting until I get it right.

What is Dreams of Forever about?

Dreams of Forever is first of five in the "Forever" series. It is the story of movie star Daniel Hunter, who falls in love with his director, Rachel West while filming on location in Northern California.

In the first installment Daniel struggles with the notion that he just may be in love for the first time in his life. The 6’5” hunk has been adored by his fans, and can have any women he wants, but he’s never met anyone like Rachel. From their very first meeting he feels the grip of destiny.
He is certainly not alone, Rachel is well aware she is dealing with one of the most desired and sought after men in the world, but from the very first glance, she sees more than just his handsome face and muscular body. She seems to know that behind his beautiful blue eyes there is a gentle soul that captivates her heart.

How long did it take you to write the book?

I had been toying with the plot for a number of years, but it wasn’t until the last two before I got really serious about completing the manuscript.

Which aspects of the work you put into the book did you find most difficult?

I don’t like the bad guys, and there always has to be, at least, one to create the conflict. Actors find it to be more interesting to play evil characters, believing they are somehow more complicated. However, being bad is easy, in my opinion. You have no constraints on your evil quest.

I find the struggle to do the right thing in life far more interesting. This is something we all live with, deal with on a daily basis, and so therefore, we identify with the struggle in an honest manner. Bad is simple, the quest to do the right thing is tough.

Which did you enjoy most?

I enjoy the whole process of bringing the lovers together, from the first moment to the last. I look forward to the first kiss the most.

What sets the book apart from other things you have written?

It is the most human.

Dreams of Forever is a work of fiction, but it challenges our most basic flaws and strengths. We all struggle with the issue of faith when what we want the most seems at odds with what we believe. It addresses the common problem of how we can be our own worst enemy, and yet, still somehow rise above adversity, but most of all it deals with the conquest of personal fears. Most important, I wanted to test the boundaries of love and found there are no limits, there is nothing we would not do for love.

This article has also been featured on OhmyNews International.

Related article:

Interview with Linda Ballard, Romance at Heart Magazine.

Related books:


Friday, July 18, 2008

[Interview] Skylar Sinclair

Skylar Sinclair is an award-winning graphic designer and erotic romance author.

Her works includes the eBooks, Rearing Heat (Siren-BookStrand, Inc., 2007), Impassioned Sea (Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, 2007), Purr For Me (Phaze, 2007) and The Tome of Unnatural Desires (Tease Publishing LLC, 2007).

Her stories have also been featured in anthologies that include Babes in Toyland II (Aspen Mountain Press, 2007), Lust Bites: Volume Two (Total-e-bound, ____) and Coming Together Under Fire (Phaze, 2007).

In this interview, Skylar Sinclair talks about her work.*

How would you describe your writing?

It is almost a dead heat between fantasy and paranormal. With either, they are truly about make-believe to the point, these worlds and realms that are unlike anything one could dream up. These genres create unique places for the readers to loss themselves in, while getting to know wondrous characters and magical happenings.

Who is your target audience?

I would have to say anyone that finds erotica titillating and love alpha-type characters.

I also write a little on the side of dark and like to write endings that one might not expect. I try to pen very different and unique books.

What motivated you to start writing?

I am an avid reader of fantasy and paranormal, so it seemed to come naturally for me to write in that genre too. We live in the real world, and sometimes it is nice to be taken away from the daily grind, journeying to exotic and otherworldly places dreamed up by an author’s marvelous mind.

Who influenced you most?

When it comes to honing and refining my writing that would be Regan Taylor. From the start, she has been there to encourage, inspire and help me raise the bar on my writing style. I owe her much and appreciate what she has done for me daily.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

Fun thing is, I write very little of myself and/or experiences in my books. I pull almost all plots, dialogues and motivation from newly discovered places each time I take up the proverbial pen to write a story.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

I want my stories/books to entertain and captivate the readers when they read my works. [I deal with this by] writing the best I can each and every time.

What are the biggest challenges that you face?

Waiting for a contract after spending a lot of time writing a story. Then you have to wait again for the reviews to come in. Once more to see how the book sells. Do the reader like it?

It all boils down to learning patience -- a lot of patience.

How do you deal with these challenges?

The best way to learn the lesson of patience is to forget about the finished book and start right away on another. Getting immersed into a new projects works wonders.

Do you write everyday?

Yes, I write daily.

I can write as much as 5,000 words a day to as little as 250. It depends on if my muse is talking and how creative I feel that day.

What is your latest book about?

My last story to be published was Christmas Ink, which also was a top placing story in a Christmas writing contest held at Stardust Press. I ended up contracting it with Mardi Gras publishing. It took me about a week to write then another week to edit.

Which aspects of the work that you put into the book did you find most difficult?

I find moving a story along, while keeping it believable and fresh is hard at times. Also, I find editing one of the least things I like about writing, but it has to be done.

Which did you enjoy most?

To be honest when I write those last few words that complete the story. There is nothing like finishing a book you put all your heart and soul into.

What sets the book apart from the other things you have written?

Each and every book I pen is different and unique unto itself. They all stand on their own merit and premise. Whether they are fantasy, paranormal or contemporary.

In what way is it similar?

They all have alpha-type characters that dominate the pages. And the sexual contents are always hot.

What will your next book be about?

The next book I have coming out is Dream Lord: The Tome of Unnatural Desires. It is a fantasy erotic tale that includes male/male, male/female/male and male/female scenes.

There are three other books in the series, Shadowed Passion and Fallen Angels.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

That my books sale and have been bestsellers, also.

But none of that would have been possible without the readers who support and buy my books. Without them, I would have no one to write for. Without them I am nothing.

*This conversation with Skylar Sinclair took place in February 2007.

Related books:


Monday, July 7, 2008

[Interview] Marcia King-Gamble

Romance novelist, Marcia King-Gamble was born on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. She studied in the United States where she has lived and worked for most of her life.

Her books include The Way He Moves (Harlequin, 2008), Shattered Images (Kimani Press, 2006) and A Taste of Paradise (Kimani Press, 2005).

In this email interview, Marcia King-Gamble talks about her writing.*

Who influenced you the most?

Excellent writers like Sandra Kitt as well as my encouraging agent.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

Personal experiences always influences your writing style or even your mood. As writers we tend to observe people and reflect on the human condition.

What would you say are your main concerns as a writer?

Book distribution is always of concern for a writer. You want to ensure that your print-run is such it reaches the widest possible market.

A challenge for any writer is making sure you get that next contract. Writing is a business and sales are everything.

How do you deal with these challenges?

A writer has to keep sending proposals in. You need to keep coming up with fresh, unique ideas.

Do you write everyday?

I write every day regardless of what's going on in my life. The time spent depends on how tight a deadline I have. Some days all I do is write.

What is your latest book about?

My latest book is one I am currently working on. It will be published by Harlequin's Kimani Line and will take me approximately two months to write. It's a story of a woman burnt out on corporate America who inherits a house and decides to open a spa. The hero is the retired athlete, turned business man next door, with designs on her land.

If you are asking about my next book that will be published in May 2007 by Harlequin's Kimani line and it is titled, Down and out in Flamingo Beach. It's the third in the Flamingo Beach series.

What did you find most difficult when you were working on the book?

Research regarding setting to ensure authenticity is the most time consuming. Also making sure your hero and heroine work.

What did you enjoy most?

The writing process itself. There are times you know when you "got it." It's a wonderful feeling.

What sets the book apart from others you have written?

Setting. I have chosen the historical town of St. Augustine, Florida because it is rich in possibilities.

In what way is it similar?

A good romance always has a conflict which inevitably gets resolved.

What will your next book be about?

Sex on Flamingo Beach is the fourth and last of my Flamingo Beach Series. It's the story of Emilie who looks white but isn't and her relationship with the land developer hired to build a casino in the small town of Flamingo Beach.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Being asked to be a part of a continuity series for Harlequin. This would be a breakout from the multicultural market.

How did you get there?

Hard work, marketing of self, and staying connected. I am very grateful for the opportunity.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I didn't. I fell into the opportunity. I was a reader for Harlequin/Silhouette for years.

How would you describe your writing?

The genre would be romance although I do do some mainstream women's fiction writing.

What motivated you to start writing in this genre?

I've always read in this genre. Romance is uplifting and a great escape if you have a stressful career.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone who enjoys and appreciates a good romance.

*This conversation with Marcia King-Gamble took place in February 2007.

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