Category Archives: Authors Talk

Kate St. Claire on soul searching to be a better writer


Kate St. Claire, author of Spelled, said something so brilliant in her author interview on We Eat Books.

Writing is, at its core, about the human condition. No matter what happens in a story, unless we can feel connected to the characters, we won’t feel any tie to it. The only way to truly write so people can connect to it is to be honest and give a part of yourself. You have to give it your heart, your fears, your loves, your insecurities, or it won’t feel real to the reader, and it’s pointless.

Read more on We Eat Books.

Kimberly Leigh Wheaton, combining love for animals and video games to write paranormal romance

Do you ever wake up, drag yourself to your computer, stare blankly at the screen and think, “Oh God, if I can just write one more page?” For moments like those, I find myself just wishing for a pick-me-up, and I’m not talking bourbon, but inspiration.  This Lighthearted, fun interview is what Kimberly Leigh Wheaton provides when she opens up about her passion for animals and writing. At the end, I was smiling while thinking, “Yes, I can finish my book! And it will be fun!”

Kimberly Leigh Wheaton

Author Kimberly Leigh Wheaton


Interview: Combining love for animals and video games to write paranormal romance


Please introduce yourself.

My name is Kimber Leigh Wheaton. I’m a wife and mother, as well as a book blogger and writer. Writing is my passion, and I feel blessed to have the time now to write to my heart’s content (for a few hours each day). I love animals and have a tendency to rescue all sorts of critters (mostly cats… I have seven right now). I’m addicted to video games, love reading, and spending time with my family.

Can you talk about your new release, Shadow Fire?

Shadow Fire is a lighthearted, fun adventure with a touch of whimsy and a sweet romance. It definitely takes its cue from the RPG video games that inspired it. It’s the first novel in a series of standalone fantasy romances. Written for readers who like their characters silly at times and their ‘ever-afters’ happy.

How long did it take to finish? What was the process like?

I wrote the first draft in about 4 weeks. It was quite rough and went through numerous revisions. The first four chapters were completely rewritten. The time between writing the first word and the release date was just under two years.

What are some editing tips?

If you don’t want to read your entire manuscript aloud, at least read all of the dialogue aloud. Sometimes what looks good in print to our mind won’t sound natural if spoken. Dialogue is so important to character development, and it’s easier to hear the character’s voice if spoken aloud.

I catch so many typos and punctuation errors by transferring the manuscript to my Kindle. While reading in one of the larger fonts, it’s tough to miss the errors I glossed over while reading on my laptop. I used to print the manuscripts, but I hate wasting paper… and I was still missing some of the errors.

I read in your bio, you love animals. Does this love ever make it into your writings?

Yes! Shadow Fire is filled with all sorts of creatures, including a wolf who accompanies Ashlyn on her quest. My paranormal romance, Tortured Souls, coming July 14 also features a couple animals (though they play a much smaller role than Ashlyn’s wolf, Shadow). I especially like shapeshifters and just finished the first draft on an urban fantasy with all sorts of animal shifters.

What is your favorite animal?

Just one?! I guess I have to pick the giraffe. They are very sweet and friendly (especially when you have a handful of Romaine lettuce). This is a really tough question… I have so many favorites.

What is Romance Writers of America? And why are you a member?

Romance Writers of America is an organization for… you guessed it… romance writers. It’s an opportunity to connect with other authors all over the United States. They hold a yearly convention, and many local chapters host their own events as well. There are online writing and marketing classes available to members. Writing can be rather solitary and lonely at times. It’s great to have an organization where I can connect with others going through the same trials and tribulations I am.

If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?
Don’t give up. If you love writing, then do it. Don’t let that bad review or a rejection letter discourage you. There will be pitfalls… life is full of them. If you’re looking for something easy, writing isn’t it. Keep moving forward. Keep writing. Keep trying. There are some days where I find myself repeating Dory’s mantra in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming”.

Can you share a sample?

Shadow Fire by Kimberly Leigh Wheaton


From the beginning of Chapter One—
Every step I take is one step closer to death.
Hiking through the dense underbrush, I try to calm my frayed nerves and control the fear threatening to overwhelm me. Twigs and tendrils of ivy grab at my ankles as I continue to forge ahead, forcing me to wrench away from their skeletal grip. The sunlight is fading, signaling the end of another day, but this is no ordinary day.
A loud crack pierces the air. I freeze in my tracks, my breath catching in my throat. Whipping my head around, I try to locate the source of the sound. My heart pounds in my chest, the erratic rhythm painful. These woods are full of predators, some animal, some monster, but the worst… human. Taking a deep breath, I listen to the surrounding woods: birds chirp, insects hum, and small animals scurry about as if they have no care in the world.
Lungs burning, I force myself to continue walking. I didn’t collapse three weeks ago when this whole fiasco started, and I won’t give in now. My family needs me to be strong.
The trees become sparser as I approach the edge of the forest. My shoulders slump when I pass the tree house we used to play in so many years ago. Any other day when I’m this close to home after a long day of hunting, I’d smile, breathe a sigh of relief, and perhaps look forward to dinner. Today there will be no raucous family meal, no solace in entering the peaceful village, and nothing to smile about.
The villagers will be awaiting my return, skulking in the shadows, desperate to catch a glimpse of the walking dead girl.
I’ve dealt with the whispers and pointing for three weeks with my head held high, my anxiety hidden behind a mask of indifference. I don’t want them to see me like this, trembling in fear, broken. They’ve taken everything I am, every hope, every dream I’ve had for the future and smashed them to pieces with little hope of salvation. The townsfolk of Verdane decided my fate and they chose death.
The elders told me being Chosen is an honor. Either they are ignorant or apathetic. Every five years for the last twenty, a teenage girl has been chosen by the town, via secret ballot, to undertake this dangerous quest, never to return. Perhaps if the elders had to forfeit their lives instead they wouldn’t be so quick to label it an honor, they’d call it what it is… a sacrifice.

What do you hope to achieve next in your writing career?

Enough money to buy a Corvette with no guilt. No, while that would be nice, all I really want is to find a regular audience who enjoys reading my books. I have two more books coming out this year. Stolen Moon, a standalone sequel to Shadow Fire is expected to release in August 2014. Tortured Souls, a YA paranormal romance will be available on July 14, 2014. I have a third, Bitter Envy, a YA urban fantasy that may release late 2014.

USA Today Bestselling author Callie Hutton on success

Callie Hutton, a USA Today Bestselling author, has a passion for her craft.  And today, she is thankfully sharing her passion, hoping to inspire fellow writers to pursue their dreams.

Please introduce yourself by telling us about your background.

My name is Callie Hutton, and I write mostly historical romance, although I do have two contemporary romance novellas published. One of my books, The Elusive Wife, just made the USA Today Best Seller’s List, which I am quite proud of. I live in Oklahoma with my husband, college-aged daughter and two dogs. My son and his wife live nearby, and are expecting twin boys in a few months.

Can you tell us about your journey as a writer?

I have been writing most of my life. Primarily my work has been for
newspapers and magazines. Then about four years ago I decided to write a romance novel, and since then I have twelve books published. Three of them are self-published and the rest are with four different publishers. Right now I only work with two publishers, Entangled and Soul Mate.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, how do you juggle two work lives?
Yes, I write full time. It’s a job like any other. I have my own office and I have set hours. During those hours I’m either writing, researching, or doing promotion work.

In your website bio, you said you wrote for magazines. How has that helped you complete a novel?

Those articles helped with learning how to do research, which is vital when you write historical, how to meet deadlines, and how to structure a story from beginning to end.TheElusiveWife-900px

We are told to write what we know. Do you write from your real life? Where do you get your ideas?

I see a little bit of myself, and my daughter, in my heroines. My ideas come from everywhere. A song, a TV show, a conversation, a movie, a book. Sometimes it comes from hearing a name, or meeting a new person.

Any editing tips?

Once you’ve gone through your manuscript, checking punctuation, sentence structure, and looking for missing words or extra words, have at least three other people read it. No matter how hard you try, you will miss things. You know what it says, so that’s what you see, not what is actually there.

Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

There are so many, I could take hours listing them all. My absolute ‘my goal is to write like her’ authors are: Jude Devereaux, Sandra Brown, Lynsay Sands, Linda Lael Miller . . . Well you get the idea.

What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love that I can make up stories, and once they’re in print (or on kindle) other people can read them. I also love when a story of mine touches someone. I once had a woman write that my books got her through chemotherapy. That one brought tears to my eyes.

I dislike having to do a lot of promotion since most publishers have you do a lot more than they used to have an author do. But at the same time, I get to meet and come to know a lot of wonderful people through social media.

Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

My book, The Duke’s Quandary, just released about six weeks ago, and is doing quite well. It is the second book in my Marriage Mart Mayhem series. The third book in the series, The Lady’s Disgrace, will release in October of this year, and the fourth book, The Baron’s Homecoming, will hit the cyber shelves in December.

If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Don’t give up. You can’t win the race if you’re not in it.

Can you share a sample?

From The Duke’s Quandary:

Drake bounded down the steps. It was unfortunate that Mother’s propensity for rescuing hopeless strays extended to women as well
as animals.

He scanned the immediate area, and at first it appeared Miss Clayton had vanished into thin air. Then a slight movement up ahead caught his eye, and he hurried forward. “Miss Clayton, please stop.”

She came to a halt and spun around, taking in great gulps of air. “Please, Your Grace, just let me return to Devonshire. I really do not want to be here.” Her shaky fingers wiped tears from her cheeks, leaving behind a smudge of dirt.

DukesQuandryAs he grew closer, he could see her squinting, most likely in an attempt to view him since her spectacles were still on the floor in the entrance hall. She gripped her bundle close to her chest, her teeth chattering, whether from the damp night or nerves, he couldn’t tell. But the slight moon reflected her paleness, leaving him wondering if she would swoon any moment.

“We must return to the house.” He reached to grasp her elbow, but she yanked it away.

“No. I don’t belong here, and I just want to go home.” She hiccupped, her huge green eyes pleading with him. Something deep and feral in him softened. The poor girl looked scared to death. And he was sure his rudeness hadn’t helped.

“Please,” he held out his hand. “I wish to apologize for any discomfort I may have caused you. Won’t you return with me to the house? The night air is chilling, and I’m sure you could do with a cup of tea. I know I could.”

She continued to shiver as she stared at him. Apparently coming to a decision, she stiffened her spine, swiped at her tears, and gave him a slight smile. “Yes. A cup of tea would be most welcomed. Thank you.”

Amazed at her quick transformation, he held out his arm and she placed a delicate, albeit, dirty, hand on his sleeve. He tried very hard not to wince, and led her back to the house.

What is one good book you read this year you would recommend?

Since I read about 250 books a year, it’s hard to pick just one. One book that has always remained fresh in my mind is an historical romance by Lynsay Sands, “The Perfect Wife.” Very funny. I’ve re-read that several times.

Rick Chesler talks turning life passions into published books

Author Rick Chesler
Author Rick Chesler

Rick Chesler has been one of the lucky novelists who seems to have done it all when it comes to publishing. Having built a successful following as both a self-published author and a traditionally published author, he has accomplished what many writers are hoping to do.

What’s his secret?

Life passions. In his interview, Turning Life Passions Into Published Books, Chesler took what he loved and made it profitable in the publishing industry. Having studied Marine Biology and always possessing a love for the ocean, he uses his background in his science-based thrillers.

Not only this, Chesler tells writers how to maintain work-life balance as a writer and gives us great insights on how to be successful as both a traditionally published and self-published author. Read his interview, Turning Life Passions into Published Books.

Bruce Kasanoff: self-promotion for the Indie author made easy

Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff, author of How To Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk, did an awesome interview on self-promotion for We Eat Books.

Let’s face it authors, self-promotion is what will keep us alive in this Hunger Games-like publishing industry.

Having a strong business background, Kasanoff knows how to build relationships and grow businesses. In this interview, he held nothing back and shared the key to his success.

One of my favorite quotes of his gave some insight on how authors can market better on Twitter, a must use for most authors. He said, “I’ve learned they are highly invested in their work and often have trouble reducing it to something of interest to others that fits in a tweet.”

Can I raise a hand and say, that’s me?

If you want to learn how to market yourself well and build relationships in this technologically-advanced, quickly changing world, then check out Bruce Kasanoff’s interview, and buy his book.

How to Self-Promote Without Being A Jerk
Click to buy

5 Tips For Single Ladies on Valentine’s Day

livingrmwideAnyone can tell that author Nathan Brooken enjoys women. Just pick of one of his books.  For My Beautiful Black Sisters is February favorite month. Nothing is more exciting than a collection of poems dedicated to the love of women.

Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to saying, I love . . . And who says that special “I love” has to be reserved for Mr. or Mrs. Right? Why can it not be said to a BFF or mom or yourself even? So for those dreading their Valentine’s Day why not have a Single Awareness Day?  Here are some ways to transform this day of couples only into a day of Love Thyself or Love Thy Friend or Love Thy neighbor.

  1. Love Thy Friends and Family – Spend your energy baking cute treats or getting gifts to show the great people in your life you really appreciate them. Giving always makes you feel better.
  2. Love Thy Neighbor – Reach out to other singles and invite them over for a celebration or a night out, even if you do not know them that well. That stranger in your office probably doesn’t want to spend the night alone any more than you do.
  3. Love Thyself – Pamper, pamper, pamper. Why not buy yourself a poem book such as My Beautiful Black Sisters to evoke good feelings? Purchase some roses while treating yourself to chocolates as you get your nails done. Show yourself some much-needed love, so when Mr. or Mrs. Right comes along, you can let the love inside you just bubble over.
  4. Anti-Valentine’s Day Cruises planned on Meet-up may inspire as well.

Totally not into spending Valentine’s Day alone, but not sure what to do? Take advantage of the online dating scene with these 5 easy tips for online dating:

  1. Make yourself stand out and be specific.
  2. Women can write to men.
  3. Keep your e-mail short and end with a question.
  4. Upload 4-7 pictures that show the real you.
  5. Move it off-line. Love @ First Click.

Watch this short from First Coast News video to learn more.

About Nathan B. Brooken

Nathan B. BrookenNathan B. Brooken is the author of My Beautiful Black Sisters, a collection of poems in memory of his mother, whom he lost at a young age. He has also written several fan fiction scripts. His work has been incorporated into two American Literature and Composition courses syllabi at local Jacksonville colleges and universities. Brooken’s appreciation for women breaks barriers. His poems have become the subject of debate. Brooken began writing while attending the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. He continues to write about the women who assisted in his upbringing when he is working on assignment in the Duval County School System.

God’s Valentine to you: He will do for you exactly what he said.

God's valentine

Psalms 91:14-16: “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Some people will face tragedy in February, while others will have the best time of their life. Some people will feel lonely. Some will have nothing special happen to them at all. Whatever happens, before the month ends, I want to remind you of God’s Valentine to you. 

February is one of my favorite months. As Justin Bieber said on SNL, it is the month of Blacks and love. Well, he didn’t quite say it like that.

It came to me this Valentine’s Day to spend time celebrating God’s love. He is love, stronger than any man or woman’s. Even when people failed me, I have found His love to be unfailing even in the toughest of times. When I need something, all I have to do is turn to Him. He gives me the deepest desires of my heart. He teaches me His way and draws me closer.

I grew up in the church, but here’s the funny thing about church. You can go everyday and not be much of a Christian. Sometimes I would step out in faith only to think things will not work out. God knew I was trying though. He always meets you where you’re at, so even in my doubt, God still moved for me. Now I have learned to trust in Him fully. He will be good to me just because I believe in Him.

Life can sometimes become so hard we forget God loves us. I know I have once or twice or three times. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

One thing I have learned is to seek God at all times. When He is telling you He is going to do big things for you, don’t doubt it one bit, just receive it. Keep it to yourself if it sounds too crazy. Your closest friends and family can instill some of the strongest doubt even when they do not always mean to do so. Unless God is using you as a vehicle to help someone else, what He has told you is meant for you, and only you need to believe it. God is going to do exactly what He said. Just remember Luke 1:45, a verse that talks about Mary, but can be applied to you: “Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”

For those who are in need of more spiritual ministering I recommend both Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer’s The Battlefield of the Mind.

Fantasy novelist Eden Glenn: Turning the bad into great!


What began as a mechanism to survive cancer flourished into a successful writing career.

Miss. Eden Glenn, author of the fantasy erotica Dar’kind Promises, turned a hobby into a source of profit. Landing a publishing contract with Rebel Ink Press, she glows with prospects of new releases and more book deals. Read the interview below. Maybe it will be the inspiration you need to finally throw out those novice shoes and become the writing professional you have always dreamed.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Turning the bad into great!

I could write a whole book just to discuss each of these questions. LOL! I’ll give it a try. The hardest part of being a writer is being concise, isn’t it? I will fail miserably, but perhaps I can be entertaining and insightful. Here goes.

1. Can you talk about your journey as a writer?

I started writing in 2005 while battling breast cancer. I had to have something to occupy my thoughts that were NOT the reality of what I was dealing with.

2011 started my career with Rebel Ink Press. I’ve published with them four times now. I have a short novelette coming out 2/3/13 and another 4/17/13. I’m under contract with them for several more shorts in 2013. I’m working toward building a readership. Late in 2013 or 2014 “Dragon’s Mark” will find a real title instead of this working title. It will get an overhaul of edits and become my debut novel with Rebel Ink if they accept it.

2. How long did it take to complete your novel? Can you talk about your writing process?

I write a novel a year. Three to five months to write the draft and the rest of the year to edit and polish.

3. Any editing tips?

Bio picture

I could write a whole blog on editing tips. We’ll have to save that for another

day, or I’ll bore your readers to death. I will give you one writing tip. I learned

 this from an interview I read with Hemmingway. WRITE UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors, and how have they

inspired your writing?

Everyone I read inspires me. I have an extensive library.

5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love that the industry is wide open with the advent of e-readers. What was

foretold to be a passing fad–Snort–I hate that the industry is wide open with the advent of e-readers.

6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

I have a busy year. 2/3/13 “Dar’kind Promises” the short novella I’m promoting today releases. Two more stories follow that one in 2013. The second, “Dragon’s Unbound” is in edits. It is something a bit like Goldilocks and the three dragons. It’s in draft stage. Not titled yet. On 4/17/13 “Beverly’s Secret” vol 2 in “The Amethyst Desire Collection” comes out. I have stories following in the collection throughout 2013 and 2014. Vol 3 “Phoenix Reborn” is in final edits with me. Vol 4 “Shifter’s (something or other)” Untitled is in the draft stage.

7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

First, write a good story. Then, ruthlessly edit that story until it is well polished. Don’t put some self-published crap up there and use the reviews people post to polish it. Can you tell that is a pet peeve? LOL!

Connect with Eden Glenn:

Prepare to leave your safe world behind. my social networking links are here on my website for FB, Twitter, Amazon and more. Check out my book trailers, blog and news.

International bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif: Envisioning your success

International bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif really knows how to look past obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. Her passion pushed her past hardships many authors never have to face while pursuing their literary careers. She did what many accomplished professionals do: predict her success. 2012 would be her year, and according to Miss. Tardif, it definitely is!

Straight from the author’s mouth: Envisioning your success

1. Can you tell us about your journey as a writer?

I started becoming interested in writing and creating stories in school, and at 16 I wrote my first novel, a supernatural horror titled BECKONING WRATH. But someone broke into my locker and stole it. I was devastated. I didn’t attempt another novel until I was 19. I spent a few years querying agents and publishers but became very despondent. No one seemed interested in publishing a young Canadian writer. So I collected rejection letter after rejection letter. I probably have enough to wallpaper my office—twice.

In early 2001, I became obsessed with a story plot. It wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about it all the time, yet I hadn’t picked up a pen or keyboard. In 2003 I told a friend about the idea, one that had fermented for two years and had grown complete from beginning to end. She cried when I told her the ending. Then she (a non-writer) gave me the best advice ever. She told me I needed to write that story. She said, “Write it for you. Write it because you have to.” So I did. And that story became WHALE SONG, a #1 international bestselling novel about family, tragedy and forgiveness. It was self-published the summer of 2003 and has inspired and changed people’s lives.

In 2004, I self-published/indie published DIVINE INTERVENTION, book 1 of my Divine series. In 2005, THE RIVER was released, a techno-thriller set along the Nahanni River, a mysterious area of Canada’s northwest, an area nicknamed the “Bermuda Triangle of Canada.” In 2006 WHALE SONG was picked up by a traditional publisher who later went bankrupt. In 2010, I published a third edition. I followed this with a horror anthology, SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET & OTHER CREEPY STORIES, and a novelette, REMOTE CONTROL.

2011 was the year everything changed. For me and for the book world. With the popularity of ebooks, came more opportunities. I published ebooks editions of my titles, plus released LANCELOT’S LADY, a romantic suspense written under a pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Then came CHILDREN OF THE FOG, which is my #1 international bestselling novel of all. DIVINE JUSTICE, book 2 in the Divine series followed shortly. And I released a school edition of WHALE SONG, complete with a discussion guide.

2012 was a year I had predicted would be “my year.” My lucky number is 12. And it has been my best year so far. In fact after huge success and sales of CHILDREN OF THE FOG in March 2012, I published a tell-all ebook, revealing my secret strategies and my personal journey into Amazon’s KDP Select program—one I had balked at, at first. My marketing book HOW I MADE OVER $42,000 IN 1 MONTH SELLING MY KINDLE EBOOKS should be retitled to: HOW I MADE OVER $150,000 IN 7 MONTHS SELLING MY KINDLE EBOOKS.

With this success came two offers for agent representation. I will be signing with Trident Media Group this week. I was also contacted by a senior editor at a major “big 6” publishing company; she’s interested in my work. As well, I’ve been approached by an audio publisher and Amazon personally invited me to participate in two back-to-back special promotions. Yeah, I’d say 2012 is shaping up to be “my year…and then some!”
2. How long did it take you to complete your novels? Can you talk about your writing process?

Whale Song – 3.5 months, edited by me and 2 others. I was driven!

Divine Intervention – 4.5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

The River – 5 months, edited by me and 3 others.

Lancelot’s Lady – 2 months; I completed it for TextNovel and Dorchester Publishing’s Next Best Seller Contest and placed as a semi-finalist.

Divine Justice – 5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

Children of the Fog – 6.5 months, edited by me and 2 others.

3. Any editing tips?

Edit, edit, edit. Learn about editing; brush up on Chicago Manual of Style grammar and punctuation rules! Then find at least 2 people WHO KNOW HOW TO EDIT to edit your book. Drop the ego and take constructive criticism as what it is—a gift. Then edit it again.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

I have too many favorites to name them all, but the three that inspired me most, especially to write paranormal suspense, are Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul.
5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

I love how the industry is ever evolving. It’s exciting. This is the best and most exciting time to be in this industry! I LOVE being a writer. Never in my life, with all the JOBS I’ve had, have I felt so complete.

I dislike that major publishers still don’t get that readers want lower priced ebooks and they should be lowering the prices to under $8. I actually stopped buying books from my favorite authors because of the prices. I’ve found far too many other authors whose books sell for less—and they’re quite good.
6. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

Since I now have a new agent—thank you, Adrienne Lombardo and Trident Media—I am hoping we’ll have a book deal soon. I am currently working on a standalone thriller titled SUBMERGED and another thriller based on true events. I predict both of these will be huge hits.
7. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Be bold. Take risks. Learn the business of writing. Learn the business of publishing. Learn how to market yourself and your work—even BEFORE you’re published. And never, ever give up. If you want this badly enough, it’s worth pursuing. Just write your heart out. Oops, sorry. That’s more than one tip, so pick your weakest one.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a Canadian author, whose is best known for Whale Song, which is now available in its third edition, the 2010 ebook edition.

Whale Song, an emotional mystery that explores controversial issues like assisted suicide, school bullies and racism, has captured the attention of numerous film companies. A screenplay, which Cheryl wrote with co-writer Alison Neuman, was completed in 2006, along with a movie treatment.

Cheryl is now in negotiations with a respected film producer/director.

The 2007 paperback edition of Whale Song went out of print as of February 1, 2009. All rights have been returned to the author.

In 2009, Cheryl branched off into romance with her debut romantic suspense Lancelot’s Lady, which will be released as an ebook in late September 2010. Since romance is a different genre from Cheryl’s usual suspense/thrillers and YA, she wrote Lancelot’s Lady under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Lancelot’s Lady was a semi-finalist in the Dorchester Publishing Next Best Celler contest hosted by Textnovel. It also won an Editor’s Choice award from Textnovel in 2010.

A novelette of suspense titled Remote Control was released in ebook edition in July 2010; and a collection of stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories is slated for release in August 2010.

In September 2005, Cheryl’s gripping action-packed techno-thriller The River was released. This carefully researched novel explores the mysterious Nahanni River area, nanotechnology and man’s obsession with longevity. The River has been compared to works by Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Dan Brown.

Cheryl is also the author of the 2004 “sizzling psychic suspense” Divine Intervention, a ‘psi-fi’ suspense thriller (or paranormal romance) that has been compared to works by authors such as Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper and Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ series.

All of these novels have made’s bestsellers list.

In 2006, Cheryl Kaye Tardif participated in a hilarious new TV series ‘A Total Write-Off’, hosted by comedian Barbara North. In 2004, Cheryl was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. In 2003, she wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. Her PSA script, One Voice ~ One World, placed third and was produced and aired on cable channels in Alberta.

Cheryl has not only held hundreds of book signings, she has organized multi-author signings, held a virtual book tour and taught others how to do their own, and she has presented at conferences in Canada and the US. Cheryl is known amongst her peers for her creativity and knowledge regarding book marketing, and in 2009 she embarked on a new venture as a Book Marketing Coach. She is a member of various social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, AmazonConnect and Chapters Online Community.

Cheryl has been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and she has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries. According to photojournalist, Heather Andrews Miller, who interviewed the author for a Real Estate Weekly article, Cheryl is a “gem in the literary world”. And according to Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun, “Cheryl Kaye Tardif specializes in mile-a-minute pot-boiler mysteries, usually set in Western Canadian locales.”

As a teen, Cheryl was a journalist with a weekly newspaper column. Years later, she completed a course in Journalism and Short Story Writing and graduated with Highest Honors. She has worked as a motivational speaker for a respected international company, written material for a number of companies, and worked as a consultant in telemarketing, sales and promotion. But writing fiction with passion and vision is her dream.

Cheryl has completed her next novel, Children of the Fog, a terrifying suspense that asks, “how far are you willing to go for your child?” She has also completed Divine Justice, the second in the Divine mystery series, and has started another thriller, plus a YA novel, Finding Bliss, the first novel to be written on the iPhone 3G using the Notes application.

Born in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl Kaye Tardif was a “military brat” and a “military wife” who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. Now residing in Edmonton, AB, with her husband Marc, daughter Jessica and the family dog, she is an author that Booklist calls “a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border”.

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Bestselling author Jennifer Estep: Listening to your instincts

Bestselling author Jennifer Estep has kindly shared some insight into her writing process. It is an inspiration for anyone pursuing the hard path of publishing, whether traditional or self-publishing.

As one reads Miss. Estep’s interview, they learn writing the book that catapults your career takes more than just patience and work.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Listen to your instincts.

  1. Can you talk about your career? What are some setbacks you had to overcome to fulfill your goals?

I write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books and the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. I wrote several books over the course of several years before I got an agent and sold my first book. I got a lot of rejections along the way, but I just kept on writing, and I eventually sold my first book.

  1. Your new release Widow’s Web has come out. Can you share with us a powerful excerpt from your novel?


Owen just sort of—sagged. His hands thudded down on the table, and his whole body pitched forward, as if the mere sight of her had caused his bones to turn to jelly. He continued to sit there, a stunned expression on his face, as though he couldn’t quite believe there was a woman standing in front of him—that this particular woman was standing in front of him. Whoever she was, he obviously knew her and was floored by her appearance—as floored as I’d been when I’d seen Donovan Caine, an old lover of mine, a few weeks ago. Hmm.

“Don’t you have anything to say?” she asked. “Or perhaps a hug for an old friend?”

Her voice was soft, sweet, and utterly feminine with the kind of faint dulcet chiming that made me think of water rushing down a mountainside. A soothing voice—one that could convince a man to do all sorts of things for her. Up close, I could see that her eyes were somewhere between blue and green—aquamarine, some folks might say. Their color seemed to constantly shift from one to the other and back again, churning like the sea.

“Owen?” the woman asked again.

“Of course,” he said in a faint voice, pushed his chair back, and got to his feet.

Owen hesitated, then held out his hand, but the woman ignored his gesture and stepped into his arms, molding herself to his body and pressing her breasts against his chest. He hesitated again, then awkwardly patted her on the back before stepping out of her embrace as fast as he could. The woman seemed amused by his attempts to disentangle himself from her and did everything she could to slow his getaway.

Her antics did not amuse me—not one little bit. Especially since the woman was staring at my lover like she’d very much like to have him for dessert. Like it was almost a forgone conclusion that she would, despite my presence at the table.

Finally, she tore her gaze away from Owen long enough to glance at me. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”

“Of course,” he echoed again. “Salina Dubois, this is Gin Blanco. Gin, Salina.”

I discreetly tucked my knife back into my purse, closed the top, put it down on the table, and got to my feet. Salina held out her hand to me, the same remote expression on her face that she’d shown McAllister—the one that told me just how very far beneath her and unimportant she thought I was.

  1. Can you talk about your writing process?

When I start writing a rough draft, I try to write at least 2,000 words (or more) a day until I have a draft that’s about 50,000 or 60,000 words (or more). Then, I let that draft sit for a while before I go back, read through, and see how the characters, plot, story, and more hold together. Then, I start on my second draft and layer in more emotion, action, description, and dialogue. When I finish, I let that draft sit for a while before going back, reading through, and seeing what needs to be done to that draft. I keep repeating that process until I have a full-length book that’s the best that I can make it.

  1. Any editing tips?

I would just say listen to your instincts. If you think something in your book isn’t quite working, then it’s probably not. Also, I think one of the most important things is just getting the words and your story down. Your book doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. That’s what editing is for.

  1. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

One of the things I like about the writing community is just how nice and supportive everyone is. Whether we are authors, readers, reviewers, or bloggers, we all love books, and it’s just great to meet and interact with so many people who enjoy books and reading.

  1. Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?

Widow’s Web, the seventh book in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, was released on Aug. 21. Deadly Sting, the eighth book, is set to be published in April 2013, and there will be at least two more books in the series after that one.

Crimson Frost, the fourth book in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, will be out on Dec. 24, 2012, and there will be at least two more books in the series after that one.

Folks can visit my website at for more information about my books.

Thank you for reading this interview. Interested in seeing if you won a personally signed copy of Miss. Estep’s Widow’s Web, check out the giveaway on my fan page.


Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author. Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. Widow’s Web, the seventh book, was released on Aug. 21. Visit for excerpts and more information about her books.

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