Saturday, November 19, 2016

Author Interview-Jill Archer

How did you become a writer?

I’ve been a lifelong reader so, at the outset, I had that love of books and the written word that every writer must have. When I reached the point in my life when I decided I wanted to try writing a novel, I just started writing. Those first scenes weren’t even close to a novel, but you have to start somewhere. Over a number of years, I took workshops, online classes, attended conferences, and read at least a dozen books on novel structure, character development, worldbuilding, etc. When I read other authors’ books, I started paying more attention to how they were written. I kept writing. Eventually, many years later, I was able to write a manuscript that was good enough to attract the attention of several agents. Leaving the practice of law to write about it (albeit with an interesting twist) was risky, but it paid off.

Who are some of your favorite romance characters?

Celia Bowen and Marco Alistair (Night Circus)
Claire and Jamie Fraser (Outlander)
Ramses and Nefret Emerson (Amelia Peabody series)
Aliena and Jack Jackson (Pillars of the Earth)
Kate “Puck” Connolly and Sean Kendrick (The Scorpio Races)

What inspired this story?

Noon was very loosely inspired by the Egyptologist Evelyn “Evy” Carnahan from the movie The Mummy. I was having lunch with a bunch of writers during the time when I was seeking inspiration for a new project. I was still practicing law and I sat next to a librarian. We each shared with the other that we felt our day jobs were fairly pedestrian and not necessarily something that could be tapped into to create a dynamic, otherworldly character. I then mentioned Evy as an example of a wonderful librarian character, who found love while battling the undead, despite her bookish ways. So that conversation got me thinking… If Evy could do it, maybe another similarly bookish lawyer character could do it too.

What is one of your favorite romantic locales?

Cape May, New Jersey is one of my favorite beach towns. Its Victorian houses are charming, its beach is beautiful, and it’s one of the only places on the east coast where you can watch the sun set over water. There’s a brewery, winery, lighthouse, and aviation museum. My husband and I have toured them all. J There’s also tons of great restaurants and places to sip cocktails in salty air. The Virginia Hotel’s porch is one of the best!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Advance review copies of Pocket Full of Tinder will be available on NetGalley via SFWA from November 15, 2016-December 15, 2016. I’m also running a Goodreads giveaway right now (chance to win one of 10 signed print ARCs).

Pocket Full of Tinder can be pre-ordered on Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes. On its release day, it will also be available on Nook and CreateSpace.

More about Jill

Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, White Heart of Justice, and Pocket Full of Tinder. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lessons From the Dance Floor

Some writers seem to be everywhere, doing blog tours, leaving clever comments on writing loops and making appearances on all conceivable forms of social media sort of like the popular girl who is always on the dance floor. The gals on the sidelines wonder if they need a shorter skirt, higher heels or darker lipstick to be noticed. Writers watch others cut a broad swath on the Internet and worry about how much blogging, tweeting and commenting is needed to attract readers.

You don’t have to be everywhere, but you do need to be seen. One night at Salsa my instructor noticed me pouting at a remote table.  “You need to be closer to the action,” he said nodding toward the crowd at the bar. I moved to a more populated area of the club and my evening improved considerably.  If maintaining your own blog is too much for you, consider being part of a group blog or look for guest posting opportunities at other author blogs.

Watch the other dancers for ideas, but ultimately you need to find your own rhythm.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On the Road Again

I'm visiting the Roses of Prose today and sharing an excerpt from Ladies Man.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Got Ghosts?

One of the things I like most about Halloween is ghost stories and Northern Nevada has some chilling stories! Most people associate ghosts with old houses or graveyards. Apparently ghosts can reside anywhere there are strong feelings or intense memories.  I'm thrilled to be at Brenda Whiteside's blog today chatting about a sighting not far from my current office.

Wishing all of you a Happy Halloween! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Vampire (1957)

Claiming that he found the secret a dying Dr. Campbell hands a vial of pills to Dr. Paul Beecher who slips the pills into his pocket.  When his young daughter accidentally gives him one of the pills during a migraine, the kind family doctor finds himself swept up in horrifying events beyond his control. Can the good doctor stop the madness in time?

Although the film has several flashes of iconic horror scenes, a mysterious old house, creepy laboratory with bats, lovely woman fleeing in terror, vampire fans expecting the suave elegance of Bella Lugosi will be kept waiting.  Despite a number of bodies with the tell-tale fang marks in the neck, the title monster’s transformation and storyline is more The Wolf Man than Dracula.  Those horror fans that love their monsters whether they’re fanged, furry or with fins will enjoy The Vampire even without the cape and the smooth accent. Vampire purists may prefer to stick to the classic  Dracula or even Fright Night (the 1985 original or the 2011 remake).  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Best of the West

In celebration of the release of Ladies Man, the production team shares what they consider the best of the West. They worked with me on Package Deal and Hot Flash and I'm thrilled to work with them again.

Personally, I'm pretty fond of the scenery throughout the West-not to mention how varied it is. You've got the stark beauty of the desert, the coast across California, even thick forests up in Washington. The weather can be a bit crazy sometimes, but there is always a gorgeous spot somewhere around the corner.

In addition to formatting, Stevie does cover design. Featured is one of her covers.

Harris Channing-Cover Design
Harris is an author in her own right as well as designer.

When asked what I love about the West, I had to stop and think.  As a Southern girl, it pains me to say that the furthest west I’ve ever been is Louisiana
So, I had to go deeper into things I like about the West. And what intrigues me is the history. So many great things happened during the expansion of America.  Gunslingers, Indian Chiefs fighting for their people, cowboys herding cattle, the iron horse, bison...And all the sites!  I’d love to see the Alamo, dip my feet into Pacific ocean, ghost hunt in a real ghost town, visit the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and where Custer (who I think was an idiot) made his last stand.
But my interest in the historical West started more, or less, with reruns of television shows from the 1950’s and 60’s.  Young Clint Eastwood playing cowboy Rowdy Yates, James Arness as Matt Dillon (still don’t know why he never married Miss Kitty), my strange crush on Hoss Cartwright—I know he’s not the best looking Cartwright, but I think he would have made a hell of a good husband and father…Did you know his name is actually Eric Haas Cartwright?  Bet you didn’t.
But it has to be Chuck Connors-- cowboy, father, marksman and overall hottie, Lucas McCain that has me wanting to don spurs and ride into the sunset.  That chiseled jaw, that piercing stare, the immense size of the man, broad shoulders, narrow hips….yep, he was a romance novel hero before I even knew about romance novels.
So, here’s to the faux-none to factual Old West….where you never saw a cowboy in the outhouse.  Never smelled him after he’d been sewn into his long underwear all winter, and who always, always had strong, white teeth and minty fresh breath.
The Old West of the 1950’s.  It’s just too good to be true.
Truly an author’s editor, Marian also writes romance as Colleen Ladd.

Living in the mountains in northern Colorado, what I like best in the West is when fall rolls around.  The leaves change, mostly aspen turning gold and orange and, if we're very lucky, red.  The air turns cool and so crisp you feel you could cut it with a knife.  The smoky smell from people's fireplaces fills the air.  There's something fundamentally different about the smell of smoke in the fall.  Summer campfires smell of picnics and outdoor family time, hotdogs and toasted marshmallows.  Winter fires smell like warmth and cuddling up under a warm blanket with a dog or two and a good book.  They smell like home.

Mariposa Cruz-Author

To me nothing captures the spirit of the West with its wide open skies and landscapes like a Western. Destry Rides Again (1939) was James Stewart’s first Western and is tops on my must-see movie list. The folks of Bottleneck are confounded when Destry (Stewart) their sharpshooter new deputy refuses to carry a gun.  Armed with a quick wit, Destry upholds the law without firing a shot. But corruption runs deep in Bottleneck and an armed standoff between Destry and the mayor’s hired guns is inevitable.

As with many of his roles, Stewart comes across as Everyman Nice Guy. However there are a few key scenes where the Nice Guy fa├žade drops and Destry stares at his opponent with a cold glare with a rage held barely in check. The effect is chilling. To me that look is well-worth the price of admission.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Indie Author Day

“Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I believe Fitzgerald’s quote to be especially true for indie published writers. Not only do you have a cast of characters in your head vying for attention, as an indie writer you are the CEO, publicist, finance director and tech support of your own business.  Even if you hire out for some of the heavy lifting jobs (like editing), the success or failure of your enterprise rests squarely on your shoulders.
That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the inaugural IndieAuthor Day taking place in libraries across the country on October 8th with a live webcast scheduled for 2:00PM EST. 

 My local library, Washoe County Library-Spanish Springs, will have their event on Sunday, October 9th from 2:00-4:00PM PST. The Spanish Springs event will host about a dozen local writers (including yours truly).  Authors will have their books available for purchase and there will be an author Q&A from 2:30-3:30.

Curious if your local library is participating? Check out
Here are the dates:  Nationwide-October 8, 2016
                                Spanish Springs, NV-October 9, 2016

Hope to see you there!