Friday, August 23, 2013

Author Interview-Lilly Gayle

As my 100th post, I’m excited to welcome fellow, Wild Rose Press author, Lilly Gayle.  I’ll be over at her blog today. Stop by and say hi!     
What inspired you to become a writer?
When I was in the eighth grade, my teacher gave us an assignment: Write a short, 3 to 5 page story using all of your spelling words. The entire class groaned. I smiled. I could do that. I'd been writing stories in my head since the day I played hooky to watch the very first episode of Young and the Restless. So, I started writing…and filled up an entire spiral notebook. The teacher asked me to condense it down to the required word length, but she encouraged me to keep writing. And I did. Until I graduated from high school and went off to college. Life got in my way for years, but I shared my secret desire to write with my husband and in 1995, he bought our first computer and told me to stop dreaming and start writing. Gotta love a man who listens to the important stuff. As for the small stuff, well that's another story. Lol!

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Dean Koontz's Christopher Snow from his books Seize the Night and Fear Nothing. Snow is the main character and suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum. The story is a paranormal suspense with romantic elements and I fell in love with Snow. Forced to live in a shadowy world because of his rare skin condition, Snow witnesses a series of frightening events that force him to confront his fears as he investigates the dark secrets hiding in the shadows of Moonlight Bay.  

Tell me what inspired this story.

Dean Koontz's character, Christopher Snow. He suffers from XP- a rare, genetic DNA disorder in which the skin is ultra-sensitive to UV light and the ability to repair the damage is deficient. Patients exposed to UV and sunlight suffer from disfiguring burns and skin cancers. While reading the book, I started investigating the disorder and got an for a vampire novel. Then I saw a re-run of Universal Soldier with Jean-Claud Vandam and Dolph Lundgren and the idea came together in a rough draft.

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
Not very well! I still work a day job. I a radiologic technologist with a certification in mammography. I usually, work 9-10 hours, four days a week, but we've been so swamped lately, I've been putting in 11 hour days. Then there's writing, promoting, blogging, home and family obligations. Sometimes I can't keep up! And I've got two WIP's I need to finish! Any advice on how to write faster or find more hours in the day? Lol!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? 
As a mammographer and breast cancer survivor, I want to remind women over forty to perform monthly self-breast exam, visit their doctor for an annual clinical breast exams and ask the health care provider to schedule a yearly mammogram if you haven't already had one. When I was diagnosed in 2007 at age 47, I had no family history, no symptoms, no lump, and no clue. I can't tell you how shocked I was to see the film and know—even before the doctor read my films—that that tiny, spiky white glob next to my chest wall had all the film characteristics of an invasive cancer. And I was right.
In 2007, 70% of all new breast cancers were diagnosed in women with NO family history. Last month, I was at a mammography seminar in Richmond, Virginia and learned that number has now risen to 80%. The increase in new cancer diagnoses is most likely related to early detection due to the increased sensitivity of digital mammography. Some government agencies want women to wait until age 50 before having their first mammogram because along with an increase in cancer diagnoses there's been an increase in biopsies with negative results.
As a woman who's had two negative biopsies and two positive ones, despite any anxiety I may have felt, I'd rather have a negative biopsy any day of the week than miss an early cancer diagnosis. Early detection can mean the difference in curing the disease and treating. Thanks to screening mammography and early detection by biopsy, I'm now a five year survivor and am considered cured. So, I don't advice taking chances. Start getting screened at age forty. Had I waited until age 50, I wouldn't have lived long enough to have my first mammogram.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hot Rods & Huge Monsters

For those who love classic cars, Reno is the place to be during Hot August Nights   Many of the casinos host events from show & shines to drag races.  Around town during a quick run to the store, you might spot a ’67 Corvette or an antique fire engine polished to a high gloss.

An unexpected thunderstorm made it a bad night to cruise the streets, but provided an excellent setting to watch a classic horror flick.  We chose The Giant Gila Monster (1959) which features hot rods, a soda shop even a sock hop.  

Poor Sheriff Jeff—as the lone lawman in a small town in rural Texas-he has two missing teens, several strange auto accidents and no deputy to assist with the investigation.  He enlists the help of Chase Winstead (our hero) a rakish mechanic who loves fast cars, yet is a devoted son who supports his mom and sister.   All the mayhem has been caused by a 50 foot Gila Monster (actually a live Mexican Bearded Lizard).  The film is reminiscent of those teen beach movies of the 50’s with singing and dancing except with no beach and one creepy lizard.

If you’re feeling in need of a 50’s fix and can’t make it to Reno for Hot August Nights, grab your main squeeze and the popcorn and check out The Giant Gila Monster.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Author Interview-Mary Vine

What inspired you to become a writer?
I read a lot in my twenties and thirties and somehow I thought I could do it, too. I first started writing at age 36, but was shy about telling anyone. Finally, I gained enough courage to take a few chapters to my neighbor, a retired high school English teacher. Her encouragement kept me going.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
The older I get the more I really like kick-ass heroines in books and television.  I like Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ heroines, especially in Nobody’s Baby But Mine and Ain’t She Sweet.  I like reformed bad boys in books and in real life. I’ve got one right at home.

Tell me what inspired this story.
For many years I’ve dreamed of a big house. Not always the same big house, but variations. And they usually belonged to me. Finally, I decided to write about it in A Haunting in Trillium Falls. I’ve always been a sucker for haunted house stories that included a romantic storyline as well.

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
I’ve written when I’ve worked full-time and now I write working part-time. Seems I get the same amount of words on the page either way. I think the part-time schedule makes me think I can procrastinate longer. I write the most during the summers, or when I become part of a monthly challenge to write at least 100 words per day.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
During a book signing event, I had the honor of meeting Steve Bronson, who happens to be pictured on the cover of my book, A Place to Land. Poor guy, I made him take off his sunglasses so I could see his handsome face (his face was mostly covered by a cowboy hat on the cover). He was very gracious about it. As he walked off into the sunset, I noticed he’s taller than I expected him to be. In my opinion, he makes a great Jackson, the hero of the story.

A Haunting in Trillium Falls

A courageous but naïve woman and a benevolent but cynical man reconcile to evict ghosts and restore a mansion.
Taylor Glenn makes a deal on a haunted mansion in the town where she accepts her first teaching job. Her naïve optimism assures her that her depressed grandfather will come to life and help her rebuild it with the passion he once possessed for restoring old homes. Three deaths are connected to the tower room and no local workman will set foot inside except for the former owner, successful real estate developer, Dillon Nash. She wonders if this captivating man is the salvation she needs or an even greater threat to her survival when mysterious events happen in the house.
Buy links
Distribution to the following retailers and partners...
Amazon Kindle
All Romance
iTunes (iBookstore)
Barnes & Noble Nook
It’s also at Overdrive Content Reserve (distributes to libraries and various retailers)