Archive for April, 2007

Interview with Carys Weldon

April 24, 2007

What do you write, babe?

Sex. Sex with werewolves. Sex with vampires. Sex with faeries. Um, sex with Robin Hood and his merry men. Sex with some seriously hot men and women. And, uh, sexy poetry, too.

Sexy Poetry?

Uh, yep. I have an ebook of sensual poetry available through Mojocastle Press. It’s titled Caresses Well Done. Warning, though…it isn’t for prudes. The poetry ranges from teasing to vulgar.

Okay. Cool. So, you’d say it’s a turn-on to poetry?

Definitely. Even people who don’t like poetry will find something in there to make them smile.

Let’s back up. Did you say Sex with Robin Hood?

LOL I do takes on fairy tales on occasion that are a little twisted. Like what Rob was like before he met Maid Marion. And the sex with faeries is my spiral on another type of fairytale. I’m a little messed up sometimes. Totally irreverent. People should pray for me.

Your werewolves and vampires are very popular. Anything you’d like to say about those?

It’s erotic romance that men and women both like. Edgy. Street language. The men are dogs, the women are bitches. Everybody’s got mood swings. I hear a lot of couples read them out loud together to spark some fun times and conversation. I wholly encourage that.

Currently, I have 7 titles in the Wanton Werewolf series finished. One or two more to write, at least. If you haven’t checked those out, you might want to put them on your list: Leer (formerly Leader of the Pack), Chaos, Pack City, Jack: In the Pack, Hood, Pack Taboo, Pack Attack. The Pack is Coming is the next one I have to write for that.

I also have more werewolves coming. (Love that pun. Erotica is fun for intendre convo.) Look for the Raven’s Mischief series. Raven’s Mischief, and The Wolf God. (First two books in the series.)

And the vamps? I have a bunch of those coming out. My Dark Lord books are very angsty. The guy is obsessed with finding the love of his life which he has lost due to foul play by the gods. That’s how he got cursed as a vampire in the first place. That storyline is all about teasing you to the max.

I have several vampire titles coming soon, actually. Five, I think. So, watch my website for those. Titles to look for would include: Jule, Josey, Mira Starks, Destra and the Lustpire, and Vampirubus (previously released).

How long have you been writing erotica?

Three years. March 2004, I was asked if I’d like to give it a shot. I wrote 7 books (mostly novellas) in six weeks. The publisher took them all. I didn’t know what they were looking for so my books range from barely vanilla to pretty straight-up (hehe) erotica. I signed my entire list over to Mojocastle this year. That’s 20 some books. 23? So, all those will be released, or re-released asap. I think they’re working on the cover art as hard as they can since some have already been through full edits. Man, I hope they don’t make me go back over them too much more. That’s the part of writing I like least.

What do you like about writing best?

Getting lost in my own little worlds. Being a goddess. Choosing who lives or dies, who gets knocked up against a wall, or just knocked up. Writing is fun. I totally write to entertain myself. I figure, that way the time spent is never wasted.

Writing interviews almost always ask, “Any advice for aspiring writers?”

Yeah. Love your readers. Appreciate them. Realize that you’re nothing if you don’t have those. Never get too busy to talk to them.

But, before you get readers, care enough about your future readers to learn how to write a good story. Word of mouth and networking is what the business is all about–after you write something worth reading, that is.

Anything else you’d like to add today?

Yep. I have blogs.

One at myspace, one at blogspot, one at livejournal. Check ’em out.

http://www.myspace.com/carysweldon

http://carysweldonblog.blogspot.com/

http://carysweldon.livejournal.com/

And my regular website is: http://www.carysweldon.com/

Thanks for letting me chat here!

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Not self-published

April 23, 2007

You know, there are tons of publishers out there. And plenty of printers, too.

A lot of new writers don’t know the difference. A lot of old writers don’t know the difference between printing technology and a publisher. For example, many people sneer at POD, print on demand.

That’s because a lot of “mid-range” publishers are known as POD publishers. Some think that the label POD means self-published or vanity published and that is simply not true.

Let me spell out a few things here for you:

Self publish means you pay the expenses yourself. A self-published book CAN be edited by a professional but most people assume that a self-published book is not edited by a professional. There IS a stigma in the publishing industry against self-publishing. Whether you like it or not, a self-published book is not taken as seriously, and is often not considered a writing credit at all when you submit to “traditional publishing houses” and agents and editors.

You can self-publish without paying for expenses. Lulu.com, for example, does not charge a set-up fee. I wholly recommend them IF you are intent on self-publishing your work. Also, many new publishers are using Lulu for their printing process. So, you may find books that are not self-published among their listed titles.

Iuniverse is another one of those presses that has an unusual position in the publishing industry. You CAN self-publish with them, but you will pay for their services. However, you CAN be given a publishing contract by that company–I know two people who received these–and those do not cost you money out of pocket. So, some of their list is self-published, and others aren’t. One good thing about iuniverse is that they upload all their titles to the major bookstore chains and Amazon. So, your book will be in the system. That does not mean, however, that it will be in the bookstores.

Somewhere in the pits of publishing is a set of publishing houses known as VANITY or SUBSIDY publishers. Those are the ones that say you won a contest or a place in their fancy leatherbound tome, and then offer you copies at an outrageous price. A lot of POD publishers have been lumped into this “type of press.”

For example, my first publisher, Publish America, is technically a traditional publisher. They pay advances. Usually a dollar. But that is more than many POD publishers give, so don’t sneer. They pay for the publishing costs and they provide editors. So, technically, it is not a self-publisher. They do use POD technology, but make no mistake–very few publishers out there these days still use offset presses.

Many publishers, like Publish America, make most of their money off of the author, and what books the author purchases directly, or their friends and family order. That is where they get the flack. They don’t market much or at all. And a lot of time they are working at high quotas of pushing titles through and the editing suffers.

I recommend you go and check out any publisher you’re thinking of signing with. Look at Writer’s Beware, Preditors and Editors, and Piers Anthony’s column. They are known for weeding out the bad pubs and exposing the problems.

While I don’t really encourage writers to “settle” for self or vanity publishing, or publishers with poor reputations, I say…these publishing houses fill a need for writers, else they wouldn’t be in business.

Personally, I believe there are enough publishers out there that you don’t have to self publish. You simply have to be willing to go through the tedious process of submitting and waiting. There IS a publisher for everyone.

That said, if you are publishing poetry, there isn’t much of a stigma against poets who self-publish their collections. Although, I want to say…I was told there weren’t any publishers of poetry out there and I found that to be an absolute falsehood. I’ve heard it so many times that I almost believed it. But here I sit with three collections of poetry under contract and I’m here to tell you, there ARE publishers out there who will publish your work. You don’t have to be self-published. You really don’t.

You just have to do your homework.

The truth is, though, if you want “the big money” and the nationwide or worldwide recognition, you have to be published with a big house.

This post is mirrored from my xanga blog. You may want to tune in to that. I often cover different subjects on the same day–but that blog is also one that speaks to writing.

Interview with Darrell Bain

April 22, 2007

Give us the 411 on yourself. You know, the basic information minus address and phone number.

 

I’m happily married. I know because my wife Betty tells me I am. I just turned 68, damn it, and wish I could make time run in the opposite direction for a while. We live on what used to be a Christmas tree farm, which I pretended to make a living at for 20 years or so while Betty actually supported us. Betty was a widow and I was divorced when we met. We married in our early forties.

 

I’ve had several careers, including 13 years as an army medic with two tours of Vietnam, a civilian career as a Medical Technologist, mainly in management so I could nap at my desk, and then as a Christmas tree farmer and finally as a writer.

 

Last year, after a lot of fans wanted to know more about me, I wrote a series of memoirs covering my whole life and posted them on my web site. I was probably more surprised than anyone when I was asked to expand them into a complete book. I did and and it will be published as an e-book and in print by Twilight Times Books. Anyone wanting more information now can just look at my web site under memoirs and learn more about me, mainly that I’m basically a lazy cuss, untalented at working with anything having moving parts other than my wife, and had a very traumatic childhood. Also it says right there that I inherited the bashful gene and the addictive genes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

How long have you been a word ho for publishing pimps? (Er, a writer?)

Oh, fifteen years of writing seriously. By that I mean actually trying to make money at it. Of all the low paying professions in the world I had to pick Christmas tree farming and writing. On the other hand, both allowed me to work at home and drink lots of beer so it hasn’t been all that bad. 

 

Can you give us a brief VIRGIN story? I mean, give us the nitty gritty on your first sale.

My first sale earned me the huge sum of $1.50. It was a short short story about a preacher and an atheist having an argument. I put another fifty cents with the check and bought a package of cigarettes. 

 

Everybody’s got a fantasy. What’s your writer’s (wet?) dream?

Winning a Hugo or nebula. I’ll settle for either one, but both would be nice. I wouldn’t gritch about having a best selling print book, either. Shucks, I’ve already won just about all the honors possible in e-books, so why not dream about moving on?

 

Actors wanna be in pictures. Where do you want to be?

Right where I am, only twenty years younger. I really would like to be as well known in print as I am in electronic format. My first hardcover novel, Savage Survival, is coming out this year so that may be my chance. I’d like to be able to travel more, too, so I could do a lot of book signings. They’re fun and I get to talk to lots of pretty girls in a perfectly legitimate fashion.

 

Get any bad advice early in your writing career?

Damn straight I did. In fact, I got the worst possible advice. After completing my first novel, I started looking for an agent, and by an incredible stroke of bad luck, I picked a name out of the list of about a thousand agents in a Writers Marketplace book, and chose the worst crook in the business. They strung me along for years and I was so stupidly naive I didn’t know it. To give you a clue, the FBI agent who put those crooks in prison wrote a book about it. They continually gave me advice that almost killed my writing career and cost me a great deal of money. All I can say is that I’m glad I have an understanding wife, who by the way, has just become a writer as well. In fact, I’ll mention her book here: Articles, Muses and Favorite Diet-Breaking Recipes. The Complete Works ofBetty Bain, B.S., R.N. It’s at www.fictionwise.com as an e-book and at www.lulu.com in print.

 

Word, baby. Get any good directions that you’d like to pass on?

Yep. Never pay an agent anything. The good ones make their money by selling your work and taking a percentage, which is fine. If they sell your stuff, they’ve earned it.

And here’s some more good advice, straight from Robert A. Heinlein: Finish what you start. Keep sending it out.

 

We need the 420 on where to find you and your stuff. Cough ‘em up!

First off, try my web site, www.darrellbain.com . Even if you don’t buy any of my books, I write a newsletter every month for my web site that’s become very popular, mainly because I keep the promotion to a minimum and try to write about a number of subjects that have taken my fancy and I feel like rambling about. Just as an example, in the September 2005 newsletter, there’s a tale of our dog who makes and uses a tool for a specific task. I even have a picture there of him working with a tool he produced. No lie!

You can also find all my e-books at www.fictionwise.com and www.ereader.com . My print books are listed at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com . I also list the books I have in print and the ones I have as e-books in separate spots on my web site. Just look at the menu.

And I just got a call to supper. Happy reading!

Darrell Bain

Preparing for Interviews

April 21, 2007

I taught interview techniques for six years back in Nevada. There are a few basics that everyone should observe whether the interview is in person or online or over the phone/radio.

<> 1. One word answers are not good. They MUST be followed by elaboration. If you say yes or no to something, explain WHY.

2. The more clever/entertaining you are, the more apt the reader/listener is to stick to the end of what you have to say.

3. Give real details. Readers/listeners/fans want to know what makes you who you are. When they get those details, they feel like they know you, and become loyal. That does NOT mean you have to go into every aspect of your life to the tiniest detail.

4. Interviews have basic purpose, just as speaking engagements do. A good interview OR speech should include 1-3 of these following things:

Education

Motivation

Entertainment

Do you want to tell your audience about something? If so, give them the facts, info they can use later. If they learn something, they’ll remember you.

If you want them to buy something, like your work, or to at least read what you’ve written–whether they go to a library or online or whatever–you have to give them the desire to make the effort to hunt it down. So, think about how you can present your stuff with a slant that makes it intriguing, interesting, or exciting enough to warrant some time and energy.

And, last, if you can entertain your audience, they will come looking for you again, and word of mouth will spread that you’re good enough to “waste time on.”

If you can do one of those three things, you’ll rise above the bad speakers/interviews. If you can do two, you’ll be considered a good speaker/interview. If you can do all three, you will rise to the ranks of GREAT.

Authors, let me interview you!

April 20, 2007

The purpose of this blog, really, is to be a help to writers. I would love to interview ANY writer. It’s free publicity! So, please email me at jenntherichwriter@centurytel.net

And I’ll send you questions and then we’ll post your answers.

I AM

April 18, 2007

I AM…

The little girl…who was born in Wabash, Indiana on May 14, 1963 to Jill Elaine Clarkson and James Richard Holmes.

The sister of…some people you’ll hear about if you tune in here much: My older brother Jim who grew up to be a psychologist in Nampa, Idaho. My beauty queen/cheerleader sister, Jackie, who now coaches all that in Nampa, Idaho. My born again baby sister, Raeni, who homeschools 7 kids. And my little brother, Jason, previous president of the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Order of Vampires–and current Craps Dealer at the Monte Carlo Hotel.

A wife…to Tony DiCamillo. Married him Mary 30, 1981, the day after I graduated from Pahrump Valley High School, in Pahrump, Nevada.

A mother…to five kids: Casandra, Savannah, Miranda, Cheyenne, and Tony. Er, LITTLE Tony. (He’s not so little any more.) More about them later–FOR SURE.

A spiritual being…who is on a twisting path, continually seeking better understanding. I strive to strengthen my faith in a higher power (who I call God). I am a believer in Jesus Christ and endeavor to treat people as he did. I believe that we are all on our own path, therefore I am open to discussing your path or mine and why they are crossing at this time.

A motivational speaker…for all of my adult life, I have done motivational speaking. Please email me if you’d like me to come and speak to your group–whatever type of group it is. I travel extensively and am open to private treaty deals. Sometimes I speak for free. Sometimes for a meal. Sometimes for full travel expenses plus fee. Tell me what you need and what you can do and I’ll do what I can.

A writer…who has won over 100 writing awards in a very short period of time. Those have been in nearly every genre and I currently have published in, or am waiting in a queue to be published in, pretty much every genre out there. I have been published on many continents, and read around the world. I am more than willing to help other writers if I can. I aspire to be remembered as one of the best writers of this millenium. It’s a lofty dream, I know, but I say “Dream of being out of this world, traveling beyond the stars, and if you fall short, you may still end up in the heavens.”

An animal lover…who believes in pet owners being responsible, who believes in rescuing those who cannot save themselves (people and animals included here).

Welcome to Writer’s Help, a blog by award-winning writer Jennifer DiCamillo FOR ASPIRING WRITERS

April 18, 2007

I want to help you be successful with your writing. If you have questions about writing processes, or publishing industry issues, please ask. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll ask around.

The publishing industry is filled with a ton of good info, excellent opportunities and bad advice. I, unfortunately, have learned everything the hard way.

The few honest mentors I have had will always receive my respect and this list will grow as time goes on, I’m sure. Let me say this, if you ever have an opportunity to meet any of these people, soak up what they offer you.

Stefanie Kelsey (editor/publisher Mojocastle Press)

Dusty Richards (western writer)

Cait Logan (romance writer)

Regina Cook Williams (Owner/editor Storyteller Magazine)

Susan Kirkpatrick (Owner/editor Ozarks Magazine)