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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tierney James talks about her career and writing.

Tierney James is a talented author and speaker. I had the opportunity to interview her. If you have not had the chance to read Unlikely Hero, take the time to do so today.

You write some fast moving spy thrillers, what led you in that direction?

I was the kid who liked dinosaur movies, westerns, Tarzan and Mighty Mouse. Maybe my shyness made me want to act brave and fearless, I never talked to a shrink.  Later it was action movies like Indiana Jones, The Wind and the Lion and so on. I liked dangerous and exciting. Then one day I read The Judas Strain by James Rollins. I fell in love with thrillers. He taught me so much about writing and soon I had read all his books. Writing thrillers makes me tingle with excitement. Conspiracy, cliff hangers, mysterious strangers, all get my heart pumping and my adrenaline flowing. Most people when they first meet me think I'm a sweet, tea drinking Baptist with not one spark of courage. When I write-well, watch out!

Is Tessa based on a real person? Of course we don't expect you to reveal secrets but hints are always nice.

Tessa came to be because of some unusual incidents that happened to me when I lived in Northern California. People were always mistaking me for someone named "Melanie". I would be stopped on the street, pulled aside at the DMV for questioning and once someone called me at home. I started to wonder who this Melanie could be; was she in trouble, honest, dangerous, a criminal or someone in the witness protection program. After all the DMV didn't believe I'd just moved there from Missouri. Someone with my information lived in Santa Barbara. My family didn't believe me at first until months later a strange man approached me, whirled me around and started talking. He also called me "Melanie".  Needless to say, I started getting a little more respect after that encounter.  In my first novel, An Unlikely Hero, the house and town where the action takes place is real. I lived there. 

How did you research your novels?

My research, for the most part, takes place on the internet. It is so much easier than going to library these days. I get a story idea from a picture, a song or place I visit then the research starts. A year a I read an article about the Wahkan Valley in Northern Afghanistan. I've been collecting information about the area to weave into my third novel, Rooftop Angels.

Do you have a set writing schedule?
No. I do try and write or edit each day. I do writing things like research, read or study writing books. But I believe you must do this each day. It's like practicing the piano. Skip a couple of days, weeks or months and the music suffers. Write. Write. Write.

How important is social media in your marketing and writing process?

It is becoming more of what I do because it is demanded from publishers. I don't like promoting myself because it isn't something that comes easy for me. I'm learning by compiling a notebook of ideas, formats and websites that give me more confidence in this area. I also have taken a few webinars to educate myself. Social media is a real inspiration killer. It just takes a great deal of time in which I'd rather be writing. I'm trying to discover ways to circumvent that so I can get on with the business of writing. I would much rather be a guest speaker than recruit on social media. But I do it anyway. You just have to jump in and make yourself known.

I have found that most writers are avid readers, who are your favorite authors?

James Rollins, Steve Berry, Brad Thor, David Baldacci, Daniel Silva, Clive Cussler, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown and Terry Brooks.

Take a little time here and tell us about yourself. Getting to know the author is fasinating.

Besides being an educator of World Geography, I've been a Solar System Ambassador for NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, worked and lived on an Indian Reservation and traveled in Africa, Asia and Europe. All these places and activities are fodder for storytelling. My family is the most important thing to me on this earth. Some of the hobbies I enjoy are gardening, writing, traveling, reading and I love music. I'm a life long learner so I'm always on the lookout for new information.

Novels: An Unlikely Hero (#1) Winds of Deception (#2 editing) Rooftop Angels (#3 editing) The Rescued Heart (under     contract with Black Opal Books)  

Children's Books: There's a Superhero in the Library & Zombie Meatloaf.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I hope your readers will check out my work. 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lisa Medley shares her new book

Today I have asked fellow author Lisa Medley to be a guest on my blog. I think you will be intrigued and entertained by our interview.

You picked an unusual genre, Reapers and Reaper love. What led you in that direction?


Lisa: I’ve been in love with monsters for a long time, since I first started reading Stephen King ages ago. But it was J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover which made me realize monsters in LOVE were even better. That book sent my imagination reeling. I don’t discriminate. I want love for vampires, shifters, witches and of course, reapers.

The dark hero speaks to me, and when I find him in the shadows, it’s my job to bring him into the light, sometimes kicking and screaming. Reading urban fantasy and paranormal romance makes me crave contact with the things that go bump in the night.  I wanted to write about an underserved monster. That’s when I hit upon the idea of reapers. Not the skeletal creatures of ghost stories past, but soldiers in the field, leading souls to the afterlife. Don’t fear the reaper, because reapers need love too.


I love romance and thrillers, is your series something I could read late at night, alone?


Lisa: I think so. I’ve been told it’s suspenseful in places and will keep you turning pages. I don’t think you’ll be too afraid to read it alone in the dark. Unless of course you have a fireplace. You’ll find out why and what steps to take to avoid the problem Ruth encounters.


Where does one learn and research about Reapers?


Lisa: The internet of course! Seriously, I Googled ‘reapers’ and it was all downhill from there. One paragraph, story or drawing led to the next and it wasn’t long before my imagination was going wild asking “What if…?” and “What then…?”  I built my world in the way that seemed most logical to me. For a few hours each night, I was Goddess of the Universe…at least of MY Universe.


Do you have a set writing schedule? I know you also work at another profession. Does finding time to write become a problem for you?


Lisa: You don’t FIND time to write. You have to MAKE time to write. I write late at night after my husband and daughter have both gone to bed. I need quiet and solitude for the words to come. When I’m in the groove, I can write 500-1000 words an hour. On a normal writing night, I might write from 8:30 or 9 p.m. until Midnight. Occasionally I’ll get a free weekend to spend writing. Oh, how glorious that is!


How important is social media in your marketing and writing process?


Lisa: I focus on Facebook, Twitter, and my website. I dabble in Pinterest for inspiration boards for each of my novels and I’ve only recently began interacting on Google+. Ultimately the goal would be to drive everyone to my website because that’s where as an author you have the most control over connecting with your audience. That being said, you have to go to wherever your audience hangs out as well. I think this is especially true as a beginning author. Fans of established authors will seek them out. Newbies have to build a solid platform and home base (website) before fans will come.


I have found that most writers are avid readers, who are your favorite authors?


J.R. Ward and Charlaine Harris are my current favorites. I also enjoy Patricia Briggs, Michele Hauf and Janet Evanovich. Then of course, Stephen King.


Take a little time here and tell us about yourself. Getting to know the author is fascinating.





Lisa Medley writes reapers. The grim kind. Her urban fantasy romance, Reap & Repent is available now in a Harlequin E Box Set with three other Harlequin debut authors. A lover of beasties of all sorts, she has a farm full of them in her SW MO home including:  one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig. Not so in love with the guinea pig. She can do ten pushups IN A ROW and may or may not have a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times. Just. In. Case.



Reap & Repent Blurb:

Deacon Walker is a burned out loner, whose two hundred years as a reaper have left him empty inside. But when he meets Ruth Scott, a gorgeous shut-in with unusual gifts, he’s forced to set his career complacency aside to train her for a destiny she never knew existed. Soon the two will face the ultimate test: a battle against demons determined to destroy humanity, one soul at a time.


Prologue from Reap & Repent:



What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him. 


For all that’s holy, move the hell along already.


It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately.


He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace.


He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain. While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, three was a nightmare.


When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon.


Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all.


So far the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0.


As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts like they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders.


While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in.


And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand.


His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh.


Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving?


God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest.


Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things.


This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God.


Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.


He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well.


Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.


He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.




BUY LINKS: Reap & Repent is available until June 1, 2014 in a Harlequin E Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Box Set with the works of three other amazing new Harlequin authors! Reap & Repent will be available for single-title release June 2, 2014.



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