Monday, January 31, 2011

The Featured Author Contest Winner for February is Elizabeth E. Wilder!

Elizabeth Egerton Wilder’s debut novel, The Spruce Gum Box, a novel of historical fiction, began with her fascination with Maine’s Aroostook River and its early pioneers, and evolved over several years through research and daydreaming. While she mused, characters and story lines began to flourish and take on lives of their own. As she puts it, “I knew how the story would start and how it would end, but had no idea what would happen in between.”

Throughout the process, the author drew upon stories and people from her childhood, research on her husband's family in northern Maine along with her varied background in a number of artistic endeavors. She has a BA in Art and Education and has worked as a teacher, designer, colorist, small business owner, photographer and artist. She is also a published poet and believes that bits and pieces of it all, combined with raising her family and her innate appreciation of nature, were all the ingredients needed to fulfill her lifelong goal of writing a book. At seventy-two years young, she achieved her goal and is working on a sequel.

Native of New England, Elizabeth (Betty) now lives in Eastern PA with Cal, her husband of over 51 years, and her cat Smokey.

The Independent Author Network would like to thank Elizabeth for her hard work in promoting his IAN Member Page and IAN in general. Elizabeth received a 12 post publicity package with posts at American Chronicle and PRlog.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Featured Author Contest gets Bigger and Better!

Featured Author winners will have now a post at American Chronicle!

Each month the IAN member with the most hits to their member page will be named the "Featured Author!"

The author and his/her books will be featured on the home page for one month!

Plus The winner and books will be posted at:

Five Article websites
Five Press Releases
  • News Reel
Plus posts at:
  • Book Marketing Network
  • Book Town

What can you do to increase traffic to your page?
  1. Tweet your IAN page everyday. Use #tags for your genres
  2. Link you IAN page to your facebook page.
  3. Add links to your IAN page on your personal website and blog. (banners are available)
  4. Tweet other authors and ask them to tweet your page
  5. Tell friends and family about your IAN membership

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member Corrine Coleman!

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

Todays interview with Corrine Coleman, Author of “On The Big White Oak”

T. Hello Corrine. Tell us about yourself.

C. Well, I was raised on Long Island, New York. I still live here and love it. I’ve had the opportunity to go other places, but I love the idea of Manhattan only a short drive away, the beaches at my fingertips and the wineries and farms available when I’m feeling the need for country.

I grew up surrounded by a large family (my parents each had six/seven brothers and sisters) and I was the first to be born out of all my cousins. I have a brother and a sister whom I am very close with. Family is important to me.

My parents passed away when I was young and because of this, I became independent at a very young age. I spent many years in management for Fortune 500 companies, a career I left in 2009 to pursue my dreams of becoming a novelist. Now, here I am!

T. When did you start writing?

C. I started writing in elementary school. I would create picture books (little fairy tale stories) that my school library made available for other children to take out. For as long as I can remember I have always loved to write. It came natural to me and I was very imaginative.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

C. My Uncle Brian. He was a greatly respected and loved English professor in New York. He was the uncle that bought me a book for every occasion. He was the one that took me into the village and showed me the different ways people lived. He took me to plays. He taught me culture. He was a writer, too. He wrote a book that was never published, but I read the manuscript when I was young. I remember loving it. He dreamed of getting published, but passed away before he had the opportunity.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

C. On the Big White Oak is a story about three people and the changes that occur in their lives after two of them make an impulsive decision.

It’s an exploration about the depth of love and how it can die or be manipulated. It explores the power of mistakes that cannot be taken back and the way that guilt can press down on a soul so firmly, even breathing becomes tainted. It explores choice.

I find it to be a bit of a complex love triangle and it is told from all three characters’ perspectives.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

C. I didn’t at first. After getting feedback from my readers, though, I think there will be one in the future. Not any time soon, though. Right now, I’m working on my next novel. Hopefully it will be out in November, if all goes smoothly.

T. What are your thoughts about the future of digital publishing?

C. I’m mixed on the subject. Obviously, it’s given a lot of creative people the opportunity to self-publish their work and easily make it available to the readers, who, in turn, have more of a selection to choose from. Readers can choose a book and read it anytime, anywhere, with simply the click of a button.

I still like the old-fashioned novel, though. Book in hand. Reading light on. The sound of the pages crinkling as I turn them. I just can’t seem to walk away from that idea or fathom the thought that people might walk away from it forever!

Ultimately, though, reading is reading. However people choose to do it is their business. As long as people are reading, I’m happy.

T. Where can people see your work?

Many places. I’m listed on quite a few reader/author sites. But I believe the two best places are my website, , where people can read excerpts from my book as well as find out about upcoming books. Also, my facebook page. I am very active on there; I list excerpts from my novel, show book trailers, hold contests and engage with people.

T. Thank you.

C. Thank you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member Elizabeth E. Wilder

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Elizabeth E. Wilder from one of my favorite states, Maine.

Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.

The first 70 years of my life were divided equally between my home state of Massachusetts and Maine. I am a true New Englander with the accent to prove it. I was a child of WWII who was raised with love by many while my father was off to the Pacific protecting my liberties and my mother was working many shifts making bullets and parachutes. Growing up, I thought everyone could walk to their grandparent’s homes and knew neighbors were to be respected. I have degrees in art and elementary education and bounced from one profession to another while raising my three children. I have been married 51 years to a true Maine-iac and two years ago we relocated to an independent senior community in PA to get Dad off the roof with the snow rake. PA? – Our daughter and family live three miles away.

T. When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing in one form or another since I first could hold a pencil and before I really knew a thing about spelling. I still run across a poem or short story from those days. For many years, I wrote a play each summer with a group of friends and then performed in a neighbor’s garage because it had a door and large driveway. With a very full adult life, my writing was sporadic and I was always telling the family that I was going to write a book someday. My creative need was filled with painting, photography and poetry – some of them published.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

I can’t think of a particular person that led me to writing. I believe it was my reading that influenced me the most. I loved words and would wait impatiently for my grandfather’s Reader’s Digest to arrive each month so I could study the Word Power section and took pride in the months that I knew all the definitions. I would devour books and make weekly treks to the library. Authors that could carry me away by vivid descriptions were my favorites. I enjoyed historical fiction when a skilled writer would not only immerse me in facts but enthrall me with imagination. I did a bit of creative writing but I really enjoy the research that goes into stories based on historical events where I can put my own twist on the events with my characters.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

The Spruce Gum Box is based on the nearly unheard of Aroostook War that took place between Great Britain and the United States in northern Maine in the mid 1800’s. I first heard of this when we went to visit the Wilder Museum in Washburn, Maine. My husband’s family had been part of the early ‘pioneers’ to move up the Aroostook River to establish the town near where his great-great uncle built the first saw mill in the area. We were told how the town was incorporated by the settlers and some Canadian families that already lived along the river. I asked where the Canadians came from and why were they there. No one could answer and that led to the five years of research that fills my novel. The story took seed in my mind and I knew how it started and ended but it needed a lot of maturing to fill in the rest. On my 70th birthday, my daughter and SIL gave me a blog ( to get me writing again. A few months later, I told her I had a story swimming in my head about a father and infant trying to survive the wilds of the deep forests in Maine. She told me if I wrote it, she would help me get it published. A year later, I handed her my manuscript and it was launched on my 72nd birthday.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

In my research on The Spruce Gum Box, I discovered many events that I did not realize took place in Maine. I have started a sequel taking a few characters to another Maine river and following them for another twenty years. The first book covers 1824 to 1844. The next picks up from there. Also now that I have finally figured out that writing is want I want to do when I grow up, the ideas keep flowing. I am working on a book based on recollections of a child of the 40’s and 50’s. I am also working with the activities director of an Alzheimer unit on booklets that we hope will interest residents in the advanced stage of this hideous decease.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

I feel very fortunate to have started on this path at the early stages of digital publishing. So much has advanced in just the couple years I’ve been involved. When we were ready to start the goal of publishing, we wanted to produce the best product possible. We did not skimp on the talent needed to accomplish this and had the manuscript edited professionally. We found a wonderful cover and page designer and she worked close to us to complete the “look” and feel. The only thing I find missing in the Kindle downloads are the chapter headings that were designed for the book version. But to me, having my book in e-form, is pure magic. The quality of indie published books has grown and I feel will continue to do so.

T. Anything else to share?

I was asked if finishing my novel was part of my bucket list. Absolutely not. Completing this project is just the beginning for me – not the end. Finally getting to the Grand Canyon is a bucket list item. I have come to realize that writing and publishing are just parts of the equation but to be an author today, you must be willing to market. I know I would rather stay close to the writing but getting out and getting my book noticed is the real world.

T. Thank you.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member Greg Messel

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

It’s a pleasure to interview Greg Messel today. I hope you enjoy knowing more about Greg and reading his books

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.

G. I’ve spent much of my life in the Pacific Northwest living in Portland, Oregon and in the Seattle area since 2008. I have been married to my wife, Carol, for 40 years. We were high school sweethearts just like the couple in Expiation. I’ve lived in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah and Wyoming. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from high school there and also attended a year of junior college. After college, I began a newspaper career in rough and tumble Wyoming town of Rock Springs. My wife and I have three married children and nine grandchildren.
I’ve always loved writing. I was the news editor and sports editors of the Daily Rocket-Miner newspaper and won a Wyoming Press Association award as a columnist. I’ve also submitted and had published articles in various sports magazines. After leaving the newspaper business in 1981, I began a 27 year career with Pacific Power. In 2008, I retired and moved to Seattle.
It was then that I returned to my first love of writing. I’ve written two unpublished memoirs and published my first novel with Trafford Publishing in September 2009. My first novel was called Sunbreaks. The second novel, Expiation, was published in the spring of 2010 with Trafford. A third novel is in the works.
Currently, I live on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, just north of downtown Seattle. I enjoyrunning and have been in several races and half marathons.

T. When did you start writing?

G. I found two artifacts from my childhood at my grandmother’s house after she died. One was a canvas bag with the name of a newspaper written in crayon on it. Another was a book I had written by hand, folded the paper so it was like a book and even did some illustrations. As a child I used the bag to deliver newspapers that I wrote. I would deliver it to my family members. So apparently, I have wanted to write newspapers and books since I was a small child. It is what I was drawn to. I turned those childhood fantasies into reality later when I had a real newspaper career and was a sports editor and news editor for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. I supported myself in high school and college as a “stringer” for the local newspaper writing sports and movie reviews. Now that I have more time I am able to write novels which I have wanted to do for years.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

G. My high school journalism teacher was one of my real favorites. She really encouraged me in my writing and got me to enter a writing contest. Her name was Mrs. Drew Robinson. I have no idea where she is now. When she was my teacher she was probably in her early thirties and when I see a yearbook picture of her now, she is really pretty. She convinced me that I was a writer. I base a character in Expiation, who I call “Mrs. Robinson,” on her.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

G. My current book is Expiation. The word “expiation” means to correct a situation or atone for a wrongdoing.

In 1968, Dan and Katie are one of the hottest couples at Ballard High School in Seattle. He is the hero football player, and she is the beautiful cheerleader. These high school sweethearts believe theirs is a love that will never die.
Life changes when Dan leaves Washington to start college at the University of California Berkeley and pursue his dream of working for a big time newspaper in the glamorous city of San Francisco. The quest for his dream occurs against the turbulent background of Berkeley and San Francisco in the 1970s as Dan and Katie go their separate ways.
Now, thirty years later, Dan is back in his hometown of Seattle attending his mother’s funeral. He’s never stopped thinking about Katie, his long-lost love. But the two former high school sweethearts reconnect in a most unexpected way as the rest of the world grows more fearful of Y2K and the dawn of the twenty-first century. They are hoping that their love, once lost, can now be reclaimed.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

G. I’ve been told by several readers that they would like a sequel. Some have said I kind of left the story hanging and there were more adventures ahead for the characters. I don’t plan a sequel to Expiation. I think it is more fun to let each reader write their own story about where it goes from here. I am working on my third novel Illusion of Certainty. I anticipate publishing it later this year.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

G. I think it’s exciting. I find the some of the big changes we see very interesting. It takes a while to catch up sometimes. One of my favorite things used to be to go to music stores and looks at CDs. I got weaned off that and am now an avid iPod user and iTunes downloader. I got a Kindle for Christmas and have read two books on it. I have really liked the reading experience. I’ve probably bought my last traditional book. It is exciting to see my two books in Kindle format. I have been told by some readers how much they have liked them on Kindle. My daughter “listened” to Expiation on her way to work each day when it first came out. She had it on her Kindle and used the reading feature. Pretty exciting stuff.

T. Anything else to share?
I am still discovering who I am as a writer. The journey can be surprising. That‘s what is so wonderful about writing. My advice to other writers or aspiring writers is you have to not be afraid. I am still giving myself that advice. It breaks my heart if someone doesn’t like my books or characters. However, I love them and that is who I am. Not everyone is going to like everything you do. My books seem to appeal more to women. I am okay with that but I have talked to several men who enjoyed them. I hope people enjoy the books but we need to remember this is art. Writing is an artistic endeavor. I am revealing much about my soul and personality. You have to be you. I would love to be a cool mystery writer or crime story author like Michael Connelly. However, that is not who I am and it is not my experience in life. There are awful things said about some of the most successful authors, songwriters and screenwriters. You have to let the inner writer inside of you escape and go with your feelings.

T. Thank you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Desert Heat by Jamie DeBree is Now Available!

When Marie Simco finds out that the money for her research is about to be cut, she’ll do anything to keep her lab funded. Pitted against her former professor in a race to publish on deadline, she finds herself in a desert oasis fighting sabotage, drug lords, natives and her attraction to one very hunky lab tech.

Darren Newbury is ready to follow Marie deep into the New Mexico desert if it will finally get her to acknowledge the connection between them. Determined to help her win the competition against his former employer, he fights to protect their work and break down the barriers around her heart.


This book was like Grey's Anatomy in the desert. All these scientists, more worried about hooking up than the research they are supposed to be doing. And someone is always up to something. The writing is smooth and the story flows well, I'd read eighty pages in before I even realized it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and cute read. -Jennifer Hart

I liked this book and its story. It was easy to read and fast paced enough to keep me glued to it throughout the book. The storyline was very believable and the characters were easy to identify with. All in all it is a well written good book. -Larry Gray

Jaime DeBree is a full-time webmistress for local government by day, Jamie DeBree writes steamy, action-packed romantic suspense late into the night. Her goal is to create the perfect blend of sensual attraction, emotional tension and fast-paced adventure, similar to the television crime dramas she’s hopelessly addicted to. Her favorite way to write a novel is to serialize the draft on one of her blogs. There’s always a free serial story in progress at her main blog, The Variety Pages.

In October 2010, she opened Brazen Snake Books, her personal publishing company. She also writes as Trinity Marlow (erotica) and Alex Westhaven (thriller/suspense), and is currently working on serial drafts in each of those genres.

Born in Billings Montana, she resides there with her husband and two over-sized lap dogs. She reads in a wide variety of genres including romance, erotica, action/adventure, thriller, horror and literary.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member John W. Huffman

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

John is a Vietnam Veteran and has a first-hand perspective on the war, from both the ground and air. I hope you enjoy the interview and his book.

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.

J. I was born 29 November, 1946, in Hemphill, Texas, the oldest of eight children. I attended elementary school in Pineland, Texas, junior high and high school in Jasper, Texas, and graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

I enlisted in the Army Airborne in 1966 and served two tours of combat duty in Vietnam, the first as a private, and subsequently a sergeant, with Alpha Company, 1/27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, in 1966-67, the second as an officer/aviator with the 120th Aviation Company in 1972-73. I retired as a major in 1986 with three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, sixteen Air Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, and various other service and campaign ribbons.

After military retirement, I launched a real estate sales and management company, SouthCorp Properties, Inc., owned seven speedways in five states, created an automobile racing and sanctioning body, the American Racing Association, and developed three touring series.

I received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Journal for a short story contest, published two short stories, The Reincarnate and The Mad Dash, five novels, A Wayward Wind, a Regional General Fiction Finalist in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Tiger Woman, a First Place Winner in the Action-Adventure category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and The Baron of Clayhill, a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest and a 2010 finalist in the Popular Fiction category of the National Indie Excellence Awards. My latest two releases are Above All and Cold Hearts Burning.

I have completed three other novels awaiting publication: America’s Diplomats; Eyes of the Blind; Searching For Leah, and I am currently working on When A Rebel Comes Home.

I currently live in Blythewood, South Carolina, with my wife Misty. We have three sons and two granddaughters.

T. When did you start writing?

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?
J. No.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

America’s Diplomats, The Road to Attleboro is a novel based on my first tour in Vietnam in 1966 as an infantryman, which culminated in the largest land battle fought in Vietnam.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

J. Yes, I have the outline for the sequel, Eyes of the Blind.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

J. I think it is going to be the book media of the future particularly because the younger generation is more electronically inclined.

T. Anything else to share?

J. Thank you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member Al King

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

This morning’s interview is with Al King who has written a motivational book, Let It Be Known: The Al King Point of View. Let’s let Al tell us his story.

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.

A. I am Al King, an entrepreneur, motivator, and new author. I have been working as a Real Estate Broker for the past few years but my passions have always lain in creating my own situations. I grew up in the Bronx (NYC) the eldest of four siblings and did everything in my power to ensure that my family was provided for. As an adult, I feel like I never had a childhood because of being forced by life experiences to grow quicker.

T. When did you start writing?
A. Probably since I was old enough to make sentences and I have always been intrigued with writing down my thoughts.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?
A. Not at all, I would have to say my teacher was life itself.

T. Please tell us about your current book.
A. My current book Let it Be Known ,The Al King Point of View is my first novel; it is a motivational, instructional, empowering and inspiring piece of work that encompasses my perspective on a wide array of life’s matters. There is something in it for everyone, from any walk of life. It’s an honest conversation between the reader and myself on some of the things we face each day, ranging from my outlook on relationships to boundaries and standards that are needed in your life. Considering the economic hit that this country has taken over the past few years it has caused people to resort back to reality, authenticity of what life entails. This book will deliver that tone, that emotion that I feel has been lost.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

A. Absolutely, I actually have 2 more editions to follow (god-willing) if this initial novel is well received. It was actually a challenge to choose what would be in this edition that I’m presenting.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

A. I love it, I think it has enabled the entrepreneur and self-published author to become empowered for one and also provide the consumer with the product more efficiently. We are transcending into a new wave, something different and fresh.

T. Anything else to share?

A.I would like to thank you for this interview and look out for my novel Let it Be Known this coming Feb/2011. I look forward to what the future has aligned for me and I just thank God for using me as a vessel for conveying words.

T. Thank you.

The Let It Be Known Blog

Al King at IAN

Thomas Drinkard at IAN

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member Michelle Villery, A.K.A. Ty Langston

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

Michelle has written a fantasy novella that has already attracted attention. Here is her interview, check out her book.


By Sunset (A Dragon Races Tale)

What is it about?
Two feuding royal families that race dragons to retrieve two royal jewels on earth. The race is filled with intrigue, adventure and multiple twists and turns.

Where will it be available?
Barnes and for Nook(book)

Kindle at Amazon .com

What inspired you to write this book?
A passion for fantasy, love and adventure. I hadn’t written a story or stories like this in a long time; actually, since I was a child. I’ve always loved fantasy, but as a got older, I kind of got away from it for a bit. And this story came out of it, one day after I saw a picture of a dragon on the internet a couple of years ago. I started outlining and writing it right after.

How did you choose the title?
Everything that happens in the book, (don’t want to give too much of the story away) happens By Sunset for a reason, because of a main character in the story.

Who is your favorite character in your novel, and why?
I have to say Caleb. And believe it or not, he wasn’t at first—initially, it was Julian. But the more I look at Caleb and his brothers throughout this piece, he is awesome. He’s a mix of total bad boy with a hope of some redeeming qualities here and there.

Who is the ideal reader for your book?
Anyone who loves a bit of romance and some adventure.

What are the publicity plans you have?
Doing more blog touring and hopefully some speaking engagements.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
I learned that I could achieve my dreams with writing this book. Now it’s just a matter of keeping the dream alive and writing and learning more and more with each piece I write.

Where can readers learn more about your book?
The website is currently under construction. But usually you can find me on my blog at http:

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I like to write on several things at once. (Yes. I’m crazy that way! LOL). Actually I’m finishing up a contemporary erotica piece called Sweet Dreams right now. It’ll be the first of two books about a fictional dating website, (Mail Order Groom) the title is, A Foreign Affair. From there in January—that month is all about By Moonlight the sequel to By Sunset—I’m a good part of the way through it, I have a feeling it’ll be a bit longer than By Sunset. Some people thought By Sunset was crazy—let’s just say that people aren’t who they appear to be in By Moonlight.

Tell Us About You

I was born and raised by four wonderful women in Upstate, New York. I’ve always liked to write. Primarily it was just for fun. Although I’ve always loved performing arts. I used to take ballet, jazz, tap, piano for a very long time. So instead of me dancing, which what everyone thought I was going to be, I wanted to write.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Favorite book? Why?
I love all kinds of books. Everything from George Martin, to Jackie Collins. My favorite authors are actually screenwriters, Michael Hirst, who created The Tudors and the late John Hughes. Both of them write characters you can relate to, and so much fun that you can’t help but to stop everything and take notice whenever there is something on TV by either one of them.

Favorite book: So many but I do keep the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis in my office. He was simply amazing as was Tolkien.

What is your guilty pleasure read you turn to for sheer entertainment value (book, particular author)?

I love Jackie Collins. And lately another person whose work I love is Jamie Saare, aka JA Saare. She writes a lot of Urban Fantasy, Horror and some erotica pieces. Her urban fantasy, Dead, Undead and Somewhere in Between was, in my opinion, one of the best stories of last year. I have to say that Rhiannon has to be the best main female character out there right now. So looking forward to Dead’s sequel, The Renfield Syndrome.

Also I really love Lazy Day Publishing’s authors. The ones that I have read are truly amazing. I adore Alta Hensley’s Traditional Love and I love Liz Borino’s Expectations as well as Amy LeBlanc’s Dark Rogue. I can’t wait to read the rest of them because so far everyone’s books are so good. It’ll be a busy winter for me, reading wise.

Who is your literary idol?
It’s actually screenwriter Michael Hirst. Creator of The Tudors and the two upcoming series, The Borgias and Camelot.
I love him because his writing is so entertaining. The Tudors had a mixture of political intrigue, history and sex that made you want to watch it again and again. I’m going through Tudor withdrawal, but looking forward to whatever else he has done.

When did you start writing?

Since I was about six or seven. Actually it began as a challenge from my late grandmother who I think just wanted me and my cousins out of her hair one summer and I was hooked since.

Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

Yes. I had a really great English teacher in Ralph Lyons, who was very inspiring to me.
I don’t know if he remembers this but, I actually got caught writing in his class when I should have been paying attention. I was a freshman in high school and he had asked to see what I had been writing. I was horrified. I thought I was in such trouble. He did tell my mother but he was very impressed with what I wrote and he encouraged me to write as a kid…just not while he was teaching.

Another one was a literature professor I had in college; her name was Amy Perkins. She has since passed away but I really adored her. I had taken a bunch of literature and writing classes with her and I loved how she taught and went through a story with her students. She taught us that literature was cool, especially English lit.

Name one fun/weird/frightening fact about you that we don’t already know.
Okay. Most of my male main characters in the Dragon Races Books are based on WWE performers, John Morrison, Lucky Cannon, Wade Barrett and Randy Orton.

Where can readers learn more about you?
For now, on my blog on or on my Facebook page.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until people told me that I should give it a serious try a couple of years ago. I had always written for fun and although people had asked me if I had ever thought about writing, honestly, I hadn’t considered it, not as a career. It was only a couple of years ago when I had gotten pretty sick and at the same time, my father was dying that I took what my critique partner, Carole, and some others said kind of seriously.

What sorts of things inspire you as a writer?
Music, pictures. It could be an article that I’ve read or a something I’ve seen on TV like a news story. Anything.

How do you approach a story? Do you start with outlines or something else? Planner or pantster?
I will start with a general outline, as I did for the Dragon Races series. I’ll plan out the main points and from there I’ll go back and change it up as I write. I’m not an everything-has-to-be-set-in-stone kind of person when I write.

Where do you work when writing? What is your ideal creative environment?

I write in my bedroom or as I write this, in my family room. With a notebook, laptop, and headphones on.
Everyone knows (especially now that I’m published) when I’m in writing mode at my house, and they tend to leave me alone for the most part. Pretty good about it, too.

When do you write (morning, night)?
I tend to write in the evening till I go to bed. And on weekends after bills, errands and housework are done. I’m writing most of the day. I used to write early in the morning but I’m up so late now that I have to learn to start balancing it out.

Do you have any writing rituals?
No. Just need laptop, paper, pen, headphones and ipod. Every so often, food or coffee is in the mix but not often.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?
No rhyme or reason. Execpt for when I did want the Dragons for the Dragon Races series to have Greek names, to fit their various personalities.

Is writing your main creative outlet, or do you have other talents/creative pursuits?
I haven’t danced in a while. I think the last time I did it was like four or five years ago. I love it. I love singing too. I did that briefly, just for fun.

Do you ever get writers’ block? How do you tackle it?
Yes. I try to work through where at what point I’m having the block. It’s the worst though.

What’s the most personally challenging aspect of writing?
The editing. Even though it’s necessary. Editing and revising. I’ve gotten used to it but I think it is the difficult part, although the finished product oftentimes is much better after it’s done.

What is the best advice you can give other writers about writing?
Read. Read a lot. Read what’s out there. You want to write fantasy then read some, by George Martin or Tolkien, want erotica? Read Alta Hensley or Melissa Ecker. Just read, read, read. So many great authors out there and everyone in the community has been fantastic and can help you a great deal.

What genres do you write in? Why?
I write in erotica, and in fantasy and I’m planning an urban fantasy series as well. I just think all of these genres are fun and there’s no limits to where you can go with anyone of these.

Can you tell us about any themes you have running through your stories?
With the Dragon Races series, I think the themes are revenge, redemption, ambition and forgiveness. As the series continues you’ll find that most of these characters aren’t simply black and white, and that for every consequence, there’s going to be an action and a reaction from someone else. Most likely the reaction isn’t going to be what people will expect to be and that’s what making this series fun to write.

Tell us your “story of getting published.”
I was floored. I thought my contract was actually a rejection. I had to look at it twice and pinch myself.

What was your first reaction when LazyDay Publishing offered you a contract?
I screamed! I was so happy. It was two years of hard work, learning (actually still learning) polishing, revising, editing and writing and re-writing. I was very happy, still happy about it.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
I didn’t have any with this book. This was the first time I had submitted this book and I got accepted. I was pretty lucky. I had submitted two other stories to two other publishers, and I got pretty positive rejections on what I could do to make them better (revise and resubmit).

Did you learn anything from publishing this book? What?
That hard work pays off in spades. Sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to get what you ultimately want. But the payoff is amazing.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Make more time to enjoy everything. I’m learning how to balance all of it because now since By Sunset is out and is doing pretty well. People want the next book like yesterday. I’m trying now to learn how to balance writing, regular non-writing life and promo, but I want By Moonlight to be just as good if not better than By Sunset, because I’ve grown so much as a writer since I wrote it.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about publishing?
Read a lot. Read others in your genre. See what they’re doing. Enjoy it. You’ll learn so much from them and, at times, they’ll learn a lot from you.

What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?
I couldn’t be happier about the timing of when I’m starting to be published. What a great time we’re in, where instead of going to a bookstore, people can download a book onto either a laptop, pc or an e-reader. Saves everyone time, and money on transportation.
My only concern is the epiracy because it’s happened to me twice. Laws need to be passed. People have no right to upload something you’ve worked on for so long onto a sharing site without permission. Everyone from the publisher to the authors are losing so much money when a person does that. It’s my only drawback with epublishing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member Liz Borino

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to Liz Borino, the debut author of Expectations, was published by LazyDay Publishing on Dec. 1.

Throughout her education, including a Bachelor’s Degree from Hofstra University, she’ s kept her stories to herself, but this only child is all grown up and wants to share them with the world. Her roots are in Bethlehem, Pa, but she loves to experience new cultures. As fun as that is, Liz likes nothing better than curling up at home with a good book or her work in progress.

T. When did you start writing?
L. I started telling stories as soon as I could talk, but writing in earnest? Twelve.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?
L. Hmm, writing teacher…I’d go with Mrs. Chickey. She was my ninth grade English teacher. I’ll bet she doesn’t remember me.

T. Please tell us about your current book.
L. My novel, Expectations, depicts the struggle between what we desire for ourselves and our familial obligations. Chris and Matt Taylor, identical twins, who are trying to win their overbearing father’s approval and acquire their trust funds, personify this conflict.
Their best friend and roommate, Aiden O’Boyle, left his family behind in Ireland to pursue a career in dance.
Robert Taylor, Matt and Chris’s father has set certain conditions that must be met in order for them to receive their trust funds. Matt must continue to work at a job he hates, as he struggles with alcoholism. Chris has to deny his own desires and deep love for Aiden, to get married to Matt’s girlfriend. All the while, their father continues to use extreme measures to ensure his sons’ compliance. The story takes place against the backdrop of preparation for Aiden’s upcoming dance performance.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?
L. Yes! Escape has also been contracted by Lazy Day and will be released in February…assuming I get it written on schedule.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?
L. I think soon most of our media will be consumed digitally. In a few years, paper books will be a luxury item.

T. Anything else to share?
L. I feel so lucky to have found Lazy Day, not only are they very supportive, but it’s such a great community of authors each willing to help the others.

T. Thank you for your time. I’ll be looking forward to reading your book.
L. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thomas Drinkard Interviews IAN Member J.M. Kelley

This interview was previously published at Thomas Drinkard's blog

I’m honored to have an interview with J.M. Kelley, author of Drew in Blue. I have had the opportunity to read an excerpt from the book and found it to be funny, ( with winces for Drew’s missteps). I’m looking forward to reading the whole book.

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.

J.M. A lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, I am a writer of love stories, a painter, a painfully bad knitter, and a photographer – if the pursuit is artistic, chances are I’ve dabbled in it.

After a lengthy break that included adventures in accounting and coffee distribution, I returned to my passion for writing with that old adage write what you know whispering from the deep recesses of my mind. I realized that I know how to read a book on a moving skateboard, that if you’re riding shotgun in a pick-up truck, ‘mud’ can be used as a verb, Amish traffic jams can wreak havoc on your morning commute, and Hog Maw is not to be experienced by the faint of heart.

While this list of knowledge seemed random and borderline nonsensical, it led me to one rock-solid conclusion: life in the Keystone State is a rich and endless source of inspiration. And so, I sat down in front of my laptop and began to piece together a story about life in small-town Pennsylvania – something I know a thing or two about. The result of this epiphany is Drew in Blue, a contemporary love story set in the fictional Appalachian town of River’s View, Pennsylvania, and filled with quirky characters that pay homage to the real life characters I’ve had the pleasure of knowing all my life.

I am a member of the Romance Writers of America, The International Women’s Writing Guild, Pennwriters, and the South Carolina Writers Workshop.

T. When did you start writing?

J.M. My big debut as a paid writer was in first grade. I earned a dollar for a compelling two-sentence story about winning the lottery and buying a horsie, and it was published in the local newspaper’s student section. After that, I was hooked.

My next big break came in high school when we read The Devil and Tom Walker. The writing assignment was to write a modern day version of the tale, and my variation was read aloud in front of the class by the teacher. For a social leper, that was a shining moment. Unfortunately, after school, I lost the will and the time to concentrate on my writing, and didn’t return until a couple of years ago. Now I’m a born-again writing addict.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

J.M. Mrs. Warner in high school-I’m thinking it was twelfth grade, but I could be wrong. She was my lit teacher, and was the kind of instructor who’d read Shakespeare while standing on her desk and shouting at the top of her lungs. I loved her, but I doubt she’d have the slightest clue who I am. I was such a wallflower, I doubt she knew me back then, either. She made a heck of an impression on me, though.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

J.M. Drew in Blue is a contemporary romance about a thirty-six year old loner unexpectedly saddled with the task of raising a baby while trying to sort out his mess of a life. Problem is, he just keeps making things worse for himself. It’s a running theme in Drew’s life, considering he never does anything the easy way. The River’s View, Pennsylvania gossip mill is watching each misstep as Drew juggles a price-gouging babysitter, a major case of artist’s block, and a best friend with an opinion to share on every bungled choice he makes.
His love life isn’t faring much better. Despite a long history of relationships that never really get off the ground, Drew falls head over heels for someone new, hoping she might be the one to end his romantic bad luck streak. After a few abysmally bad false starts, things finally start looking up. That is, until he finds out (the hard way, naturally) that his new love interest isn’t the one for him after all. Turns out it’s actually his lifelong pal and high school girlfriend, Kristina Moser.
Drew’s feelings for Kris intensify as he witnesses her growing bond with his son and he finally realizes where he belongs. Now all he has to do is convince Kris he’s right . . . and she’s just not buying it.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

J.M. It feels like Drew in Blue is a stand-alone story, though I am working on a second novel that is also set in small-town Pennsylvania. I suspect I’m developing a theme there. The state is chock full of interesting characters, so I might as well write them, right?

T. What are your thoughts about the future of digital publishing?

J.M. I believe digital publishing is here to stay. Obviously, there’s a healthy interest in the technology among the readers out there. I can say I was one of those people who like to cling to their paper and ink books, and that won’t change, but having really given eBooks a shot as a reader; I find them an incredibly useful option. Now, I don’t have to pick one or two books to travel with. I can download as many as I want and not use space in my luggage. That alone makes me a dedicated customer.

I don’t see digital publishing being a lark, or a passing fad. I don’t think it will replace traditional publishing, but it’s not going to fade away anytime soon, either. Personally, I really like having the choice between the two options depending upon my needs at any given moment.

T. Do you have anything else to share with us?

J.M. Drew in Blue was released as an eBook on December 1, 2010 through Lazy Day Publishing, and third-party sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Check back often at my website/blog at for updates and links as they become available!

T. Thank you for your time. Wishing you the greatest success.

J.M.. Thanks for having me on the blog, I enjoyed the interview!

JM Kelley at IAN

Thomas Drinkard at IAN