Category Archives: Author Interviews

Q&A with CeCe Osgood — and a giveaway!

DND workshop ebookcover5starsWhen I finally got my act together and joined a chick lit writer’s group on Facebook, CeCe Osgood was the first of many lovely ladies with whom I connected. She is a former HBO script analyst turned novelist, and the title of her debut novel is one you simply can’t ignore!

Exploring life after divorce, The Divorced Not Dead Workshop is a romantic comedy about dating after divorce. After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy!

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Hi CeCe and welcome to Skipping Midnight! Your debut novel, The Divorced Not Dead Workshop, is described as a romantic comedy about dating after divorce. What else can you tell us about the story?

 

Cece OsgoodIt’s an opening-your-heart-again story. Going through a divorce can make you wary about getting back into dating or even considering the possibility of looking for a partner again. I believe finding out who you are and what you want is the first step: I call it your “me skills” in the novel’s workshop. I wanted to deal with serious subject of divorce in a funny and, I hope, helpful way. Another aspect of the story is the friendship with Dorsey and her BFFs, Pilar and Mimi. They’re the kind of friends we all want to have: true blue, forgiving and yet they can kick your butt when you need it. Especially Pilar!

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What inspired you to write it?

Frankly, it came like a bolt out of the blue. I woke up one morning with the notion of a dating workshop on a cruise ship and Dorsey Bing, the main character, came ambling toward me in her kitten heels. I liked her so much I couldn’t help but fashion a plot for her. It took a few drafts before I worked out the nuances of the romance and how it threaded into the dating workshop.

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Q&A with indie author RS McCoy — plus a giveaway!

Cover Art 3When RS McCoy’s thyroid cancer returned last spring, writing became her mental break from treatment. In the past year, she’s published three novels, two novellas and several short stories. She describes her works as falling into the genres of fantasy, science fiction, romance, paranormal, and supernatural.

After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Sparks!

 

According to your blog, writing was initially your way to mentally escape cancer treatment. Can you talk a bit about this and how it helped?

RS McCoy Author PhotoOOoo girl, you’re brave! All you have to do is mention the C word and people go running. I appreciate you asking! I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August of 2012. For the next few months, I dealt with surgeries and radiation, and I can honestly say, it was easily the worst experience of my life. By spring, I was in a better place. I was a cancer survivor, it was in my past, I had lived. The following April, I received that horrible phone call that my cancer was back with a vengeance, and I would have to start over with treatment. For several weeks afterward, I struggled to wrap my mind around my daily life. Dealing with my cancer’s return didn’t seem to fit in with sitting in traffic and going to work. My head was spinning and I needed something to ground me in a positive way. Writing ended up being that outlet for me. In the past year, I’ve written three novels, two novellas and a handful of short stories as well as guest blog posts and other articles. The crazier my life gets, the more I write!

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Your first novel, Sparks, is part of a paranormal fantasy series. What can you tell us about it?

Sparks isn’t the traditional PNR, and my readers (as well as myself) have struggled to truly define it within a genre. I really enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, and I enjoyed Twilight and other popular books in the category. When I was developing a new idea for a book, I knew I didn’t want to use vampires, werewolves, zombies or any other creature that seems to be overused in the last few years. Instead, I chose to write about a series of young people who have gifts that allow them to manipulate the environment, read minds and affect time. It was really a lot of fun to write!

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My turn to do the talking

The wonderful Zanna Mackenzie, author of IF YOU ONLY KNEW and fellow dog lover, interviews me on her blog today.

It’s nice to turn the tables once in a while and talk about my experience 😉

Check it out here: http://t.co/P9I3mKXYAi

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Q&A with Suzy Turner, author of all genres — plus a giveaway!

Suzy Turner - Forever FredlessLike me, Suzy Turner began her writing career as a journalist. But there is something to be said for the imagination, and when the fiction bug bites, it’s extremely hard to resist! Since 2010, she’s completed six novels for young adults (The Raven Saga trilogy and The Morgan Sisters series), as well as her first women’s fiction novel, Forever Fredless. She gets extra points in my book for being a self-published author, and I’m delighted to have her here today!

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Forever Fredless! 

For someone who only began writing fiction in 2010, you’ve published a crazy number of books—ranging from paranormal thriller to romance, and from YA to adult. Which is your favorite?

Suzy on shootLOL I’m very fortunate that writing is pretty much my day job now so I have plenty of time to dedicate to it. As for my favourite, that’s a tricky one. I absolutely love writing both YA urban fantasy and chick lit so I really can’t choose between them! Sorry!

In October, you released your first “chick lit” novel, Forever Fredless. What can you tell us about the story?

Here’s a brief synopsis: Kate Robinson has spent the past two decades yearning to find her soul mate, the boy she found and then lost during a family holiday. Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?

The idea for the book has been with me for many years because the beginning (when Kate ‘meets’ her soulmate for the very first time as a child) kind of happened to me. Although I wasn’t as smitten as Kate was, I do remember the moment quite clearly and I never forgot it. There are other embarrassing moments in the book that have also featured in my life!

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Q&A with author Zanna Mackenzie — plus a giveaway!

If You Only Knew

For months, Desperately Ever After’s Amazon page has included a link to pretty pink and white book by Zanna Mackenzie, called If You Only Knew. Apparently, Zanna and I shared similar readers. When I finally moseyed over to her website in April, however, it became instantly clear that we shared a lot more than that! A freelance writer and editor, a dog lover, a gardener … she even understood my “eh” feeling about shopping! All that stood between us was the way we spelled “color/colour.” Oh, and an ocean.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to welcome Zanna here today to talk about her writing career and her latest release. After the interview, answer her question for a chance to win an e-copy of her other novel, How Do You Spell Love?

ZannaMIn just a few years, you’ve published three contemporary romance novels, a novella, and two short stories—in addition to working as a freelance writer/editor and taking care of three dogs! How do you find the time?

I’m not sure! The day starts off with walking the dogs (we have 4 now, the latest edition Cassie – pictured below – is just over a year old now) with my husband, then we start work. He’s self-employed too so we have some degree of flexibility with regards to how we schedule the work aspect of our days. First priority once I’m seated at the computer with a cup of tea is the day job – I’m a freelance writer, editor and proof reader for a chamber of commerce. After that it’s on to the book promotion, blog and social media jobs for the day. I hope to try to fit in some writing but don’t always manage it depending on all the other jobs on my list for each day. In the spring, summer and autumn evenings we still have daylight to walk the dogs again and maybe catch up with some gardening. Each day is pretty busy but I love my work so consider myself to be very lucky!

DSCN1121What can you tell us about your latest, If You Only Knew?

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept in books and films of the first love coming back and complicating life all over again! This happens to Faith in If You Only Knew – she risks getting involved with new-in-town Zane who has taken over the extreme sports centre in the village. Faith is nervous about relationships anyway thanks to having her heart broken, add to this the fact Zane is strangely reluctant to talk about his past and naturally she’s a little unsure if she’s doing the right thing by getting involved or not. Zane and Faith are both just getting to know each other when Zane’s business partner Matt arrives from Austria and complicates everything. Matt just happens to be Faith’s first love.
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Q&A with bestselling author Cindi Madsen — and a price drop!

Cinderella Screwed Me OverCindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. Her latest, Cinderella Screwed Me Over, caught my eye because of its reference to a fairy tale icon and because … well, the title is just hilarious.

I’m delighted to welcome her here today. Enjoy!

With so many novels to your name, in both YA and adult, it’s difficult to focus on just one! But what can you tell us about your latest creation, Cinderella Screwed Me Over?

One day I was taking to a friend about expectations of relationships versus the reality if them. I said, yeah, Cinderella really screwed us over. Right then I knew I wanted to wright a book that poked fun of fairytales, while also being one.

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cindi madsenWhat do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?

I love the case studies that compare her exes to fairytale princes and detail why they don’t actually work. I hope people will love that, and also love the romance of course.

In the spirit of Desperately Ever After, I must ask: If you had to choose, which fairy tale character (doesn’t have to be a princess and doesn’t have to be Disney), would you be and why?

Well, I’d like the flawless hair that comes, even underwater, & I’d like woodland creatures to do my chores. I guess I’ll go with the modern day Rapunzel. She’s got spunk & Eugene’s pretty dreamy. My daughters told me I’m like Anna in Frozen, because she asks why her sister couldn’t have tropical powers & I hate the cold. Continue reading

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Aven Ellis: Author of “Waiting for Prince Harry” — plus a giveaway!

Aven Ellis - Waiting for Prince HarryAven Ellis’s website describes her as an “author of stories about the girl trying to figure out her career, her dreams, and the guy.” During the past year, she’s published Waiting For Prince Harry and Connectivity to rave reviews. I am so happy to have her here today.

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book of her latest release, Waiting for Prince Harry.

Your latest novel, Waiting for Prince Harry, has received a lot of attention and praise from readers and bloggers of “chick lit.” What can you tell us about the story?

Aven EllisThank you! Waiting for Prince Harry is about a young woman, Kylie Reed, who is afraid to live her life now, and puts everything off for the future so she doesn’t have to face it. But all of that changes when she falls into the lap of hockey star Harrison Flynn, a ginger who is even hotter than her dream crush, Prince Harry.

What do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?

This caught me by surprise, actually, but readers really love the sports angle of the romance and that the lead is a hockey player. They love that Harrison is hot and completely respectful of Kylie. I love the message in the book-that if you believe in yourself, and have the courage to take action, great things can happen in your life.

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Q&A with author duo Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke — plus a giveaway!

Your Perfect LifeLiz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been friends for 25 years. In college, they made a vow to one day write a book together. And THAT is where anything common about this tale comes to an end. Because not only did they follow through with their promise … they kept at it and kept at it until Simon & Schuster bought not one, not two, but THREE of their manuscripts! I’m so happy to welcome this dynamic duo to Skipping Midnight. 

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Your Perfect Life.

Before we get into what Your Perfect Life is about, I’d love to hear a bit about the road you took to get here. Before landing the deal with Simon and Schuster, you wrote two other manuscripts. Where are these now?

Liz Fenton_Lisa Steinke_author photo_courtesy_DebbieFriedrichOur road to publication was hard and full of many rejections along the way, but we were prepared for that. In fact, the more NO’s we heard, the harder we tried. Our first two manuscripts didn’t sell, but in hindsight, we’re thrilled they didn’t. Because we probably—make that definitely—wouldn’t have ended up with the dream team we have now. And we feel so lucky to have our incomparable agent, editor and publisher. Timing is everything and when we wrote Your Perfect Life, we could feel that it was different—we were proud of the characters we’d created and the humorous, yet heartfelt story.

Knowing what you know now about the industry, why do you think Your Perfect Life had a different outcome?

That’s a hard one because the industry is so subjective that you never really know the answer to a question like this! But here’s what we think is at least part of the answer: When we wrote the prior two manuscripts, we were trying too hard to write what we thought the industry wanted. And when we did that, we compromised ourselves too much. Once we said, eff it, we’re going to tell the story we want to tell, it all seemed to fall into place.

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Elizabeth Maxwell puts a new spin on “Happily Ever After” — plus a giveaway!

Happily Ever AfterIt’s a closely guarded secret among authors that … sometimes … we fall more in love with our characters than we should—particularly those of the opposite sex. In Elizabeth Maxwell’s debut novel, Happily Ever After, her protagonist actually bumps into one of her erotic fiction creations at Target! I was hooked as soon as I read the premise, and I’m thrilled to welcome Elizabeth here today.

After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Happily Ever After!

Happily Ever After has a very intriguing premise—one to which many authors (yes, I’ve absolutely fallen in love/lust with a few of my male leads) can relate. Can you tell us a bit about the story?

Elizabeth MaxwellI watched the movie Enchanted and loved how they mashed together fairy tales and reality in such an entertaining way. I wondered what would happen if I tried a more adult take, using the same concept (and minus the songs). It happened to be right around the time Fifty Shades of Grey took over the world so making Sadie an erotica author suddenly seemed a no brainer. The rest flowed from there – with the usual bumps in the road of course!

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What do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?

Most readers I’ve heard from like that Sadie is in her mid-forties and kind of a mess. She’s not a typical romantic heroine. Her life looks nothing like the books she writes. She was created with the hope readers would see something in her and say ‘yup, I’ve done that.’

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Q&A with bestselling author Miranda Dickinson — plus a giveaway!

TALAMN coverWhen it comes to “women’s fiction,” “chick lit,” or whatever you’d like to call it, there are some names that stand far above the rest: Kinsella. Giffin. Weiner. Dickinson. Today, I am truly ecstatic to be chatting with bestselling author Miranda Dickinson, author of titles like Fairytale of New York, It Started With a Kiss, and her latest, Take a Look at Me Now.

So grab some coffee, take a deep breath, and enjoy what she has to say. After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Take a Look at Me Now!

With five critically acclaimed novels to your name (including four Sunday Times bestsellers), it’s difficult focusing on just one! But what can you tell us about your latest creation, Take a Look at Me Now?

Miranda photoTake a Look at Me Now is the story of Nell, who turns her life around when she is unexpectedly hit by redundancy. Instead of being a victim of what’s happened and waiting to find another job, she blows her redundancy cheque on the trip of a lifetime to San Francisco, where her cousin Lizzie lives. Here in this positive city, she reconnects with a long-held dream and, inspired by the people she meets there, decides to change her life.

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What do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?

I think people will love the idea of not letting life’s downturns get you down. So many people are either facing redundancy or scared about losing their jobs at the moment, so I think Nell’s story is really relevant for the time we live in. I hope that readers will fall in love with San Francisco the way that I did when my husband Bob and I visited last year on our honeymoon. That’s what I love most about the book: I was writing Nell’s discovery of the city as Bob and I were experiencing it, so it’s my personal journal of a very special trip as much as it is Nell’s story. Lastly, my hope is that it inspires people that anything is possible – even if life turns out differently to our plans.

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