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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spotlight On Author Lynn Kurland

Happy Monday Everybody,

The edits for All's Fair In Love & Lion are doing all right. I'm working on several ideas for promotional items, and fun little tidbits...which, I will reveal sometime in the future. I'm very excited about several things and hope you'll enjoy them, too.

I know it's been a very long time since I've done an author interview. For that, I do apologize. However, I promise, it's worth the wait!

Lynn Kurland is an author I discovered when I was in high school (many moons ago). The first book I read by her was probably This Is All I Ask. When I started reading her, she didn't have a lot of books out, but now Lynn has two series--Paranormal/Historical Romance following the MacLeod & de Piaget families, and a fantasy one full of magic. I haven't really read her fantasy books; however, the MacLeod/de Piaget books are awesome (and there are a bunch of them, now, I'm happy to say). My favorite is probably Stardust Of Yesterday.

This interview is actually a dream come true for me. I went total fan-girl when Lynn agreed to the interview. She was very sweet, worked with me, and we've had some nice chats, and the interview was a lot of fun to read her answers.

I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. So without further ado, I give you...Lynn Kurland! (I apologize in advance for any spacing issues--Blogger doesn't paste stuff from a word processor very well).

Me:  Several of your novels are paranormals--time travels & ghosts. What made you decide to take your stories in that direction?

Lynn:  Well, it's partly because I love a good ghost story and partly because I think it would be so cool to get to go back in time and see for myself what history looks like.

Me:  You also have a fantasy series out, could you tell us a little about those?

Lynn:  I'm a big Tolkien fan, but I've made no secret of my wish that he'd put just a little more romance in the Lord of the Rings series! My first editor made a miracle happen and offered me  the chance to write fantasy so I jumped on it without hesitation. So now I get both the fantasy and romance to my specifications. :)
As a little aside, there have been a few moments in my writing life that were so awesome as to be a little surreal. The first was when I saw Stardust of Yesterday in my local grocery  store. The most recent is getting a hard copy of Dreamspinner, opening it up, and seeing a map of what's in my head right there in print. I was really fortunate to have my good friend, Tara Larsen Chang, use her considerable illustrator talents and enormous amounts of patience to put that together for me. Her illustrations are absolutely amazing and if we can ever put something else together, I would love it.

Me:  Do you have a favorite sweet treat? If so, what is it?

Lynn:  Anything chocolate!

Me:  You get questions about which character will have a story (you know I'm voting for Royce, Kendrick's best friend) who do you get the most requests for and do you think that character will or won't get his or her own story?

Lynn:  I get the requests for, in descending order, Phillip de Piaget, Joshua of Sedwick, Royce,  and even occasionally for Nazir. (I think Nazir might just continue to hide in the shadows, sharpening his swords.) Phillip's already at least on my mental schedule. About Royce, hmmm, I'll have to give him some thought. I like the thought of doing something with Joshua, but I'm not sure that would ever happen unless it was sort of a secondary thing in a book about someone else.

Me:  A lot of your stories take place in England and Scotland, have you ever been there?

Lynn:  My husband's family is British so yes, we do try to go at least for family reunions every few years. I keep trying to talk my husband into just pulling up stakes for a couple of years and heading to Cambridge so he could get his PhD, but no one in the family seems too excited about the idea. Well, except me, of course. :) Ah, for castles that don't require a transatlantic plane ride to get to!
Me:  What is your advice to aspiring authors?

Lynn:  My advice always has been to write what's in your heart and that hasn't changed, but boy has the market changed! I think with all the ability we have these days to get our stuff out there digitally, it's almost even more difficult to find an audience than it was twenty years ago. I've been doing this a long time and I still get a little overwhelmed when I think too much about the business side of it.
For me, especially in light of that, it still all boils down to this: write what you love in a way that you would enjoy reading it and worry about the rest later. It doesn't matter if you sell 10 books a year or 100,000 books a year, the only thing you can control is what happens between you and that blank page. You can't control your sales, or your audience, or your reviews. All you can do is write what you love and hope there are readers out there who will love it as well.

As for more practical advice, I would suggest the following:

1) Get a good grammar book and use it. (I love the Transitive Vampire and its spin-offs, but I like the thought of gargoyles using gerunds properly.)

2) Make the majority of what you read quality stuff, not crap. If you pick up something and it's poorly written, read the last five pages to figure out what happens, then get rid of it. Great writers stand the test of time because they're great writers. What you put into your head is what's eventually going to come out on the page, albeit ideally through your voice. Read the good stuff!
3) Write. A lot. I can't stress this enough. The only way you'll become a fabulous writer is to practice, practice, practice.

4) Concentrate on what you can control, which is you and the page. Let the rest of it go until you have to deal with it.

5) Enjoy it. :) Lots of people say they want to write a book and lots of people never get around to it. You're living the dream!

Me:  How did you get started in the writing business?
Lynn:  I actually headed into college as a classically trained musician with thoughts of making a career out of opera. (I'm not sure that would have worked out; I like being home at night and would rather work in my pajamas!) A robust case of mono sort of derailed me during my last year of college and after reading a few romances, I found myself wondering if I couldn't write one myself and have it end the way I wanted it to. (Still scarred from not enough romance in LOTR, as you can see!) I can't imagine doing anything else now. It's a million times better than performing because I get to have control over everything--scenery, plot, costumes--and everyone. And I get to do it in my pajamas. :)

Me:  What's your favorite Holiday & why?
Lynn:  I honestly at the moment can't decide. I'm getting to the point where I'm always looking forward to the next one coming up! I'm just grateful for excuses to get together with family.

Me:  Which of your characters would you want to meet, and why?
Lynn:  I think I might be getting old, but instead of a sword-wielding hunk, I think I would like to sit down for an afternoon with Soilleir of Cothromaiche, from the Nine Kingdoms series. I have a tendency to feel like I have to solve everything for everyone around me instead of just sitting back and letting them work things out for themselves. I think this might be an occupational hazard created by getting to direct--occasionally--the lives of people in books. :)

Me:  In your opinion, what's harder--writing or editing?
Lynn:  Writing, definitely. I am really a terrible writer--I live in fear of getting hit by a bus with only a rough draft on my computer that my editor would then have to take and try to make sense of!--but maybe a tolerable rewriter. It's much easier to edit something already on the page than create it from scratch.

Me:  Anything else you'd like to add?

Lynn:  Just a thank you to you, Bethany, for having me over to your cyber living room, and another in what will always be an endless number of thank yous to everyone who continues to part with their hard-earned money for my stories. It has truly been a remarkable journey so far.  I'm so grateful for the emails I get, the life stories I've heard, and the wonderful people I've gotten to meet through simple little books I wasn't even really sure initially would ever sell. Thank you for loving these characters as much as I do and giving these books a good home on your bookshelves!
 
Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Thank You Letter From Me...

Dear Darling Readers,

First of all, I want to wish you a very happy Thursday. :-)
 
Second...

Wow! Thank you to every last person who left a comment, emailed, texted me, talked to me on the phone, and chatted me up on Facebook about how excited y'all are over All's Fair In Love & Lion's July release date.

I am truly grateful to each of you for your enthusiasm, support, and encouragement. No author could ask for more than your joy, which only adds to my own.

At this time I'm still working on the edits from my publisher. There are things I'm looking forward to revealing, but they aren't ready, yet, so you'll just have to be patient!



I sincerely hope you enjoy the story when it comes out (in the right hand margin there's a small teaser blurb for the story). I really have enjoyed creating and watching this story grow and develop.

So, again...THANK YOU!!

Have A Thoroughly Thrilling Thursday!

All my best,
Bethany Averie

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pssst! Have You Heard?

Happy Tuesday All,

Didn't I say to keep an eye on my blog? Sure, it's afternoon...and normally I'd have a post up in the morning...but hey, sometimes it's fun to shake things up a bit.

Hope everyone got to see the title change in yesterday's post. Yes, Surreal is now All's Fair In Love & Lion. My editor wanted a new title, and so I sent her a list of ideas. She chose 2, I took some time to consider both options, got some feedback, and then decided on All's Fair In Love & Lion. Editor says she loves it, so that's good!

So...what's the big news? What's so exciting?

I'll need another drumroll please...


Ready?
 
Are you sure?
 
Really positive?
 
Really, really positive?
 
Okay....here it is...

All's Fair In Love & Lion
will release in July of this year (2013)!!!!

I can hardly believe it! Editor gave me the go ahead to announce, so I'm announcing.  I'm knee-deep in the edits. The cover art sheet they asked me to fill out has been turned in. I've sent in the dedication and the acknowledgements and my author bio. So now, it's just a matter of getting everything pulled together.

From what I understand it will first be released as E-book for Kindle and Nook available at Soul Mate Publishing's website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Then later on it'll be available in print.

I appreciate all of you accompanying me on this journey, and I thank you for the well-wishes, support, encouragement, laughter, shared stories, and everything. I hope all of you will join me to as I continue this journey called writing and publishing. I also hope you enjoy All's Fair In Love & Lion when it comes out!

Have A Totally Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Drumroll, Please!

Happy Monday All,

I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was good and bad. Bad because I wasn't feeling well on Sunday, but good because I saw one of my out-of-town sisters and her family on Friday night.

As to why I have the drumroll in the title of this blog?


Well, I have some Surreal news for you...

Surreal has a brand new title...

The new title is...

ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE & LION

So be watching for more news on All's Fair In Love & Lion to come very soon. Especially the fact I will be announcing the release date soon. Just going to get that go ahead from my publisher.

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

I've got the first round edits from my publisher and have gotten started on them. There's some storyline things the editor wants me to work on, so I've been contemplating that and I think I have a solution to one of the biggies she mentioned. So that's good.

Anna Kathryn Lanier, talented author, friend, NWHRWA pal, and all around nice lady, nominated me for Very Inspiring Blogger Award. So thank you very much, Anna, for the award!

The rules are as follows:

*Display the award logo on your blog.

*Link back to the person who nominated you

*State 7 things about yourself

*Nominate other bloggers (the numbers seem to vary) and link back to them

So in keeping with the rules...7 things about myself:

1.  I was born in Texas; but 6 1/2 years of my life I lived in Madison, NJ (a place right near Morristown).

2.  I wasn't as good a student as my classmates who attempted to cheat off of my papers thought (especially Freshmen through Junior year--I nearly failed Freshman Physical Science and I had to work like a dog, with my father tutoring me, to pass Geometry!)

3.  My high school junior English teacher wanted to adopt me because I love to read and she didn't have a daughter. I had to turn her down; but I told her she was my mommy at school. To this day I still have a good relationship with that teacher.

4.  I know the genre difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, but that doesn't change the fact that I prefer Star Wars.

5.  In Pre-K or Kindergarten we had career day and were told to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. I dressed up in regular clothes, brought my Cabbage Patch Kid to school with me and told everyone I wanted to be a Mother. I've accomplished that goal.

6.  I've never been to Disney World, but I'd like to go.

7.  I have been to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Here are the bloggers I'm nominating:

Tess St. John (I have to nominate my critique partner, she inspires me)

Christie Craig (That woman is amazing!)

MuseTracks (There's several people who post on that blog and while I don't check every post, many of their posts have been helpful).


Monday, March 4, 2013

She Wants Sweet Revenge

Happy Monday/Tuesday All,

I am SO embarrassed. In all the busyness that followed my friend's death, I forgot I had an official blog review. Fortunately I remembered in time for the release date (which is Tuesday, March 5, 2013--depending on when you're reading this is either today or tomorrow).

Mystery author extraordinaire, Laura Childs is at it again, this time with a brand-new addition to her Tea Shop Mystery series...

If Theodosia Browning owner of the Indigo Tea Shop didn't have her hands full before, she does, now. As boutique owner, Delaine Dish's, maid-of-honor, she's responsible for anything and everything Delaine will come up with. Including keeping the bride-to-be calm.

However, as a storm of epic proportions brews in Charleston, and the power goes out, it looks like this wedding day will have more showers than sunshine....

Especially since nobody can find the groom.

Theodosia, being the dutiful maid of honor, goes down the hall to knock on Dougan Granville's door.

When Granville doesn't answer, she walks in to tell him it's show time...only to find the groom dead.

The discovery throws Theodosia into a tailspin of shock, whodunit, and investigating contraband.

Between all this, and Delaine declaring she wants "Sweet revenge" Theodosia has her hands full.

It's all tempest in a pot of tea, with Theodosia jugging her amateur detective status, tracking down the contraband, and helping Delaine with the grieving process, while running her cozy tea shop...will Theodosia be able to do it all before things slosh over the sides and get messy?

Pick up a copy of Sweet Tea Revenge and find out! :-)

Have A Tasteful Tuesday!

New Computer, Sad News, & Good News

Happy Monday All,

I apologize most profusely for the lack of attention I've given the blog lately. Two weeks ago this Wednesday one of my dear friends passed away. I've known this person for 15 years and she passed quite suddenly (cause of death is still unknown). Because I've been so close to her and her husband (I've known her husband for 17 years, and introduced them to each other), I had to help with contacting other friends and doing different things to help her husband. The wake and funeral were this past week, so I was pretty busy with that.

However, given that I have responsibilities to my husband, my offspring, and my writing, I'm now ready to get back into the swing of things, including posting more on this blog.

I've received the first round of edits from my publisher for Surreal. The title will probably be changed, but it hasn't been decided to what. Once that gets ironed out, I'll have an answer. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep the information in the margin of this blog as it is  until everything gets set up.

In light of edits, and needing to have something that works better, I got a new computer this past weekend. I'm learning my way around it and putting in things that need to be there so I can complete edits and work on the other novels. It's pretty exciting and I really like my new computer. I think it'll be very useful.

There's many other exciting things in the works and as we get closer to each item, I'll reveal them. However, in the interim, be sure to check out what's new by following me on Twitter (@WriteByBethany) or looking me up on Facebook under Bethany Averie. Hope to see you there!

Book recommendation:  Shanna Swendson's No Quest For The Wicked. I finally got it and read it. It was great! However, make sure you read all the books in there series that come before this one. :-)

Have A Marvelous Monday!