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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Presenting..... Nalini Singh

I couldn't believe my luck when award winning, best-selling author Nalini Singh agreed to be interviewed. And checkout her

Please can you tell us about your latest book?

Visions of Heat is my second paranormal, and is set in the same world as Slave to Sensation, a world of Psy who have amazing mental talents but no emotions, humans, and changelings (who can shapeshift into different animal forms). Visions of Heat focuses on an Faith, an F-Psy who can see the future, and Vaughn, a jaguar changeling brought up among leopards.

Faith has been trained to see business visions, but suddenly she's seeing blood and murder. The emotions these visions arouse—emotions which are forbidden to the Psy on threat of having their minds wiped and their personalities destroyed,—have her thinking she's going insane. In desperation, she reaches for help from the only people who haven't bowed down to the Psy Council: the changelings. But what she finds in Vaughn is a changeling whose animal is very close to the skin. He's less civilized than his brethren and less willing to pretend to be civlized.

How long have you been writing, and what made you start?

I've been writing forever, seriously writing toward publication for ten years I'd say. What made me start is probably what makes any writer start – the urge to tell my own stories, to write things I wanted to read about but couldn't find. Or maybe it was the magic of story itself. I love the act of writing, of losing myself in the worlds of my imagination.

Many people spend a long time searching for an agent. Can you tell us about your agent hunt?

I was a little unusual in that I'd already published several bestselling books with Sil Desire by the time I decided to search for an agent. I was also unusual because I had a complete single title manuscript ready to go (Slave to Sensation). I actually signed with the first agency I queried, which was the agency at the top of my list.

Before you all start sending me hate mail *grin* I want to say that before I sent out a single query, I spent a lot of time doing my homework. I knew exactly which agencies were representing which authors. That way, I knew what agent/agency might be a fit for me and vice versa – that homework stacked the odds in my favor and now I'm delighted to be with Nephele Tempest of the Knight Agency.

Everyone loves a good call story. What was yours?

Oh mine's a goodie. To make up for my lack of agent-hunting pain, I'll tell you that I had a whole stack of rejections before I sold. I even had one of those infamous copied-too-many times form letters the size of a compliments slip. With Desert Warrior, my first sale, I'd already racked up more than one rejection. But each rejection was for a slightly different book because I was trying to figure out where it fit.

I loved the Sil Desire line but didn't initially submit to it because at that time, the guidelines said American heroines and my heroine was a New Zealander. But, I had had a couple of very nice rejections (with personal comments!) from an editor (Diane Dietz) at Sil Romance, so I took a chance and sent Desert Warrior to her. I got a two page revision letter back saying something along the lines of, this is definitely not a Romance…but you know, it might be a Desire. I hyperventilated, did the revisions and sent them off.

The call came the day before my 25th birthday. I was sitting at the breakfast table, about to eat cereal when the phone rang. Because of the NY/New Zealand time difference, I knew it was an editor. The rest of that day is a blur of happiness and cake (birthday cake turned celebration cake!).

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write. Just write. Studying other writers, going to classes, all that is good – everyone should try to develop their skills – but in the end, to learn to write, you must write and write consistently.

Can you tell us what you're working on now and what books will be out in the future?

I'm currently working on book 4 of the Psy/Changeling series. In the near future, I have Caressed By Ice coming out in September, which has an icy and incredibly sexy Psy hero. Then in October, I have a novella in an anthology called An Enchanted Season (the fabulous Maggie Shayne is also one of the contributing authors!).

Thank you so much, Nalini. It's been a great pleasure. If anyone has any questions to for Nalini please put them in the comments section.


Born on the island of Fiji and raised in beautiful New Zealand, former lawyer Nalini Singh has traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the plains of Inner Mongolia. Yet, much as she loves traveling to new and exciting places, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She's delighted to be able to share this journey with her readers. You can find out more about Nalini, her books and her travels by visiting her website (

Friday, February 23, 2007

So.... what do you know???

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and I'm in love..... with an inanimate object.

I want... need.... am craving for.... one of those small laptops that's about 10" by 8". I've no idea how much they are... but I've got to have one. It could slip in my purse. I could go online anywhere there's a wireless network, and I'd be able to write in the garden or where I please.

I've got a laptop but the battery is dead and it has to be plugged in. Plus, it's heavy.

I don't want an Alphie because it won't suit the way I write - I edit as I go - I've tried it the other way and it just doesn't work.

See what I mean..... it's a necessity. I wonder if someone will buy it for my birthday (July 18, if that someone is you - I guess you'll be wanting my postal address).

What about you? Is there anything you're totally desperate for?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Presenting...... Melissa James

I'm thrilled to announce that my latest interview is with Australian author Melissa James.

Please will you tell us about your latest book?
Outback Baby Miracle began as a story requested by readers of my first book - Her Galahad; Duncan's story. Unfortunately it didn't sell there - but when I pitched a similar story to Romance, they loved it. It's the story about a man who feels responsible for the deaths of his wife and child, and the woman who doesn't know the meaning of the word "distance". Her pregnancy forces him to come close; her giving heart and soul make him yearn to be more - a better man. It was a very emotional journey for me, as my beloved critique partner Maryanne suddenly passed away in the middle of writing it, and the grief overwhelmed me. My dear friend, and now critique partner, Rachel helped me through, as well as my other dear friends.

How long have you been writing and what made you start?

I started in 1991, when my husband brought home an article on romance writers and encouraged me to try it. I was soon hooked!
It was kind of surreal, really.

Many people spend a long time finding an agent. Can you tell us about your agent hunt?
Through a friend's recommendation one agent offered representation, and I was about to sign with them when I got an email. I'd finalled in the Romance Junkies contest and the final judge, Deidre Knight, asked me for the rest of the book, she loved it that much. I emailed the agent I was in negotiations with, and let her know what was happening (she'd said historicals weren't her thing, and if I found an agent who loved them, quickly, I had her blessing). I sent the full to Deidre and she offered representation 3 days later. It was totally amazing and a bit intimidating, really, but I feel I made the right decision. Deidre and I mesh well personally and professionally! She's fantastic to work with.

Everyone loves a good call story. Can you tell us yours?
My call story...hmmm. I won the RWNZ Clendon Award in 2000 with a book then called Dark Knight, and Leslie Wainger asked for revisions to buy it for Intimate Moments. I did them, sent it in, got an agent in the interim and he called me on Dec 1, 2000. I danced around the house with my mother while my then agent was still on the phone! He told my former editor, who was quite sad - her dream is to get someone who doesn't care about being cool and professional when she calls. :-))))

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Don't be the next so-and-so who's already at the top of her game - be yourself, the best YOU that you can be, and don't be afraid to write something others say won't sell. I think about 27 people said that about Her Galahad...:-)))

Can you tell us what you're working on now and what books you have coming out in the future?

I've sent in 3 ideas to my editor in London via my agent, and in the meantime I'm working on revisions to my historical - it's a Georgian historical set in 1803, just before the resumption of war. It's the first in a series I'm planning, about the spies that risked their lives to save England from Napoleon's planned invasion, and the men and women who bring them to their knees.

Thank you so much, Melissa, for sparing the time to be interviewed. I really appreciate it.

Melissa James is a born-and-bred Sydneysider now living about an hour north of the city with her husband and three kids, in a small bayside suburb not far from some of the best beaches in the country. She started writing when her husband brought home an article on what a local romance author earned and she thought, “I can do that!” 7 years and 2 genre-switching attempts later she returned to romance, won the Romance Writers of New Zealand’s Clendon Award in 2000, picked up an agent and within three months got her first call, selling to Intimate Moments (now Silhouette Romantic Suspense). Two years later, feeling tired of dark stories, she re-wrote a goofy comedy she had on file, sent it in and sold to Silhouette Romance. It was the best career move of her life. From that her career changed direction to Mills & Boon/Harlequin Romance, writing deeply emotional stories, and she’s never been happier. A full-time writer, she spends her days working out character motivations and the unusual storylines that are her byword at Romance. In between times, she’s writing dark, lush, sexy historical romances set in the pre-war days of Georgian England, about a group of spies who give their all to save their country from Bonaparte’s coming invasion. Jumping genres and time zones suits her frustrated time-travel nature perfectly!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Morning or night.....

What's your preference?

I'm an absolute morning person. I get up early (usually by 5.45 - but I've been awake longer) and I'm bright and cheerful and drive all my night time (don't talk to me until at least 10am) friends crazy.

And it dawned on me the other day, while talking to someone on the other side of the world who was working through the night, that I've never pulled an all nighter (not counting partying, obviously).

Even when studying for exams at Uni, I would get up and start at 7am, work through until 7pm (with lots of breaks) and then relax. Whereas, some of my friends wouldn't get up and start work until 2pm and work until 2 the following morning. Arrggh, the thought of it sends shivers up and down my spine.

I guess it helps that I don't need a lot of sleep. I probably average about 5 hours a night (unfortunately not all in one go, as I never sleep right through).

So, what about you - what's your best time of day?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yes...... it's happened again

What is it about me, that every few weeks I get tagged. This time, my very good friend and crit partner, Amanda, has tagged me to write 10 quirky things/facts/strange facts about myself, then tag 10 friends. Okay... here goes:

1. Despite having owned a dishwasher for over fifteen years, I still get a flutter of excitement when I open it and see everything is clean and sparkling (I'm writing this thinking omg what a weirdo!!!).

2. I regularly put something on the hob to cook, forget about it and go out (in fact I did this again today when I went out for a blood test).

3. When I was 13 during sewing lessons, I finished what I was making and said to the teacher: 'What shall I make next?' and she said to me: 'Bring a book and don't waste your parents money'.

4. Both times I was pregnant I ate 3 kingsize Mars Bars a day (and I don't even like Mars Bars).

5. I said my first word when I was 6 months (hello was the word) and I haven't stopped talking since!

6. My sporting claim to fame was beating the best tennis player in the school (and she also played for the county). The fact that I only won because of her errors, and not my skill, has nothing to do with it.

7. I have danced on the West End stage at the London Palladium - okay... I'll own up, I was on a tour of the theatre and we were allowed on the stage!

8. I stopped swearing in front of the children when my daughter at age 18 months sat up in her cot and said: 'for fuck's sake'.

9. I am such a list freak that I add things to my list after I've done them just so I cross them off.

10. I'm still trying to think of another one.... I'll update later - Desperate Housewives is just about to start


I still haven't thought of a number 10..... I also forgot to tag anyone.... rather than name names I'll let you decide, but don't forget to tell me.....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Presenting..... Bev Katz Rosenbaum

I was so excited when Bev agreed to be interviewed. I think the premise for her book is awesome..... and isn't the cover to die for???

Please tell us about your latest book:
I Was a Teenage Pospicle features Floe Ryan, a cryonically preserved Venice Beach teen and the first human to be 'thawed', who is forced to go live with her younger (now older) sister. (Payback's a beyotch.) It's a super-fun (IMHO!) mix of sci-fi, teen chick lit, romantic comedy and action adventure. (Re the latter: Floe has to keep the cryonics center, where her parents are still, um, chilling, from being shut down.)

How long have you been writing and what made you start?
I've always written stories, just never thought real people could write for a living. So I didn't--until I worked as an editor at a publishing house and saw that writers were real people. I began to think, Hey, maybe I should give it a shot...

Many people spend a long time finding an agent. Can you tell us about your agent hunt?
I'd had a couple of romance novels published without an agent, but I wanted to submit my YA novels through an agent. I got my first agent fairly quickly--probably too quickly. Didn't do enough research. I'm on my second agent now. Even after I Was a Teenage Popsicle was published, it wasn't easy. I only approached four, though. This time I did a lot of research and had a short list. My current agent is one of the four who were on that list. (The other three liked my writing but turned me down anyway! Gotta love this business...)

Everyone loves a good call story. What was yours?
When my first romance novel was published, I was still working as an editor, so it wasn't a call, it was a knock on my office door! I remember practically floating home. There's something really special about getting that first book deal. After my second romance novel was published, in 2004, I decided I really wanted to concentrate on YA, my true love. I had never worked with YA books, so there was a big learning curve. When I got the call from my first agent, with his offer of representation, I was thrilled. I was starting over, and it was great to know a YA specialist thought he could sell my book!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Don't give up after a few rejections. Even multi-published authors get ideas and books rejected. (You just don't hear about this--it's all about the spin, baby!)

Can you tell us about what you're working on now and what books are coming out in the future?
Right now I'm slammed with revisions on Beyond Cool, which is due to be released in August of this year. I'm waiting to hear from Berkley about another book, also a funny (light) paranormal, and I'm also working on a proposal for a tween series.

Thank you so much, Bev, for taking the time to be interviewed. It's been such a pleasure.

Bev Katz Rosenbaum is the author of I Was a Teenage Popsicle and the upcoming Beyond Cool. A former fiction and magazine editor, Bev hopes to channel her inner sixteen-year-old for many years to come. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Please visit Bev at her web site,, or her myspace page,

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thought for the day....

What goes around, comes around.

Or does it?

And do we really want it to?

Okay, enough philosophical thought, it's not good for me.

Except.... I got to thinking, after going through 18 months when we've been screwed in separate instances by both our lawyer and accountant (or should I say ex-lawyer and ex-accountant), and consoling myself with the view that 'what goes around comes around', do I really believe that and what exactly do I want to happen?

If the saying is true, then I don't think you can be discerning when it comes to specifying what 'comes around'. As much as I feel nothing but bad thoughts for our ex-accountant, I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to him and his family - like serious illness. So, what do I want to happen??? A bit of financial hardship, maybe.... losing his clients..... but then that impacts on his family.... see what I mean?

Then, of course, there is the nagging thought at the back of my mind... what did we do that meant things like this 'came around' to us? Well, I can't think of anything....

So.... what do you think? Truth in the saying, or something we say to make ourselves feel better?

And while we're on deep thinking..... I have a theory about glass half full/empty and trust... but I'll save that for another post... I need to lie down in a darkened room and allow my intellect to recover from over exertion.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Presenting..... Abby Gaines

It gives me great pleasure to introduce this weeks author, Abby Gaines. I have just finished her debut book Whose Lie Is It Anyway, and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a totally fab read, and kept me glued to my seat.

Tell us about your latest book 'Whose Lie Is It Anyway?'

The heroine, Holly, is a squeaky-clean accountant who's acc
used of fraud and is forced to take a job working for Jared, a man who'll break every rule in the book. They're total opposites, both very strong-willed, and both live by their own codes of honor - which gives plenty of scope for humor in the story. it's a fun read, but I like to think there's also quite a lot of emotional depth! The book is published by Harlequin Superromance (Mills & Boon Superromance in Aus/NZ), and is available now.

How long have you been writing and what made you start?

I've been writing, um (counting on fingers), nearly six and a half years. Yikes! Actually, I wrote my first romance novel when I was a teenager. I sent it to Mills & Boon, where I imagine some poor assistant editor probably died laughing at my efforts. Years later, after I had my first child, I began working as a freelance business journalist. After a while I started to think about other ways to use my writing abilities, and remembered my former love of romance novels. I went to a romance conference, bought the how-to books, and started from there.

Many people spend a long time finding an agent, can you tell us about your agent hunt?

I queried a lot of agents after I finished my first book, and had a little bit of interest...but no actual offer of representation. Every so often I tried again with my favored few, to no avail. They I struck gold - an offer of representation from a junior agent at a top agency. I was over the moon!

Sadly, I realized in less than a year that the situation wasn't working. I think the agent and I just didn't click in terms of our expectations. I ended the relationship, and although it left me agentless, felt very relieved. Since then, I've found that most of the writers I've talked to have felt that for whatever reason they made the wrong choice with their first agent, and it took a second go to get it right. The same applied to me. When I had an offer of publication from Superromance, I emailed five agents to see if they were interested. Two weren't, one was but it became clear she wouldn't have time to respond within my timeframe, and I began discussions with the other two. I quickly settled on my final choice, we both made our expectations clear, and it's working very well.

Everyone loves a good call story, what was yours?

I'd had revisions requested from Superromance, and I'd submitted those and was waiting with great hope...I felt as if I was getting encouraging noises from the editorial team. Then I finaled in the Golden Heart, so I emailed the editor to tell her the good news. That was on the weekend, so I was hopeful I'd get The Call early the next week...some might say foolishly optimistic...

On Monday, my 10-year-old daughter asked me, "When do you think you'll sell a book?" My usual answer to this question was either "I don't know" or "Probably never". But this time said, "I think it'll be this week." wasn't.

But the next week, the phone rang about 6:30pm Monday New York time, and my brain automatically calculated it couldn't possibly be an editor was!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Never believe that you can't write anything better than the book you've just finished, because you can - you'll be amazed by how much better you'll get, if you're willing to work at it. Which brings me to my next point: never, ever, ever give up.

Can you tell us about what you're working on now and what books are coming out in the future?

I have another Superromance out in April (USA and Aus/NZ), called Married by Mistake. It's about a bride who's jilted on a reality TV show, and an unexpected groom steps in...

In May, my first release from Harlequin NASCAR, Back on Track, is out in the USA, and it should be in NZ a month or two later. That's a fun book about a charming, playboy NASCAR driver and the sport psychologist who's hired to whip him into shape out on the track. She gets into his head and his heart way more than he ever wanted...

Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed, Abby. I know you're going to have a long and successful career.

Abby Gaines writes funny, tender romances for Harlequin Superromance and Harlequin NASCAR. She sold her first book in 2006, after nearly six years of really was a dream come true.


Alyssa, tagged me. And, of course, I couldn't refuse even though it's a weird one!!!


2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first three letters of your name, plus izzle)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three of your last)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)
Pink Dog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, Street you live on):
Dani Havelock

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom’s maiden name)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (favorite color, favorite drink)
Pink Ginger

8. YOUR STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/body spray)

9. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father’s middle name)
Mryna Martin

Anyone else feel like taking the challenge?

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