Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Kristy Brown

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Kristy Brown! Author of The Summer Solstice series.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was a teen, I wrote lots of poetry and short stories, but I ended up falling in love with drama. I studied acting at university. After having my first child I started writing again. A short story turned into my first book, KIERA’S QUEST, a Middle Grade fantasy series. I haven’t stopped writing since. 

What time of the day do you usually write? 

I usually write when the husband and kids are at work/ school/ college. I need total silence. Normally I try to fit in two to three hours a day. 

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

If I’m to be honest the characters usually come first and I build the world around them. There was lots of world building in Kiera’s Quest as it happens across different magical realms. 

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?  

All my books are special to me for different reasons. I love Summer, Alex and Andi in Summer’s End. I love the magical romance in Cinderfella, a modern-day retelling with all roles reversed. Kiera’s Quest was an adventure as I could go mad with my imagination creating new creatures and worlds. Just Sam was the easiest to write as there’s a lot of my personality in it. For instance, Sam loves tennis, as do I (watching, not playing!) She loves Disney and I love a bit of that! My problem is that I can’t seem to stick to a genre. I write whatever may pop into my head. 

What book is currently by your bedside table? 

Flock by Kate Stewart. 

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? 

Yes, I love talking to them. Mostly it’s positive asking me to continue with a series etc. 

Favorite book when you were a kid? 

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl because I have fond memories of my grandad reading it to me and chuckling all the way through. 

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be? 

Honest. Caring. Creative. 

What advice would you give to other authors? 

Read as much as possible. Edit as much as possible. Get a thick skin because not every reader will like your work. 

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

That I love writing each one and hope that the reader finds something to love too. 

I’m currently writing a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet…watch this space 😊 

 

Thank you Kristy Brown for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series today!

~Synopsis~

YA Paranormal Romance

She wakes up in the hospital, badly burned with no identity.
He’s been trained to kill her before she burns the world to ashes.
When they finally meet, will he be able to take her life now that he’s started to feel for her?
His fate is already written.
The prophecy is already set.
Love between them is forbidden.

Hi I’m Kristy and I live in the U.K. I have always written short stories and poetry. I went to university to study acting which I loved, but my real passion has always been writing. So, now I write the kind of stories I would have wanted to read as a teen. “Kiera’s Quest- part one & two,” a Middle-grade/ teen fantasy series, is now available on e-book and paperback. If you like shape shifters, magical realms and a chosen one, then this may be for you!
My YA contemporary romance book, “Just Sam,” about a young tennis star who loses someone important and has to trust in life and love again, is available on Amazon in print & on Kindle, as is my YA/NA fairy-tale retelling, “Cinderfella.”​ Cinderfella has all roles reversed and is aimed slightly older, as there is a little passion and darkness to this tale, but still keeps the magic of the original.
I also have a YA Paranormal Romance trilogy, ‘The Summer Solstice series.’ “Summer’s End,” book one, “Summer’s Lost” (2) and “Summer’s Time,” are all available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited, as are all my titles. I love reading of course. I have lots of new projects in mind, and I’m currently working on a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristyBrownWrites/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nAKk7O

Author Spotlight · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Ariel Dawn

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ariel Dawn! Her upcoming release, Hecate (Speed Dating with the Denizens of the Underworld Book 6) is releasing June 28th 2022.

Congrats on hitting the USA Today best selling list!!

What inspired you to start writing?

I’d always wanted to be an author. I can remember being younger and thinking one day I’ll write a book. Even then I was inspired by love and love stories, and some of my first writings were love poems and fanfiction. I’ve always been a dreamer, and always constructed stories and epic daydreams in my head. It just took me 35 years to put those stories on paper and realize they could be published, and that I had the drive to actually finish a story and see it through to publication.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I write on my couch. I have a desk, in fact I have a studio downstairs in my house that is a stocked art studio, with shelves and great lighting…but I write on my couch under a blanket, usually with a big cup of coffee beside me.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

It’s almost a little impossible for me to NOT soak up some of the characters I write. Especially the ones that I feel a connection to, like Ava, Jade, or Ketra. Those 3 are probably the most vivd to me, and writing them can sometimes be very taxing on me emotionally, and when I find myself soaking up too much of those moments, too much of their drama, I usually take a break or hop into another book, or read someone else’s book to reroute my brain a bit.

But for me I think what impacts me the most, if when I’m in the zone, I tend to hyperfixate. When I was writing Blood & Lust, I wrote for nearly 5 days straight. I slept, but not well because my mind was racing with the next chapter almost non-stop. When I get like that, I build in breaks to my schedule for rest. Shut my phone off and zone out with some Netflix, take a nap.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I wrote and published 8 books in 2021. So far in 2022, I have published 3, but I’ve written quite a few. I’m on track to publish 15 books for 2022 total, and I’m going to be starting work on my 2023 books soon, and there is a lot for 2023 as well.

If I had to pick ONE, I’d say In The Blood (or literally ANY of the Ava Crowley books) is my favorite, but Hollow’s Sunset (well, the whole Shifters of Starfall Creek Series, really) is a really close second.

In The Blood gets the number 1 spot because I’m a vampire girl at heart, and In The Blood is inspired by a lot of my favorite vampires ad vampire media. It’s the one I am most proud of, and Ava & Cas are my favorite to write because they really come so naturally and easily to me, and they are really great characters on their own as well as together.

Hollow’s Sunset is the second book in my co-written Shifters of Starfall Creek Series with Quell T. Fox, and the series was a milestone series for me for a number of reasons. It was my first shifter story, my first reverse harem story, my first crack at writing steamier material, my first time writing spicy m/m scenes (and group scenes). Hollow’s Sunset is my favorite out of the series because I really started to explore more m/m romance, and was much more confident in writing steam, plus there is a lot of really great character development and action in it. Even though I didn’t write him, Dustin is my favorite, and he really opens up in the second book, which I loved!

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

First off, Quell T. Fox. If I hadn’t met Quell and started co-writing with her, I would never have gotten so comfortable writing steam and spice this fast, that I know. Before I started writing with her, I could barely write the word cock, and I’d never written anything other than M/F. Writing with her really helped me learn firsthand where my strengths and weaknesses were, and her support as I found my footing and got more comfortable writing reverse harem, steam, spice, and conflict has definitely made a huge impact on my writing.

I also have to shout out C. Rochelle and AJ Mullican for their constant support and the role they play when it comes to my writing. Especially when I hit those roadblocks in the steam and conflict department. Both of them were authors I started reading in the very beginning of my author career and they continue to be two of my favorite authors, and are both amazing writers as well as amazing people.

What was the highlight of writing your latest book?

The latest book coming out, Hecate which comes out in just a few days- the highlight of that book had to be the steam for me. It’s my first book in a shared world, and I was writing it while I wrote the Shifters of Starfall Creek with Quell, and I got to really explore writing an alphahole and writing something on the steamier side solo.

The latest book I WROTE- was A Dark & Stormy Night, and the highlight of that for me was writing my first F/F romance. Dark & Stormy is a menage romance with f/f romance in it, and after writing m/m romance I was really excited to tackle a MFF pairing.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I have a literal STACK of books my bedside table, on my coffee table, on the floor in front of my bookshelves… but the NEWEST book to my coffee table stash is New Orleans Vampires by Marita Woywod Crandle. I picked it up on my recent trip to New Orleans after learning about some of the local vampire legends.

Do you have any new series planned?

I have many!

This year I am releasing Heaven Knows, which is the first book in my Lost Souls Series, and Voices In The Dark which is the first book in my Monsters of Ashwood Series.

Next year I plan on releasing my Lunar Mates Series, as well as my Merciless Gods Series, and I have another Ava Crowley spinoff series in the works which follows the male hunters from the Ava Crowley Vampire Slayer Series!

What advice would you give to other authors?

Just write. Don’t worry about polishing or making it perfect on the first go around. Just write. You can always go in after you finish to clean everything up and revise, but getting the words out is the most important thing. And even if you don’t like it after you’ve polished, revised, edited- that doesn’t mean your readers won’t love it. In fact, I guarantee that even if you can’t stand the book and see all its flaws they will still love it and think it’s amazing. Because YOU wrote it, and they love what you write!

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I love love. I write and will always continue to write inclusive, diverse characters in my stories and represent all the facets of love I can. Whether that be F/F, M/M, MFM, MMMF, and others. I will always feature characters with complex backgrounds and plots, and will continue to write all steam levels. I will always write strong female characters as well as vulnerable and strong male characters and build the most vivid worlds I can for you to escape into.

Thank you Ariel Dawn for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Preorder her upcoming release, Hecate today!

~Synopsis~

Sometimes you need to unleash the beast inside…

Cate’s solitary life as a goddess is turned upside down when she agrees to attend a speed dating event with her mortal friend. When she’s paired with Gunner—a shifter with an attitude—sparks fly, and she soon finds herself entangled in a fate she cannot fight. The night will not last forever, and she must find a way to set Gunner’s caged spirit free.

Can Cate fulfill her duty and link her destiny with his—before time runs out?

Hecate is book six in the Speed Dating with the Denizens of the Underworld shared world, filled with badass witchy goddesses, broody shifters, and more.

It’s always darkest before the dawn…

USA Today Bestselling Author Ariel Dawn grew up as an avid reader and is a creative soul.

Ariel writes plot driven paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and reverse harem and hopes to venture into many other genres in the future. When she isn’t writing, she can be found cosplaying, attending conventions, swimming with her mermaid tail, creating all sorts of artwork in her studio, or editing photos for her photography business. A self-professed geek and foodie, she loves hanging out with family and friends and playing video games and board games with her retro gamer husband.

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Leila James

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Leila James! Her newest book, Sweet Punk (Shadow River Elite Book 3) released on June 2nd 2022.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always loved to read and three years ago I’d arrived at a place in my life where I was looking for a creative outlet. It started as a bit of a hobby, but I quickly became invested in what I was doing. One book turned into a five book series. That was where I started—I was writing under another name in small-town steamy contemporary back then.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have a very hard time writing without cover images. The images tell me a lot about the characters and the story. For that reason, I always try to have my covers first. I plaster the images everywhere—a couple of places in my office, my phone lock and home screens, my iPad, my computer …

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I let it overtake me. It’s the only way through it. So, that means sometimes I cry a lot. And then there are those times when I’m stuck in a scene for days. Lemme tell ya, it’s rough to be stuck in a sexy scene for that long.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Under Leila James, fourteen. Under my other pen name, twenty-two (Amanda Bailey – you can tell them if you want) Asking me to choose a favorite is like asking me to choose a favorite child. No can do. I like them all for different reasons and connect with each character in a different way. 😉

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

In the beginning? Nora Roberts. Colleen Hoover.  Now? Anything Ashley Jade or Angel Lawson or Samantha Rue or Rachel Leigh or Becca Steele or Caitlyn Dare. 🙂

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? 

Sometimes! I get an occasional email and try to respond to those personally. My ARC and Street teams are probably my biggest fans. They talk to me all the time. I also have a great reader group on Facebook.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

No physical book, but my iPhone Kindle App is currently on Filthy Rich Boys by C.M. Stunich.

Do you have any new series planned?

Yes, but only my editor, alpha reader, and critique partners know anything about it yet. It’s due out in October. Look for a series reveal in mid-August.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Honestly, I haven’t thought about it for even a second. I’m not one for Pinterest boards or anything like that. Once the cover model is in my head, that’s it. Maybe I’ve never thought about it like that because I tend to be very practical and right now, one of my books being made into a movie seems like a farfetched fantasy.

What advice would you give to other authors?

There are many different ways to write and to publish a book. Study what others do, but do it your own way. Stop. Evaluate what’s working … and what’s not. 

 What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

All I’ve ever wanted is for people to read and enjoy them. I hope through my books, I help those who need it find an escape.

 

Thank you Leila James for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Sweet Punk today!

~Synopsis~

The sweet punk across the hall has my undivided attention.

He’s inked perfection.
Totally unattainable.
He’s hiding something behind his quiet demeanor.
But I’ve got trouble of my own. The dangerous kind.
He wants all of me, but he doesn’t know my whole story.
And I will walk through fire to keep him.

WARNING: Shadow River Elite is a New Adult/College series of standalones filled with drama, angst, and bad boys. If you’re not into romances where hate turns into love, and tortured souls find their match, this might not be the series for you. This series is recommended for mature readers due to graphic language, dark elements, and sexual content.

Leila James has one goal: keeping you up past your bedtime turning the pages of her books. She writes emotional, angsty, and swoon-worthy new adult romances with lots of unique characters and plot twists.

Leila’s family will tell you she’s as big a reader as she is a writer. And … she’s completely obsessed with both. She resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.

Website: https://www.leilajames.biz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.leilajames

Facebook Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leilaslovesandbullybadboys

Instagram: @author_leilajames

TikTok: @author_leilajames

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Leila-James/e/B08P2LJVRV

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20933618.Leila_James

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/leila-james

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring A.D. Luna

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is A.D. Luna! Her debut book, Spellbound released in the Magic & Malice Anthology on May 15h 2022.

Congrats on your new release! How has the new release been going for you?

It’s been going great so far! I love all the excitement over Eli, Shayna and the rest of the Aldridge Crew and can’t wait to get the next book out!

How long have you been writing?

I have been publishing for 2  years, but I’ve been writing all my life. I started my author journey in 2020 and have been writing under another pen name, one that focuses more on steamy adult romance. This year I officially started releasing books under A.D. Luna as well, shifting the focus to YA and adult clean romance.

Describe a typical writing day.

I usually do a lot of administrative author things during the day, and write at night after my husband goes to bed. I sprint with other authors sometimes, and sometimes I just work solo, but either work I usually get in anywhere from 100-1500 words in whenever I sit down and write. I try to write every day, even if it is just a little bit.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I’m a fangirl at heart and an avid reader. My inspiration mostly comes from a love for fandoms and my eclectic tastes in literature, but it isn’t so much the story that comes to me first as it is the characters. I get an idea for a character, and then I figure out where they fit in the world, what kind of world it is. At the heart of my books, it’s about the characters, their emotions, relationships, their struggles and victories. Their awkward moments we can all relate to.

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I hope readers can relate to these characters and their experiences, whether they are adults or teenagers. I hope that they find the world of Aldridge and all it’s magic entertaining.

What is the significance of the title?

Shayna is a mortal who embarks on a journey to a magic academy. While she possesses a rare kind of magic to Aldrigde (mortal magic, in which she can see and speak to the dead), there is a lot she needs to learn. Spellbound is what she ease- bound to learn how to control and wield the magic in herself, but also to see the magic in others like Eli.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Imaginative, Romantic, and Caffeinated.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

I loved the challenge of writing a romance without heavy steam. I really enjoyed writing Eli’s character the most.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I am currently working on many projects, the majority for my other pen name, but I do have some projects you should look out for!

The sequel to Spellbound! Eli, Shayna, and the Scooby Gang will return in Bewitched! It will be released early 2023.

I’m also working on another series that will debut next year, The Royal Hearts Series. It is a duology, the first book will follow Harlow, a modern day princess and her quest to find a suitor on a bachelor-esque reality show. Think the Selection meets The Bachelor and The Princess Diaries. The first book is Crown Royale.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I always used to think I couldn’t do this. There were lots of reasons why, aside from worrying about whether or not I could finish a project, or write a book. Many of the things that worried me, like if I would be good, if people liked it…all those what if’s are what held me back. Finally, I said to myself why not? I decided to try anyway, because I wanted to say that I did it. I got published, and if all I ever wrote was one short story, I’d be good. I could cross it off my bucket list.

My advice would be to take the what if’s out of it. If you want to write, write. Do it because you want to, because it makes you happy, and I guarantee you’ll never regret it. And if you love what you write, chances are others will too.

 What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I will always be a fan of love, of adventure, and of perseverance, and those things will always be a part of my books. I believe in inclusion and will always feature diverse characters and worlds in my books. At the heart of all my stories, steamy and clean, it’s about connection and acceptance within ourselves as much as it is with others and the world. I want to tell stories that lift you up, give you a little bit of escape, and remind you that there is magic everywhere. Especially within yourself.

 

 

Thank you A.D. Luna for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Spellbound today!

~Synopsis~

Shayna
All my life I’ve been different. For starters, my family are vampires, and I am a human who can see and talk to the dead. I also have a natural ability for witchcraft. An ability that’s landed me at the most prestigious wizarding academy around.
But when I set foot on the ground of Aldridge Academy in the middle of the night after being whisked away, I know there’s more to the story, and I intend to figure it out.
Eli
My life has always been about the end game. A fourth-generation wizard with gifts like mine means I’m on a path not many will follow. It also means I’m an outsider, especially among the students at Aldridge. I’m used to being alone, with only my magic and mountains of paperwork to keep my company.
At least I thought I was. Until Aldridge gets a new student.

A.D. Luna writes YA Fantasy & Paranormal, Rom-Com, Cozy Mystery, and Clean Romance.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorA.D.Luna

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authoradluna

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-d-luna

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Emily James

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

Joining us today is Emily James! Author of The Love in Short series .

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi!

I’m Emily James, author of spicy romantic comedy books.

As a mother of three humans and two fur babies, life is very busy but writing helps keep me (semi) sane.  I’ve written ten romcoms and have many more planned. 

I love food (though my skills in the kitchen are average at best—I once accidentally baked a pair of kitchen scissors), crafting, and changing the colour scheme of our home not less than annually (which drives my poor hubs utterly bonkers with all the added DIY it adds to his list). 

Mostly, I can be found going on long walks with our dogs along the Jurassic Coast near our house in the south of England or devouring books on the patio in our garden (when the wet British weather allows) or jotting down plots in my impressive collection of notebooks (more than 100!). 

I adore hearing from readers and can be found on FB, Insta and TikTok.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been plotting books my whole life and have journals filled with story ideas but the first finished story I remember was one I wrote in middle school. My main character was Tammie Tomato and it was about her capers in the supermarket after closing time. Honestly, it was pretty terrible so these days I stick to writing about real women and their hot love interests.

Describe a typical writing day.

After I have delivered my children at their various schools, I make a huge cup of tea and sit at my desk with Smooth Radio playing in the background. On my best days, 10,000 words will fly from my fingers as if by magic, other days it’s more like 2,000. Thankfully I have not yet been hit by the dreaded writer’s block.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I am fortunate to live in a culture rich part of the world which is a mix of rural and urban. From Stone Henge, to Corfe Castle and beautiful beaches, busy towns and idyllic countryside, cool settings are literally at my fingertips. 
People fascinate me and the more eccentric or unusual they are, the more I like them. I’m also naturally quite curious (aka nosey 😜). I devour conversations, television and social media like a starved woman at a buffet. I’m constantly asking “what if” and like to inject crazy scenarios into the mundane—the more madcap the better! 
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
My books are all feel good fun with spicy, flirtatious romance at their hearts. Mostly, I hope they lift some of life’s stress away and leave a smile on my readers lips.
What is the significance of the title?
The titles to my books are all a fun nudge in the direction of my favourite question, “what if…”
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Fun, mischievous and a little loopy 🤪
What was the highlight of writing this book?
When a person reaches out to tell me my book made them laugh out loud or they leave a review that says they swooned or had All. The. Feels, I’m elated. There is no better feeling in the world. 
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I’m in the early stages of plotting a small town romcom series with interconnected characters. It’s going to be super hot and funny but it’s too early to give you much dirt at the moment. Watch this space!
What advice would you give to other authors?
Keep going! It sometimes feels like a lonely trip in which you spend long hours talking to yourself but holding your finished book in your hands is worth all the tears.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I bring the fun 🤩! My books are a lighthearted, romantic flash of respite in a sometimes stressful and too serious world.

 

Thank you Emily James for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her books today!


~Synopsis~

10 Dates

When Joanie’s flaky fiancé puts their wedding on the back burner, her friends take matters into their own hands. Ten blind dates in as many days seems like an outrageous idea — but is it just zany enough to help Joanie find true love?

10 Dares

When Melinda’s stress starts to get the better of her, her friends come up with an idea to put the fun back into friendship — but will ten dares help her loosen up and find love, or might they just send her over the edge?

10 Lies

When Katie wins a luxury holiday, she figures a little R & R time is just what she needs.

Enter Jackson Quinn, the hot doctor who she’ll probably never see again. There’s no harm in a few tall tales told to a holiday fling, is there?

Until he shows up on her home turf.

Can Katie cover her tracks or will Jackson be her undoing?

THE POWER OF TEN is a three book collection of hilarious romantic comedies that grab you by the collar and don’t let go. They are best enjoyed by readers over the age of 18 due to mature content.

Readers who like Christina Hovland, Meghan Quinn, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips will LOVE Emily James.

Some say Emily James is a British author who writes fun and sexy romance novels. Others say she is utterly bonkers and should pipe down a bit. No matter which camp you’re in, no one can deny that a little love and laughter makes every day better so if you haven’t tried her work yet, give it a go. It might just leave you with a smile on your face and a puddle in your pants!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tendates

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emily_james_author/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@emilyjamesauthor

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Rob Samborn

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Rob Samborn! His debut novel, The Prisoner of Paradise: A Dual-Timeline Thriller Set in Venice (Painted Souls Book 1) released on November 30th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Like many authors, I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, but professionally (or with professional aspirations), for about twenty years. My professional writing training and education is in screenwriting. I’ve written nine feature scripts, as well as some TV pilots, shorts and work-for-hire projects. I’m also a script doctor. Though I still work on screenplays, I transitioned to novels about seven years ago.

Describe a typical writing day.

This has changed considerably since the release of my first book, The Prisoner of Paradise, in Nov. 2021. My second book, Painter of the Damned, releases on Oct. 25, 2022. Nowadays, beyond my day job, about 80% of my writing day is filled up with book marketing and promotion activities, as well as editing and/or prep for my next release. I often don’t start on actual writing until 9:00 at night!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

For all my book and script ideas, I get inspiration from everywhere. It could be a real event or person, something I see, a theme, or ideas that pop into my head for characters or plot. I have a list of over 100 different story ideas.

For my current books, which are a series, they’re all inspired by the same idea. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of soul mates—the connection between two people that goes beyond physical attraction or shared interests, etc. And this doesn’t need to be between people who are romantically involved. It can definitely be felt between friends. Oftentimes, it’s an immediate, unexplainable connection. I’ve always wanted to explore that theme in a story.

On a trip to Venice, I was captivated with paintings by a Renaissance master named Jacopo Tintoretto. Many of his paintings are massive in scale, and includes dozens, and sometimes, hundreds of people. The paintings of these people are portraits in their own right and the people run the gamut in terms of race, gender, age, social class, etc. I started wondering where he got his inspiration from. Of course, artists use models, but he would’ve had a line of people out his door.

All of these people have truly been immortalized. They’re still there, plain as day, hanging on a museum wall.

From there, I married this concept of immortalization through art with my fascination with soul mates. I thought, maybe it’s their souls that are captured in the paintings. And a story was born…

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I want readers to be captivated with the characters and go on what is often a heart-wrenching journey. I want them to have a thrilling escape while they’re reading, but there’s also a decent amount of history and art, so if people learn something, I’d love that, as well. And as a take away, I hope they want to read the next book!

What is the significance of the title?

The Prisoner of Paradise actually has different meanings and people will need to read the book to find out. However, the obvious significance is that it revolves around Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting. This real-life painting has hundreds of people in it. In my book, one of these people is a woman whose soul has been imprisoned in the two-dimensional canvas as a purgatory of sorts.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

A huge amount. Though my book takes place in the real world in real places, not everybody is familiar with Venice, Italy. So, it was very important for me to not only establish that world but continue building it as the story goes. It also takes place in the present and 16th century, so I need to build the 16th century world.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

There are obvious career highlights – getting an agent, signing with the publisher, release of the book. Post release, whenever someone says they love my book, that’s a highlight that never gets old. And during the writing process, I love writing a scene and then when I reread it, I know it’s something special.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I’m currently working on the third book in the series, which will be released in 2023.

What advice would you give to other authors?

For aspiring authors who haven’t been published yet, my advice is to never stop learning your craft, never stop reading, and never stop learning about the industry. Writers need to realize and accept this is a business. You’re creating a product to sell in a marketplace.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

That my books are escapist thrill rides set in the real world. If you love thrillers or historical mysteries and want to go on a journey unlike any you’ve read or seen, I think you’ll love my books.

 

Thank you Rob Samborn for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out The Prisoner of Paradise today!

~Synopsis~

A disembodied whisper.
A soul mate murdered in 1589.
An ancient order that will kill to silence the truth.

AMERICAN WRITING AWARDS FINALIST (THRILLERS/ADVENTURES)

Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting.

Though Julia worries her husband suffers from a delusion, Nick is adamant the voice belongs to a woman from the 16th century—his soul mate from a previous life. He discovers a religious order that has developed a method of extracting people’s souls, which they imprison in Paradise. Over the centuries, they’ve judged thousands of souls and sentenced them to eternal purgatory.

As infatuation with the past clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick must right an age-old wrong—destroy the painting and liberate his soul mate. But freeing her would allow all the souls to be reborn.

The order will never let that happen.

A riveting thriller ignites with a time-spanning love story. Perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman or David Mitchell.

In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them  and studied nine languages. As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.

Website: www.robsamborn.com 

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RobSambornAuthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobSamborn 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robsamborn/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-samborn/  

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@robsamborn 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21829341.Rob_Samborn 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rob-samborn

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring S.L. Choi

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is S.L. Choi! Her debut book, Bad Girls Drink Blood (Blood Fae Druid Book 1) released on May 17th 2022.

Congrats on your new release! How has the new release been going for you?

Thank you! And thank you so much for all of your support. How has it been going? CRAZY!!! Everyone warned me, but I was not prepared lol

How long have you been writing?

I’m sure everyone says this, but as far back as I can remember. I wrote poetry when I was younger. A LOT of poetry. Teens are just a giant ball of emotions. They feel everything so intensely, and poetry was my outlet.

I’ve always written little bits of stories here and there, but I didn’t try to take an idea from start to finish until the last few years.

Describe a typical writing day.

Wake up. Tend to my furry overlords. Drink coffee. Stare at the computer. Drink more coffee.  It sounds like I’m making a joke, but that is pretty much my day. Though, I am typing/editing/working social media during the staring phase.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Another cliché answer, but everywhere! This book was a line that popped into my head while driving down the road.

Now that I think about it, a lot of my ideas come to me while I’m driving – aka the worst possible time! I’ve pulled over so many times to ensure I didn’t lose an idea.

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I wish I had a deep, thought-provoking statement to give you, but really, I just want my readers to feel compelled to turn the pages and have a great time. 

WAIT! I take that back. The thing I love about urban fantasy (and my favorite series) are the ones where I feel like I can drive to the location and find the characters, or at least find where they are hanging out. I’d love it if someone was driving down the Strip and said that’s where (censored for spoilers) would be.

What is the significance of the title?

The original title was darker, not at all the same vibe. My editor wanted a new title. Bad Guy by Billie Eilish screamed Lane, and even inspired a few (very obvious) lines. Lane sees herself as a bad girl/guy. Lane drinks blood. Bad Girls Drink Blood.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Sarcastic, awkward, self-deprecating.I said st 

I asked my critique partner because I was stumped and she gave me a whole (incorrect) list: talented, supportive, hilarious, dedicated, kind. Boy do I have her fooled!

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Finishing. Seriously. Not because I hated writing, but because it was such a sense of accomplishment. I DO have another finished book, but this one had been living in my head for a long, long time.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I’m working on the edits for book 2 of the Blood Fae Druid series. I also have a book on the backburner about a messy Vakyrie (think Thor, Ragnarök inspo for vibes)

What advice would you give to other authors?

Find your people. Typically, the only company you keep are your characters when you’re deep into writing. I walk around everywhere talking to my characters, talking through scenes, testing dialogue. But your characters won’t be there to support you when rejections roll in, or reviews roll in, or critiques, or comments, or anything else that live in your head after you read it. 

Find. Your. Support.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

Wooooowwwwww. This is hard for such a simple question. I think bottom line is I don’t take myself seriously (have you seen my TikTok? I can’t be bothered to put on makeup or even get out of my pjs). So, don’t try to take my book seriously either. Enjoy the ride!

 

Thank you S.L. Choi for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Bad Girls Drink Blood today!

~Synopsis~

Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination.

After a life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane Callaghan gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good.

The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good.

That ends when a routine job goes sideways leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power.

As far as Lane’s concerned, good riddance, considering they would rather see her dead—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose to return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her…or let them burn.

“With tantalizing hints of a wolfy blood tryst, a heavy dose of sisterly love, and plot twists to make the ride a surprise, S.L. Choi’s, Bad Girls Drink Blood is too much fun. If you like the Hollows, you will love this.” — Kim Harrison, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Hollows series.

S.L. Choi is an urban fantasy author with a deep love for humor, fast-paced action, and hit-you-in-the-heart feels. She grew up imagining goblins living in the rocks outside her bedroom window, while fairies flew through the flowers. Now she puts those stories to paper. When not writing, she is either photographing the beautiful New England area, hiking, gaming with her equally nerdy husband, or attending to the small furry overlords who rule them both.

https://linktr.ee/SLChoi

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Allison Dininger

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is aspiring author, Allison Dininger! 

How long have you been writing?

I have always created stories in my head, but I didn’t start writing novels until I was thirteen. Since then, I have written two full-length novels and a few half-started novels.

Describe a typical writing day.

I am still a student, so my days are preoccupied with schooling. Around 8 PM, I typically sit down and start writing. Sometimes I only write a few sentences; other times, I keep writing until 2 AM.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I get inspiration from real life when I see my own struggles and those of others around me. I include these in my books to try to figure out how to help others and how to help myself get through it. Sometimes, it’s not that deep, and the basics of the thought begin with a trope I like to read about or a song I love.

What are some challenges that have come up during your writing and publishing journey?

In 2021, I thought I was ready for publishing. I sent my book to beta readers, and the comments were incredibly helpful but overwhelming. My hope to be published soon went out the window as I realized how much I needed to work on. I ended up completely redrafting the whole book from scratch and changing big plot points.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

If I am writing an emotional scene, I will start by finding a place where I won’t be disturbed. My favorite spot is my bed with only a few lights on. Then, I’ll find music that matches the mood and set sprints to keep myself going. I will explore the character’s thoughts and try to get into their heads as much as possible during these scenes.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

I am determined, loving, and creative.

How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I try to write these when I have a time and place where I can feel everything I need to. Before writing, I will take a moment to breathe and pray. Afterward, I will do the same and let my brain relax. I might lay down and let myself feel all of the emotions before continuing.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I am currently working on a book called Noble. I have been working on it since 2019, and at the moment, it is being beta-read. While I wait for those responses, I have begun drafting the sequel!

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

It’s okay to struggle. Writing is a process and there will be highs and lows. Stay patient with yourself, and don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone makes mistakes. Keep going and remember to enjoy the process!

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

My books deal with mental health issues, not for entertainment but in the hope that someone will realize other people have the same thoughts and fears. You aren’t alone! I want my books to help others find a place where they have characters with similar problems. If anyone needs a friend to talk to, I would love to have those conversations and be a listening ear.

 

Thank you Allison Dininger for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Be sure to follow her!

Allison Dininger is a fantasy author. Her books will transport you to a time of love, drama, ballgowns, and castles while emphasizing raw and realistic characters that struggle with their mental health. Allison is passionate about connecting with her readers and uplifting others. Most days, you can find her cuddling with her rabbits or getting lost in fictional worlds. She hopes to one day be a bestselling YA author. Her biggest inspirations come from her life, her faith, and others around her.

Instagram: @allisondininger

Website: allisondininger.wixsite.com/mysite

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring D.S. Fisichella

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is D.S. Fisichella! Her debut book Dreamer, released on August 1st 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Eighteen years if you count my first poem written in the fourth grade. At the time I’d only been in the USA for a little over a year and, with English being my second language, I suppose that would make my first shot at poetry somewhat significant. My teacher typed it up and printed it out. I felt so validated. I’ve chased that high ever since.

What gave you that final push to publish your book?

I think it was the timing of everything. From my first draft to the publication date it was a four year process for me. Silly me, I thought it would take me a year. *Rolls eyes.* It started out as a hobby to pass the time and get my mind off my morning sickness when I got too pregnant to work, but it turned into a passion, and… well, a dream. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That I could do it! Up until I wrote Dreamer, the longest thing I ever wrote was a research paper in college. It was ten pages double spaced. I’d published poems and short pieces but never in a million years did I think I had it in me (the patience and otherwise) to take on such a massive project! I learned to evoke emotion, to inspire, to make laugh, or even cry. An author friend of mine confessed that he cried while writing a death scene and he said something like, “it’s strange, isn’t it? To become so attached to something that’s not really real?” To which I replied, “No, it’s not. It’s real to us.”

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

When my readers reach the end of my book, I want them to suspire and make the inner connection that, no matter what they’re going through, there is always hope because their story is not over; 

Also, I want them to know there’s nothing they can ever do to disqualify them from being fully loved, accepted and forgiven by God.

What is the significance of the title?

The title of my book is “Dreamer,” and really, you’ll spend the whole book finding out what it means to the MC, and then you can decide what it means to you. 

The title holds a special significance for me because for twenty years, I identified as a DACA Dreamer, the undocumented child of immigrant parents. 

I won’t give you the long story, but I did eventually get my paperwork in order and became legal through all the right channels, but my life prior to doing so left deep seated scars that went on to sculpt my mental health, and even contributed to trauma and PTSD.

I pulled from all of those things to craft my main character, Elleni Salgado. I also pulled from my support system and healthy coping habits to help her out and set a good example for my reader. For personal reasons, I didn’t meddle in the immigration topic with Dreamer. When people read the story I didn’t want them to see it as the story of an immigrant. I wanted them to just see a girl. A girl like me. Worthy of love, acceptance, and friendship no matter how she got to where she was. 

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Creative, Loving and Intense. Haha! 

But seriously. Ask anyone who’s known me more than a day. 

What was the highlight of writing this book?

The response! To put something out into the world, namely, your whole heart and soul, you wrap it inside some binding and hand it over to be published… *exhale* is such a vulnerable but rewarding experience. To see that my art has made people think, has made them laugh, or cry, or get healing! Man! What an amazing privilege that is. What a freaking honor! You could say that writing Dreamer was a ruse to get to meet people. Especially young and hurting people like my MC. If I could, I would hand deliver every copy and give each recipient a big hug and gift basket!

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I can’t say much, but the Dreamer story will  pick up and continue! I’m already having mini panic attacks about the subjects I’m being led to write. God and I have exchanged some words. But anyway… that’s how I know it’s going to be good.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Stay true to your vision. You need to believe in your own dream before anyone else can do it for you.

Be patient. Anything worth doing is worth doing well! 

Find your place in the writing community and hang on for dear life! 

When it’s time, publish the thing! Don’t delay! (Just make sure you get a professional edit and cover before you do.)

Finally,

Grow thick skin! ‘Nuff said.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I don’t want people to make the same mistakes I’ve made. Be it in my relationships, in my writing journey, or with my mental health, I am always looking to grow, to improve, and to teach others to be better than me.

Everything I wrote in Dreamer, everything I write in my articles, everything I ever write comes from a place of love.

 I am crazy about you!

You are a soul with a body… a mind, a will, emotions all beautifully crafted and marked by the fingerprint of God. 

To those who struggle with their mental health: 

You are worth being well, darling. The stars deserve to see your eyes. If anything I say or do can help you understand how truly amazing you are, how cherished, even in the midst of your imperfections, then I’ve done my job! 

 

Thank you D.D. Fisichella for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Dreamer today!

~Synopsis~

On her thirteenth birthday, Elleni Salgado lost her childhood friend to a devastating tragedy. The years have passed and despite the gaping hole of loss in her heart, Elleni seems to have found comfort in her hilarious Hispanic family, a wacky southern counselor, and her faith in Christ.

Now a talented songwriter on the verge of seventeen, Elleni is plagued by nightmares which send her running to “The Spot,” her childhood haven. It is there that she unexpectedly meets the handsome Julian Rossi, a young drug dealer convinced he has no reason to live.

When Elleni’s youth group makes plans to embark on a road trip to Grace Place Camp, one state away, she thinks it the perfect place for Julian to find the answers he’s been looking for. But she will have her own truth to dig up, a secret that, until now, she thought had been buried four years ago…along with her best friend.

D.S. Fisichella is an award-winning poet and bestselling author of the Young Adult Christian Fiction Novel, “Dreamer” and a member of the Saint Pete Arts Alliance. D.S. writes articles about faith, dating, and mental health, and she’s a mentor to teens and young adults. When she’s not singing, writing, or attending her home church, she can be found making memories with her husband and their two adorable children. D.S. reads all of her reviews and she loves connecting with readers!

(Website, Articles, Dreamer on Amazon and more)

https://dsfwrites.carrd.co/

Website: dsfwriter.com

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Joanna Reeder

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Joanna Reeder! Author of Imitating a Fae Queen (Raven Court Book 1) and the Kindle Vella series, Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Born and raised in Utah. I live with my husband, three littles and a cat named after one of my characters. I love leisure bike rides, kayaking, playing my guitar and Dr. Pepper.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher encouraged me to enter a story in the Reflections Contest. So I wrote and submitted and won first place in my school. I’ve loved to write ever since!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I know I’m not alone in it, but I’ve trained myself to write in short 15-20 minute bursts. I’ve had to with little kids. I know some authors need huge blocks of time to write. My best writing time is also in the afternoon. Not the early morning or late at night. I haven’t found many writers with that schedule.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I step away. I go on a walk or for a bike ride. I give myself space from it so that when I come back to it, I can look at it through an objective eye as I edit.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The constant back and forth between being proud and surprised at the books I wrote, but also the imposter syndrome that can hit at any time and feeling that I’m not good enough or that I’m “pretending” to be an author.

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

The characters. Once I’ve gotten to know my characters and their quirks and backstories, the plot comes together from it. A lot of times, the characters determine the plot.

Let’s talk about Kindle Vella. Tell me about your experience with it.

I have loved kindle vella. I think the thing I love the most is that my readers get to experience the story in almost real-time as I do. Sometimes I write a bit ahead, but I’m rarely more than an episode or two ahead of what is currently live. With books, I experience the story all by myself for weeks and weeks, then after tons of edits, etc, etc, and the final book launch, by the time my readers get to experience my book, it’s already “in the past” for me. 

My story Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns on Kindle Vella has also been my favorite story I’ve written so far. Of course all of my stories are my babies, but this one has a lot of my heart in it!

Describe yourself in three words.

Loyal, Spiritual, Kind

Do you have any new series planned?

I’m still finishing up my Raven Court series (3 books and a novella are out and I’m working on #4) After that, I’m not sure. Part of me is watching and waiting to see how Kindle Vella goes. I have several stories running through my head that could work well with Kindle Vella.

What advice would you give to other authors?

No writing is wasted. Even that scene you cut because it doesn’t work, or those first few drafts of anything. Every word counts because it helps you learn to be a better writer. And as with anything, practice makes you better.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I love storytelling and I want my stories to be accessible to anyone. So all of my books are 100% recommendable. I don’t write steamy, or gore, or foul language, so you can recommend my books to your daughters, co-workers and grandmas.

 

Thank you Joanna Reeder for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her books today!

~Synopsis~

They say I look just like her.

They say I could save the realm if I pretend to be her.

But I’m just a human girl and refuse to leave my life to save their precious Raven Court. 

My boyfriend, Sterling, might be a fae, but I want nothing to do with Faerie. Luckily, he promised never to take me. But when his painfully gorgeous brother, Tien, shows up and says I look identical to their missing High Queen, I’m asked to go with him to prevent Faerie from sinking into chaos.

When I refuse, I’m kidnapped.

As I’m forced through the portal to Faerie by the brooding Tien, he promises my captivity is only temporary. If I can convince the Raven Court their beloved queen is alive and well, he’ll take me back home. But while I’m pretending to be her, dark secrets surface. I try not to care, but realize I might have the power to change an injustice that suddenly means so much to me… even as a fake queen.

Faerie is magical and cruel, full of wonder and madness. But it isn’t my home. And yet, it feels so familiar…

Torn between two different worlds, I’m forced to consider: where do I truly belong?

Imitating a Fae Queen is perfect for fans of The Iron King and The Vampire Diaries. If you love brooding fae captains, terrifying water horses, and best-friend romance, you’ll love this page-turning fae fantasy.

Imitating a Fae Queen is Book One in the Raven Court Series by USA Today bestselling author, Joanna Reeder.

Joanna Reeder is a USA Today Bestselling author who takes readers time traveling through dreams, shifting into fantastical creatures, and tossed into Faerie. Her fantasy stories always have a dash of romance, leave readers turning pages long into the night, and eager to recommend them to their daughters and grandmas and coworkers!

When Joanna isn’t writing, she enjoys bike rides and kayaking with her hubby and kids, vacations at the beach (with a book to read, of course!) and learning new songs on her blue electric guitar.

She’s a believer in the paranormal (seriously, she has stories) and her motto is, “A Dr. Pepper a day keeps insanity away!”

Three FREE stories by signing up for my NL: https://joannareeder.com/getmyfreebies

My kindle vella story is also on my patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/Joannareeder

https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07B2CK51M

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17736350.Joanna_Reeder

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/joanna-reeder

https://facebook.com/joannareederauthor

https://facebook.com/groups/joannasdreamreeders

https://instagram.com/joanna_reeder