#AuThorsday with Kris Nacole

81gDnRsTEPL._UX250_Today I’d like to welcome Kris Nacole, military romance author of Love Him Back.

Can you give us your quickest description of your book?

Love Him Back is a military romance.  It is about finding love and second chances.  Chesney and Zane both deal with inner demons which causes roadblocks in their relationship.  This isn’t just a love story though, it’s also a story about a woman who is on a journey to love and accept herself and a man who must learn to love again and also forgive himself later on in the story.  Chesney tries to love Zane through some really dark times and vows to love him back to her.  It’s a very raw and emotional book.

How would you say the military aspect sets your story apart from other romance books?

All relationships have their ups and downs, obviously, but a lot of people don’t understand the sacrifices military members have to make sometimes.  Zane and Chesney are faced with not only regular relationship issues, but with military ones as well.  Their love is tested to an extreme that many civilians never have to deal with.

What are you working on currently?

I’m actually working on two books right now.  My second book is called Hart of Country and it is a country/western romance.  My third book is a contemporary romance called Her Biggest Mistake.  My third book actually wasn’t planned.  After releasing my first book, Love Him Back, I was overwhelmed by requests from readers to write a book for Erik Tate who is Chesney’s best friend in the book.  They asked and I listened.  Both of these books will be stand-alones just like my first one.

Interesting.  Why do you think the character of Erik Tate became so important to fans?

Honestly, I have no idea.  When I wrote Love Him Back, I never expected for people to get so attached to Erik.  I guess, because he’s kind of her “big brother/protector,” readers kind of fell in love with him, as well.  Also, he’s always making Chesney laugh and reminding her that she is worthy of love, which is really what she needs.  I have to admit, he is a really amazing wingman for Chesney.  I’m really enjoying writing his own story right now!

What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers? 

I guess the one thing I would tell aspiring writers out there, is:  Never let anyone stand in your way.  Taking the first step is the hardest.  It is scary stepping into the unknown and opening yourself up for the world to peer into your mind.  Be yourself, be proud of your work, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.  A few people tried to discourage me from writing and thought I would never actually do it let alone succeed.  I proved them wrong as I made it to the top 100 list in military romance within three weeks of publishing.  It can be done.  It is hard work.  You may cry, want to give up, and doubt yourself at times, but that’s normal.  Keep pushing forward and write from your heart.  Let the story tell itself.  YOU are good enough and can do this.  The feeling you get when you hit publish and hold your book in your hands for the first time makes all the struggles worth it.
Also, one thing I’ve learned since publishing is that you can’t please everyone.  There are going to be people who dislike your work.  That’s life.  You have to take the bad reviews and learn from them.  You can’t let them drag you down and make you want to quit.  Embrace the good reviews and don’t sweat the bad ones.  We all get them.  Even the best-selling authors!  Dream big.  Believe in yourself.  Inspire others.

That’s a lot of great advice.  When people tried to discourage you, did you find in the long run that that made you stronger and more determined?  

Yes!  Of course it made me a little sad and disappointed, but in the end it gave me the fire I needed to keep pushing myself to become successful.  Once I published, and they found out my book was doing well, they somehow managed to come back with some of the kindest words of praise.  Funny how that works…

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

That’s easy!  For Zane it would have to be Scott Eastwood and for Chesney it would be a toss-up between Camilla Belle or Nina Dobrev for me.

Ooh, good picks.  So for the Erik Tate spin-off, who would you cast for Erik? 

I’m thinking Dan Ewing (short haired Dan, not his long hair days).

Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Yes, at times.  For example, I spent three years living in England, so some of the descriptors I used were places/things I had actually seen in person.

It’s great to be able to use real life travels to add realistic flavor to writing.  Did you put “places/things” in your story on purpose because you’d seen them, or was it just convenient that you knew more about those things you were naturally writing about? 

Nope, I didn’t put them in there on purpose.  It’s just that my story kind of flowed that way and I was lucky enough to already know a lot about those places/things without having to do as much research on them.  It all worked out and came together perfectly.

Thanks, Kris, for sharing!

WHERE TO FIND Kris Nacole:
Website:  www.KrisNacole.com
Goodreads:  Kris Nacole
Amazon Page:  Kris Nacole
Facebook:  Author Kris Nacole
Twitter: @KrisNacole15
Instagram:  authorkrisnacole

#AuThorsday with Sharon Lipman

31otemfIcfL._UX250_Today I’d like to welcome Sharon Lipman, paranormal romance author of Bound to Blackwood.  

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

Adult paranormal romance – HOT vampires and fated lovers!

Okay, cool.  Is the story set in modern day?  And are your vampires more Anne Rice or Twilight? 🙂 

Ha!  Neither actually!

Vampires belonged to the Seelie Court; the aristocracy of Faerie, and were bound by honour, love and beauty.  They are not the demons most humans believe them to be.  Their need for blood stems not from evil, but from duty.  Before modern day religions like Christianity and Islam, there was only Faerie, and Vampires were tasked with sending the souls of the dying back to The Glory.  When one coven Fell and kept the souls with which they had been entrusted, the whole race were cast from Faerie and banished to earth.

Vampires still have the ability to carry souls, but without the keys to Faerie, they have relinquished their duties.  Now they do their best to protect humans from the Fallen.

They will only return to Faerie once the Fallen are vanquished.

The soul-bearing nature of Vampires is why I chose the 1st of November to release the story.  Halloween tends to be a popular release date for horror and paranormal stories alike.  However, with my Vampires not being “evil” in the traditional sense of the word, All Souls Day is a much more appropriate day for them to make their debut.

The war has been waging for thousands of years and has taken its toll on the Vampire population – some still choose to Fall, others have perished in the fight.  There are now only a few hundred left.  Of those that remain, none have ever set foot in Faerie.  The Fallen are probably the closest thing I have to the more traditional, Anne Rice-esque Vampire.

Bound to Blackwood is set in modern-day London and the home counties of England.

That’s great backstory/history.  What are you working on currently?

I’m working on a sequel to my debut novel, Bound to Blackwood, entitled Stranger to Blackwood.  I don’t think it’s the story most readers thought would come next.  There’s a pair in Bound to Blackwood who are perfect for each other, but their story is complicated and I don’t think either of them are  quite ready for what I have in store for them!  Stranger to Blackwood introduces some new characters and focuses on one of the secondary characters from Bound to Blackwood.

I love when an author twists a story and surprises readers.   Did you always plan to change it up for the sequel, or was that a decision that developed as you’ve been writing?

It developed as I was writing.  Telling Kaden and Soraya’s story next seemed the obvious next step, but when I came to write it, I realised neither they nor I was ready for it!  Soraya is Thorn’s sister.  Thorn is the King and the male lead from Bound to Blackwood.  Kaden is Thorn’s best friend and commander of the Order – the noble guard.  There’s will be a complicated tale to tell and it just wasn’t the right time.

Stranger to Blackwood, focuses on one of the supporting characters from Bound to Blackwood, Ryver, and a new character, Ria.  Their story fits better timing wise, but also with the over-arching story.

Kaden and Soraya’s time will no doubt come.  Just not yet!

What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

Not without spoiling it for everyone.  It’s a love scene, which are amazingly difficult to write and get right, but I’m super proud of this one and it’s the climax (no pun intended) of the story in Bound to Blackwood.

Congrats!  I love when authors take pride in something they KNOW is good.  Since you’ve managed to write a great love scene (which, yeah, are always tricky to get right), are there any other areas/scenes that you’re still sorting out how to make great?

I struggle with fight scenes.  I can throw a punch as well as anyone, but Lena in particular has a sword as her weapon of choice.  She’s the female lead in Bound to Blackwood and thinks using guns is cheating!  Getting a sword fight to seem realistic is tricky and I’m still not altogether au-fait with the mechanics.  Thankfully, I have a brilliant editor who has a passion for these things, so she keeps me on the straight and narrow.  It’s just simple things like “no, his head would NOT roll towards her,” but she’s helped make the scenes better.

Haha.  That is helpful.  What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?

Keep writing!  All first drafts are awful.  Get the story down – that’s the most important thing.  Resist the urge to edit as you go or you’ll get hung up on things that aren’t important right now.  Always carry a notebook – inspiration strikes when you least expect it.  Finally, once you’ve polished your manuscript to within an inch of its life, hire an editor – they’re worth their weight in gold!

That’s all great advice.  When you hand your work to an editor, are you nervous?

I was the first time.  I “met” Kayla via an on-line creative trading group, so I didn’t actually know her at all.  Sending your pride and joy off to be butchered is nerve-wracking at the best of times.  Giving it to a relative stranger made me feel pretty ill.

It was the best thing I’ve ever done, though.  Having someone with no personal connection to you run a critical eye over your work is key.  They are not afraid of offending you, nor should they be, and will be completely honest in their feedback.

Apart from heads rolling the wrong way in fight scenes, I think Kayla’s biggest challenge was picking her way through my British spelling, grammar and idiosyncrasies.  I am British and my story is set in England, so sticking with English spelling and slang was really important to me despite the fact I’ve written it for an international audience.

I know there are some small word choices that will throw my American cousins when they first see them, but I still thought it was important for the characters to remain true.  The story is written in close third point of view with shifting perspectives, but they all live and work where I grew up.  There’s a little of me in all of them.

That personal flavor is always great to find in writing – good choice to stick with it.  In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

Thorn of House Blackwood  – Joe Manganiello
Lena – Olivia Wilde
Kaden – Alexander Skarsgard
Soraya of House Blackwood – Mila Kunis

Great choices!  I see from your Twitter that you have a really cool logo for House Blackwood.   Where did that idea come from?

Actually, I designed that, and the book cover, myself.

Fae and all things Faerie have their roots in Irish and Celtic traditions, so the Blackwood Crest is based on the Celtic tree of life.

House Blackwood is the ruling House of the Vampire race.  Vampire strength and magic flows from Faerie, through House Blackwood and on to the rest of the population.  The tree of life seemed like the perfect symbol.  All the Guardians have the Blackwood Crest on their uniforms and though I never fully describe it in the story, I thought it would be a useful way of tying all the stories together under one banner.

It helps create a brand around House Blackwood and the stories I have to tell, and that’s really important in my overall marketing effort.  I think it’s one thing self-published authors often forget about.  If Indies can’t design a professional cover themselves, they assume it will cost them a fortune.  It doesn’t have to.  It makes me sad when I see what could be an amazing story hiding behind an unprofessional cover.  It puts the author on the back foot from the start.  If you don’t have the skills to design and produce a cover yourself, find someone that can.

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing!

WHERE TO FIND Sharon Lipman:
Website:  SharonLipman.com
Goodreads:  Sharon Lipman 
Amazon Page:  Sharon Lipman 
Facebook:  Sharon Lipman – Author 
Twitter:  @AuthorSLipman

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