Interview with author Regina Puckett

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Regina Puckett, author of the romance novels CONCEALED IN MY HEART and SONGS THAT I WHISPER, short story romances IF LOVE WAS ENOUGH and its sequel BALLOON WISHES, and horror stories PIECES and REGINA PUCKETT’S SHORT TALES OF HORROR, to name just a few of Regina’s many works, and welcome her to my blog.

Regina Puckett, author photograph

Regina Puckett, author photograph

Welcome Regina!

 *

Q: For how long have you been writing?

A: I wrote my first romance in the seventh grade. Loads of kissing littered its pages but there was very little storyline.

*

Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Everything around me inspires my stories. On a road trip to Myrtle Beach I thought about how dangerous hitchhiking was and that inspired me to write Paying the Hitchhiker. As I was driving home from work one afternoon, I saw a beggar with a sign saying he was hungry. That inspired me to write Will Work for Food. A dream inspired me to write Concealed in My Heart. I will spare you the sordid details of every inspiration, but it just takes on one thing to set me to thinking, what if?

*

Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: Since I work fulltime, I have to write whenever I have a free moment.

*

Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: Historical Romance. I love reading novels set in the 1700-1800’s. Give me a handsome, endearing duke to fall in love with, and I’m lost in that book until I read the words the end.

*

Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A:  Gone with the Wind set me onto my path of becoming a writer. After reading it, I wanted to write a book that captured a reader like that book did to me.

*

Q: I was struck by the moving narratives of IF LOVE WAS ENOUGH and BALLOON WISHES, and how they presented characters who had been hurt by tragic life events, but managed to find their own understanding of what love and life is, and make it work for them. What inspired you to write this two part exploration into protagonist April’s life?

A: The idea for If Love was Enough came after thinking about all the prayers I thought went unanswered. Were they really not answered or had God’s answer to them just been no?

In my story Adam is overseas fighting in Iraq and his pregnant wife, April is back at home praying every day for his safe return. When Adam’s killed a few days before he’s supposed to return home, April questions why God didn’t answer her prayers. I think it’s an honest look into why God doesn’t always answer our prayers like we think he should.

I never planned on writing Balloon Wishes until a follower on Twitter asked me if I ever planned to finish writing April’s story. In my mind I thought the story was finished, but that simple question set me to thinking what did happen to April and her unborn baby?

 *

Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: I love all of my books but Love is a Promise Kept is probably my favorite. When it was first released by Whimsical Publications its title was Waiting for Mary Elizabeth, but after receiving my rights back I released under its new title.

The reason this story is so dear to my heart is because I love the idea of two people recognizing who they want to spend their entire lives with even though they are just children, and who wouldn’t want a man like Gregory willing to devote his entire life to keeping a promise to you? He’s a man of his word. A man can be muscled and beautiful eye-candy, but if he’s a liar it makes him ugly to the core.

 *

Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: I’m a huge NCIS fan. That in itself is strange, because for years after seeing Mark Harmon play Ted Bundy I couldn’t stand the sight of him. He has certainly redeemed himself in my eyes with his role of Jethro Gibbs.

*

Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I enjoy painting and sewing. I’m not great at either one but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

*

Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in romance, horror, children’s books, and erotica. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: I don’t think in terms of genres. I write the story that won’t give me peace until it’s down on paper. So I guess the simple answer is yes, because who really knows what that next story is going to be about? I might dream about aliens populating the Earth next.

 *

Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other.

A: Right-handed.

 *

Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: I just released two books. Once Upon a Modern Time is an anthology of short romances I loosely based on fairy tales and Short Tales of Horror Part II.

I just finished a redo of Caterpillar wants to be a Cow and I’m waiting for my daughter, Charity Parkerson, to have the time to scan the new illustrations to create a new paperback for me. I was never completely satisfied with the first edition, but couldn’t figure out what it was lacking. Fortunately, one night out of the blue it hit me what I needed to do to make the story better. I rewrote the story and had my editor, Clive Johnson, check it for mistakes and flow. With the addition to the storyline I had to create 22 new illustrations. I can’t wait to see what the new book will look like.

*

I am certain you will join me in thanking Regina today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Regina, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Smashwords

*Barnes and Noble

*Facebook page

*Amazon.com

*Regina’s website

*Regina’s Blog

 *

- Regina’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below:

CONCEALED IN MY HEART by Regina Puckett

CONCEALED IN MY HEART by Regina Puckett

SONGS THAT I WHISPER by Regina Puckett

SONGS THAT I WHISPER by Regina Puckett

IF LOVE WAS ENOUGH by Regina Puckett

IF LOVE WAS ENOUGH by Regina Puckett

BALLOON WISHES by Regina Puckett

BALLOON WISHES by Regina Puckett

PIECES by Regina Puckett

PIECES by Regina Puckett

REGINA PUCKETT'S SHORT TALES OF HORROR by Regina Puckett

REGINA PUCKETT’S SHORT TALES OF HORROR by Regina Puckett

BORROWED WINGS by Regina Puckett

BORROWED WINGS by Regina Puckett

CATERPILLAR WANTS TO BE A COW by Regina Puckett

CATERPILLAR WANTS TO BE A COW by Regina Puckett

Naming Characters: One Take On This Process

The process of choosing names for characters is one that can be undertaken with much happiness, or, at times, fraught with immense difficulties. It can sometimes be a stumbling block in writing, as, for example, the character in question is a central character through whom the action flows, and the inability to name the character may temporarily handicap the story  as a whole. There should not be reason for despair, though, if you are caught in character-naming limbo.

Naming Characters One Take On This Process

I have found that if I repeatedly think about what to name a character, the ideas do not flow easily. It is best to leave this process alone for a spell, and maybe continue writing or planning the story. You could also employ a ‘temporary’ name for a character if you have been using this for a while, but still do not know whether to stick with this, or have another name. The less pressure that exists on what to name the character, the better for the mind. This is something which is organic, and grows along with the story, and our perceptions of it, and the characters.

It is also advisable to remain open to stimuli, and not shut oneself off from the world during the process. For me, the names of characters have appeared at the most unexpected of moments. You may be traveling by car or bus somewhere, and notice the name of a town or suburb that could be useful for a character, and this opens up a whole host of opportunities you never believed possible. You may be in a mall or even in the supermarket, and a name can crop up that provides inspiration. It is just one of these spontaneous things that can happen.

If you are seeking something more concrete, it is also good to check out the many websites on the internet which deal with names, and their meanings. Here are links to some useful websites in this vein:

http://www.behindthename.com/

http://www.thinkbabynames.com/

I have found on many instances that character names can be very evocative, and throw light on a character in a most definitive manner. For example, a character may be sweetness and light, and their name the opposite of their temperament, while, vice versa, a brazen character could have a name indicating purity and innocence. The fun that can be experienced doing this can be very enjoyable!

It is a good idea to also keep a list somewhere, such as a file on the computer, or in a notepad, of names which you find interesting. While they may not be suitable for a particular story, they may enrich another story which may be coming your way. Any which way you see it, naming characters is a process that provides much satisfaction, and challenges for writers, which should make the stories themselves more interesting, and potent to readers.

Meet Mark from MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART

Cool, calm, collected, but with lots simmering down below the surface could describe Mark Allan. Charming, but with a sensual streak that tantalizes every woman he comes across, he is the quintessential strong but silent type. At home in either a suit or in swimwear, Mark leaves an indelible impression wherever he goes.

Mark from MARK'S PASSIONATE HEART casual shot

Mark from MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART casual shot

His entrance to his new town will be anything but inauspicious – he immediately takes the breath away of two beautiful, but very different women, and their lives will never again be the same after being with Mark…

Mark from MARK'S PASSIONATE HEART sensual pose

Mark from MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART sensual pose

MARK'S PASSIONATE HEART

MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART

MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART is available on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, I-Tunes, Kobo, Txtr, Blio, Indigo, and Scribd.

MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART is featured on author Susan Buchanan’s blog

Author Susan Buchanan has kindly featured my latest release, MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART, on her blog, which I invite you to check out:

http://www.susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/introducing-marcia-carringtons-marks.html

MARK'S PASSIONATE HEART

MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART

The post also has an excerpt from the book which I hope you enjoy reading.

While you’re looking at the post, be sure to check out Susan’s blog and read the great array of topics which she covers:

Susan Buchanan, author photograph

Susan Buchanan, author photograph

http://www.susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk/

If you would like to find out more about Susan and her books, you can find her interview on my blog here:

http://marciasbooktalk.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/interview-with-author-susan-buchanan/

Have a great Monday, and a happy new week.

Marcia

I have been tagged for the Work in Progress blog tour by author Emma Gray, and have nominated author Mackenzie Brown!

I have been tagged by author Emma Gray for the Work in Progress blog tour, whom I thank very much for the nomination, and chance to expound more about my book MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART. Emma’s book is POWER PLAY, the sequel to PARTY GAMES, and you can find out more about it on Emma’s blog here and it is available on Amazon. Emma can be contacted on twitter here – @emsie1979

*

The rules for the Work in Progress tour are as follows:

1) Provide the link back to the post by the person who nominated you.

2) Write a little about and give the first sentences of the first three chapters of your current WIP.

3) nominate four other writers to do the same (this can be adapted for your purposes).

*

MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART is an exploration of a man who comes to a town in the height of summer, and affects the lives of two beautiful women forever. It will be released on 15 September 2014, and is the first in a two-part series of romance novelettes. The second in the series, MARK’S RAVISHING HEART, will be released in the second half of 2015.

MARK'S PASSIONATE HEART

MARK’S PASSIONATE HEART

Chapter One: Mark Allan was walking along the esplanade, admiring the scenic sights, and those on the beach.

Chapter Two: “Oh Dana, it’s great to have you back!” Dana’s work associate Estella said to her, as they walked together to the cosmetics counter.

Chapter Three: The next day, Dana was in her department, looking over some sales reports for her section.

*

For the Work in Progress tour I nominate author:

 

*Mackenzie Brown @mackbrownbooks Mackenzie’s blog is at – mackbrown.weebly.com 

 

It was great fun participating in the Work in Progress blog tour, and be sure check out Mackenzie’s work on his excellent blog.

 

Marcia

 

Meet Sabrina from SABRINA’S SURPRISE VISITOR

Sabrina has been having a difficult time with life lately – while work has been progressing well, her personal life is a mess. Her marriage has become a shadow of its former self, and she does not know whether it is worth saving. After a tiring day at work, she comes home, and finds an insolent man in her bedroom.

Sabrina from SABRINA'S SURPRISE VISITOR

Sabrina from SABRINA’S SURPRISE VISITOR

Sabrina orders him out of her bed, and her life, but, he refuses to leave. This man will force Sabrina to face some truths in her life, but will she learn something from the experience, or be back at square one with her life, and marriage?

SABRINA'S SURPRISE VISITOR

SABRINA’S SURPRISE VISITOR

SABRINA’S SURPRISE VISITOR is now available on Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I-Tunes, Txtr, and Scribd.

Can Soap Operas Help Us With Our Writing?

The soap opera medium, and how helpful is it to writing ebook fiction, is a question which has always been on my mind. Can soap operas actually help writers with the mechanics of writing, or, is it a form which is of little assistance to writers?

While soap operas and book fiction are two different forms, with alternative rules, and ways of doing things, they do have much in common. The soap opera is a form that has a beginning, middle, and no end, unlike books, which have a start and finish point. The only similarity may be book series which have several instalments. As soap operas are daily serials, broadcast five days a week, all through the year, a book, on the other hand, can be picked up, and finished whenever the reader wishes, and does not require the same level of commitment. Apart from these, there are some other differences to books that are easily discerned.

With the soap opera, the viewer is presented with the characters and story location onscreen, with little need for them to imagine what the characters look like, where they live, and what they do. In a book, the author creates for the reader the story world, either as a light sketch, or, as a full-blown depiction of the characters and their narrative world.

Another striking difference between the two mediums is the use of repetition. The necessity of this in soap operas is of paramount importance, serving, in a practical manner, to inform viewers of events they may have missed if they have not viewed several episodes. The same does not largely apply for books. If there is too much rehashing of events in a book, it may hamper the book’s appeal to readers, and, also, slow down the action. While there may be much to separate the two forms, I believe that they converge in one main way, which would be very helpful to writers.

As an example of this, I will utilize a vintage clip from the soap opera ANOTHER WORLD to illustrate this. The older clips of soap operas, in my opinion, while longer in time frame than newer episodes, displayed a great attention to characters, their emotions, and their psychological worlds, which is fascinating the watch. Exposure to these scenes would be extremely useful to writers who wish to write intense, full-blooded emotional scenes which explore a theme in great detail. I have attached one such scene from ANOTHER WORLD from 1973 between Jacqueline Courtney and George Reinholt as the on-again, off-again lovers Alice and Steve Frame, which I hope you find both interesting, and helpful.

And, as always, I will end my post with a question in which I would be interested in learning of your opinion; can soap operas help us with our writing?