Tag Archive | book series

Guest Post: author Jan Romes discusses where she gets ideas for her books

Today I warmly welcome author Jan Romes again to Marcia’s Book Talk for a guest post. Jan will be discussing how she arrives at ideas for her books, which is a fascinating process indeed, and something all writers have a different take on, making this an endlessly fruitful topic. For more about this, I will now let Jan elaborate upon the details in her great essay below…

Jan Romes, formal author photograph

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

by Jan Romes

Recently, a relative tried to pin me down with this particular question. I grinned and said, “Ideas just pop in.” That answer wasn’t sufficient. She wanted more. ‘No, really. Where do you get them?’ As we rode around the campground on the golf cart, I explained more in-depth. (Her inquiry prompted this post.)

So here goes…

A hundred people can stare at an abstract painting and try to decide what the artist was trying to convey. Each person looking at it will most likely offer a different suggestion. Writers are kind of like that. We can look at a painting and form an opinion, which can morph into an idea for a story. The same thing can happen when we read a poem or newspaper article. All of us get a visual from something we see or hear, but writers take it one step further and add words to the mental picture.

My relative still couldn’t wrap her head around the notion stories come to me so easily. As we sipped on drinks and took in the sights and sounds of the campground, I told her a story was coming together at that very moment, which involved witness protection. She swiveled her body to look me in the eye. ‘You mean to tell me that riding around on the golf cart prompted a story about witness protection?’

TEXAS BOYS FALLING FAST series by Jan Romes

And so it goes. I’m currently writing that story.

Another question she needed an answer to was, ‘How can you write about a fashion designer or an OB/GYN, when you have little knowledge of those careers?’ My response, “Ideas are easy; research not so much. Character and plot development are more difficult as well.”

In our conversation, I gave other examples of where stories can be spawned from: unusual architecture, a new place I’ve visited, revisiting a place from the past, a dream that won’t let me alone, a person I’ve seen in the park, a person I’ve seen while shopping, the atmosphere in a restaurant – the list is endless and the opportunities to write about them are great.

At the end of our talk, she shook her head with a smile. ‘I still don’t understand, but I’ll take your word for it.’

I’m passionate about writing and I love to talk about the process. I might befuddle you with my answers, but I’ll always try to explain things the best I can.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Anais Nin, ‘We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.’

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Jan Romes links

Jan’s website

Jan’s Blog

Jan Romes on Twitter

Jan Romes on Facebook

Jan’s Amazon Author Page

Interview with author Carmen DeSousa

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Carmen DeSousa, author of romantic-suspense stories: SOUTHERN ROMANTIC-SUSPENSE series; the CREATUS series; THE LIBRARY; short stories, THE DEPOT and THE PIT STOP; and coming soon a women’s fiction/chick lit series, starting with SOME LUCKY WOMAN; and THE WATERMEN series, amongst her many works, and welcome her to my blog.

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Welcome, Carmen!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Like most writers, I’ve been writing as long as I could hold a pen. As a child, I would write little short stories, bind them with bread ties, and then present them to my grandmother. In college, I wrote a novella, and had planned to make a career as an editor in New York, but life got in the way. I ended up in a sales and marketing career. Thankfully, six years ago, I found my way back. In the last six years, I’ve written and published fourteen novels. And I have two more coming out soon.

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

A: Oh, my, yes! All of my life experiences, good and bad, are included in my novels. The trick when you read is to figure out what situations I base on my actual life events or someone I know, and which ones come from my twisted mind. 🙂

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

A: I used to, but again, life has a way of getting in the way of best laid plans. 2015 was a trying year for me, and 2016 isn’t starting out much easier. But as soon as possible, I plan to get back to the plan that allowed me to pen so many books.

Chat with my peeps on Twitter and Facebook over coffee. Then no later than ten a.m., TURN OFF THE INTERNET, and plant myself in my chair until 12:00 p.m. Chat with my peeps while eating lunch, then get back to it from 1:00 until 4:00. My goal is two thousand words a day.

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

A: I love anything that isn’t too graphic in nature. I’ll read anything, and I have. From A Game of Thrones (historical, supernatural, action, thriller) to Crazy Little Thing (contemporary romance / chick lit) to Hunger Games (dystopian) to Twilight (paranormal romance). And oddly enough, I write the same way. Although all of my stories have a common thread: romance, mystery, and suspense, I enjoy writing everything from romance to mystery, paranormal to chick lit.

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

A: When I was in college, I loved Sidney Sheldon. We’re so spoiled right now. When we finish a book, the author usually has their next one coming out in a few months or so. Back then, I’d have to wait a year or two for Sheldon’s next book. To me, he was the inventor of romantic suspense featuring a female heroine.

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Q: From my reading experience of THE DEPOT, it was a highly suspenseful, intricately crafted story with well-timed shocks and great hints of romance. What inspired you to write this story?

A: Ahhh…yes. I enjoyed writing that short story. The Depot is actually based on a real ghost story of a place where I worked. I actually added the story at the front of The Library, the follow-up novel to The Depot.

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

A: She Belongs to Me… But if I told you, I’d have to kill you. LOL! But really, She Belongs to Me was my first published story. And as I’ve told others, it took me all my life to put that story together. Some folks read it and think that it’s unbelievable… Between you and me, though… most of it is true. 😉

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

A: Growing up, my favorite was I Dream of Jeannie. It was sweet and romantic with a paranormal edge, something I love. As an adult, I rarely watch TV, but a couple of shows that I’ve been faithful to and have watched every one is Friends, and now I’m a huge fan of A Game of Thrones.

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

A: I love the outdoors, and it’s something I like to share with my readers. I especially love to hike and kayak.

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Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the fantasy, romance and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: Yes. In fact, as I mentioned above, I just finished a women’s fiction/chick lit. I wasn’t sure if I could pull off writing humor, but my beta readers said I did, so…we’ll see.

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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, or ambidextrous.

A: Right handed. BUT…all of last year, due to two shoulder operations, both on my right arm, I had to learn how to blog and write not only one-handed, but also with my left. Hey…maybe that’s where the funny story came from. 🙂

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

A: Always! Along with the two mentioned above, I have a new series I’ll start working on near the end of this year. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but it’ll be the first time that I place a female lead as the “cop” type. The genre will be romantic thriller, but more on the thrilling part. I want to write a strong female lead, who’s also tender inside. Even though she’ll be too busy to ever let it show. I’ve already written the first chapter, which is usually how I start a book. If I like the character after the first chapter and still want to continue their story, I continue the book. I don’t plan out my books, so characters have to be able to sell me on their story just as much as they have to sell the reader. And I’m a tough sale.

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

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook page

*Amazon.com

*Carmen’s website/blog

– Carmen’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below. Apart from THE PIT STOP, Carmen’s full book catalog is available to read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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– 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

Interview with author Jan Romes

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jan Romes, author of the romance novels THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY, LUCKY DUCKS, THE GIFT OF GRAY, KISS ME, MARRIED TO MAGGIE, and ONE SMALL FIB, amongst her many works, and welcome her to my blog.

Jan Romes, author photograph

Jan Romes, author photograph

Welcome Jan!

Thanks for having me as your guest today, Marcia! I’m tickled to be here!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A: I’ve always been a daydreamer so I think it’s fair to say I’ve been writing stories forever. I didn’t give any serious consideration to those mental escapades until my kids were grown. My first book was published in September 2010.

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

A: This is such a great question, Marcia. I’ve answered it before in previous interviews but each time I dig a little deeper. I don’t get a different answer, I get a broader answer. Here’s my newly refined-dug a little deeper answer: there’s not one thing in particular that inspired me to write, but rather a collection of things – family, music, a love for reading, and a strange fascination for words because they wield so much power. Words can stir so many emotions – love, hate, fear, anger, confidence, passion, etc. I love to watch people’s reactions too. I subconsciously save what I see or hear and voila! A story is born.

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

A: The only schedule I have is to plant my bottom in the chair every day to write. I prefer mornings because my thoughts seem to come more easily when I’m refreshed. After lunch I write for awhile too. When I get stuck on a thought or paragraph, I go for a walk or take a shower.

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

A: I write contemporary romance but I love to read all genres. I prefer stories with at least a little bit of humor.

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Q: I greatly enjoyed reading THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY, and impressed how the elements of comedy and drama were evenly balanced throughout the story. The characters also exuded a sassiness and forthright nature that was very fun to witness, but, at the same time, they were also very human, making them all the more identifiable to readers. What was your inspiration for writing this story?

A: I’ve always wanted to write a story with characters that are in each other’s space. That close proximity will either make them fall madly in love or make them want to kill each other. You can’t get any closer than sharing a tour bus.

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Q: Have you considered writing any short stories?

A: I’ve written two short romantic stories for Woman’s World Magazine. I have also written novellas. Lately, I’ve opted to write novel-length.

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

A: I love watching NCIS and NCIS: LA. You’ll also find me cracking up laughing at The Big Bang Theory or engrossed in an episode of Shark Tank.

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

A: I love to go for walks or ride bike. While I don’t have a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination, I like to grow veggies, sunflowers and tulips, and pumpkins.

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Q: Would you like to write stories in other genres?

A: I would love to write historical romance but I’m not sure I could put in the time with all the research needed for that genre.

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

A: By the time this interview goes up on your blog, I will have book #2 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast series published. It’s titled, Keeping Kylee.

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

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Smashwords

*Facebook page

*Amazon.com

*Jan’s website

*Jan’s Blog

– Jan’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below:

STELLA IN STILETTOS by Jan Romes

STELLA IN STILETTOS by Jan Romes

 

MARRIED TO MAGGIE by Jan Romes

MARRIED TO MAGGIE by Jan Romes

KEEPING KYLEE by Jan Romes

KEEPING KYLEE by Jan Romes

THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY by Jan Romes

THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY by Jan Romes

THE GIFT OF GRAY by Jan Romes

THE GIFT OF GRAY by Jan Romes

STAY CLOSE, NOVAC! by Jan Romes

STAY CLOSE, NOVAC! by Jan Romes

KISS ME by Jan Romes

KISS ME by Jan Romes

ONE SMALL FIB by Jan Romes

ONE SMALL FIB by Jan Romes

THE CHRISTMAS CONTRACT by Jan Romes

THE CHRISTMAS CONTRACT by Jan Romes

MR. AUGUST by Jan Romes

MR. AUGUST by Jan Romes

LUCKY DUCKS by Jan Romes

LUCKY DUCKS by Jan Romes

THREE WISE MEN by Nancy Ricker, Jan Romes and Laura Ricker

THREE WISE MEN by Nancy Ricker, Jan Romes and Laura Ricker