Thursday, September 27, 2012

H.P. Mallory : The Author Interview

Please welcome New York Times bestselling paranormal romance author H.P. Mallory!

What was the querying/agent search process like for you? 

Well this is a two-fold question. When I first started out which was about 6 years ago, this process was grueling. You send out tons of queries and almost no one writes back. I was lucky enough to land an agent the first time around but once we submitted my books to the publishers, no one was interested. Then I ended up sitting on the first two books in both of my series (Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble and To Kill A Warlock) for about 5 years before self publishing them. Once I self pubbed them and they hit numerous bestseller lists, I sent out four agent query letters and received prompt responses from each agent, eventually signing with one. So the first time around wasn't fun but the second time around was much easier! LOL

Is there another genre you would like to try at some point?
I'm not sure yet. Right now I love paranormal romance and urban fantasy and can't really see beyond them...

Do you have a writing ritual or a certain way you like to get ready to write? 
Not really. I just aim for 2000 words per day and take numerous breaks throughout the day to give my eyes a break!

Tell us about one of your characters you loved writing: 
I'm actually working on the first book in a new series and the angel in that book is so much fun to write! He's not like a customary angel at all--he's really uncouth and crass but hysterical!

Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? If so, what changed? 
Yes, after the first go around when no one was interested in my books, I did give up. Then I read about self publishing and decided to give that a try. Since then I haven't looked back. I ended up signing with Random House and then, most recently, I hit the New York Times bestseller list. Just goes to show that you should never give up on your dreams!

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
See above. LOL

Some of your characters have their own Facebook pages! How has social networking helped build your fan base? 
Yes, social networking is probably one of the biggest reasons I was able to get the word out about my books. Self pubbing is great but it's a lot of work and the author essentially has to do all her marketing herself! For me, word of mouth has been crucial and I'm sure it has a lot to do with how much guerrilla marketing online I did in the early days.

What is your current obsession (absolutely anything)?
Remodeling my house. It seems like that's all I've been doing lately!

Thank you so much to H.P. for chatting with me! Be sure to check her out (links below!)

Find her books on Amazon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday : Current Obsessions

10. Wedding
My lovely sister in law is getting married in a few weeks and for the last few months I have been in Matron of Honor mode. Though things are winding down I'm still all about wedding hoopla these days.

9. Supernatural on Netflix
I can't explain just how much I love this show. Though I own all the DVD's I tend to watch random episodes on Netflix while I clean or right before bed. The Winchester's just make me happy!

8. Blogging
If you can believe it I'm spending a lot of time trying to keep the blog up to date. I've been doing interviews and reaching out to other authors to do guests posts like crazy!

7. Revenge

I'm getting caught up on the first season of this show and I'm totally ADDICTED! It's like The O.C. and Kill Bill combined. Great show!

6. Promotion
I've been hearing great things from people about The Low Notes lately and it has been driving me to do more promotion. I'm using Facebook and Twitter to get the word out and reaching out to book review bloggers too.

5. Pinterest
I'm not as psycho about Pinterest right now as I was this time last year but I'm on there about every day. I pin things like recipes and DIY crafts. I also have a lovely board called The Dream which is made of ideas for my ultimate dream home. You can follow me if you like!

4. Popular Music
A lot of popular songs are really good right now and I'm a little obsessed. Let's see...Maroon 5's One More Night, Alex Clare's Too Close, Fun's Some Nights, Taylor Swift's We Are Never Getting Back Together, Cher Lloyd's Want U Back, Justin Beiber's As Long As You Love Me are just a few. I need to make a mix tape!

3. The New Normal on NBC
Hilarious and sweet new sitcom about the new normal family. Check it out. Are you sensing a theme? I watch a lot of TV haha!!

2. Fall
 Fall is my favorite season and it's almost here. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love the weather and the changing leaves. I also love the return of all my favorite shows, the clothes (and boots) and food. Can you say crock-pot? Cannot wait!

1. Writing!
Typey Typey y'all! The words have been flying off the fingertips lately and I couldn't be happier about it. I haven't given myself a serious deadline but I would love to mark The Low Notes' one year anniversary with another release (if not sooner). The title that I'm currently working on is a beach romance about finding yourself and finding love and it's called Back to You. So excited about it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The past few weeks have been truly amazing. I've had more fans reach out to me than I ever dreamed possible! The thought that people around the globe are reading The Low Notes and enjoying it brings so much joy to my heart.

Since the release of The Low Notes I have managed to hear from fans from four continents. I've received reviews and messages from Germany, Ireland, England, all over the US, Canada, the Philippines, and even as far as Africa! I even received my first piece of 'fan art'! 

Though I still love my cover this alternate cover created by fan Natasa A. is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing Natasa!!

Fan Art by Natasa A.

To even have fans is an awesome feeling but to have such loving and cool fans is completely overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who has reached out, reviewed the book and read. Each of you make me smile and I promise I'm working on something new for you to read.

If you want to show your fan side you can like my author page on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can also review The Low Notes on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Low Notes : The Movie

In my dreams I attend the red carpet premiere for The Low Notes movie. Hell, I'd settle for Lifetime or ABC Family originals! The film adaptation of my first novel most likely will never happen but that doesn't mean we can't play hypothetical casting director. Here's a few suggestions from readers and my opinions followed by my ideal choices for Kevin and Nina.

Reader A.O.'s choices 

Kevin (Zac Efron)
Best known for the High School Musical films

Nina (Lucy Hale)
Star of the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars

Author's Opinion : Both are clearly good looking and great actors. But.... Zac Efron is just 25 and he looks about 19 so to me he is too young to play Kevin. He's missing the brown eyes as well and I think he's a little short. Everything but the age can be adjusted in a movie of course but for me he's not Kevin. I love Lucy Hale for Nina (she's got the look, the age AND she can sing!) except for the fact that on her show Pretty Little Liars she has a teacher/student relationship and I wouldn't want that to cloud the viewers minds.

Reader A. N.'s choices

Kevin (Ian Somerhalder)
Hot vampire and hot LOST cast member

Nina (Nina Dobrev)
Two vampire brothers love her, duh.

Author's Opinion: Let me preface all of this by saying I LOVE The Vampire Diaries and think both of these actors are fantastic on that show. That being said Ian Somerhalder is way too brooding to be Kevin and again he has light eyes. Nina Dobrev doesn't look enough like Nina Jordan for me. The other aspects of why I'm not a fan of this pairing for my movie include the fact that they already star on a TV show together and they date in real life. I wouldn't want to be a part of a Robsten type drama!!

Reader M.C.'s choices

Kevin (Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid)

Nina (the reader)

Author's Opinion: I nearly died when I heard this reader (my sister-in-law) tell me she pictured the Disney prince as Kevin the entire time she read the book! Honestly the only thing he is missing is the brown eyes. He's got the sexy, sweet thing going on. I approve! Prince Eric might very well have been my first crush so who's to say whether or not he added to my character development a little? As for Nina I totally get this choice! Sometimes when you're reading a book that you love or identify with it's hard to not think of yourself as the main character. Clearly neither of these choices would really work in a film version but I can respect these suggestions.

Author's Choices

Kevin (Rick Malambri)
Star of Step Up 3-D (yeah, I said it!)
Another pic, a little more real.

Nina (Jessica Lowndes)
Star of 90210

Found this picture ages ago and this is how I always envisioned Nina

Kevin has always been the hardest for me to think of when it comes to casting but a few months ago I settled on Rick Malambri in my mind. He's the closest to Kevin I could think of. Jessica Lowndes has always been choice number one for me for Nina. Though she's getting a little older now (I picked her back when I was writing in 2008) I still think of her as my film Nina.

I hope you liked playing pretend movie maker with me today! Sigh, someday I'll get my movie...someday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Elicia M. Seawell with The Tarot Diaries: The Fool

I'm happy to be one of many hosts along fellow Rebel Elicia Seawell's blog tour for her newest release The Tarot Diaries : The Fool. Welcome Elicia and all the best of luck to you with this novel!

How does the Tarot work? And just who is Katie Jenkins?

Some people just totally do not believe in Tarot. It is a very mystical, oracle tool used to predict the future for many people, if you believe in that sort of thing.
For me it all started in high school when my aunt gave me the deck she had acquired and I started studying the Tarot. Over the years I’ve learned so much about the different styles of readings, the types of cards and exactly what each card means. Granted there are still a lot of things to learn but each card in my deck fascinates me.
My aunt eventually took the deck back when she wanted to study the cards herself but after years of searching, I received a deck from an ex-boyfriend of mine. I’ve had the deck ever since. Each reading I’ve done, I’ve collected into a journal of my own and it helps reflect on the meanings of each card. I also like to keep a journal just to see which readings come true.
The same could be said for Katie Jenkins, the lead character in the Taro Diaries. Katie inherits her own deck of tarot cards, much like my own and has to live the life of revealing paths for others. Along with her best friend Phoenix (Finny) Carrington, she finds out so much about her capabilities and how far she can be pushed.
I named the first book Tarot Diaries: The Fool because in the succession of the Tarot, the Fool is the first card in the deck. The Tarot is about the journey of the Fool in this thing we call life. He meets people along the way that help him grow and learn, much in the way that my character does in the series.
I really enjoyed writing this first book in many books to come and I hope that each one of you earn an appreciation for the mystery of the Tarot.

About Tarot Diaries: The Fool

What would you do if you could find out your purpose in life? Would you want to know or be completely left in the dark?
Katie Jenkins finds out her purpose, but not in a way most people do. After a night of shots of tequila and a bet from her best friend, she is coerced to seek a fortune teller for insight into her future. What she finds out changes her life forever.
Katie comes from a long line of Romanian Gypsies cursed with the ability to not only read Tarot cards, but they also have to deliver the bad news to whomever the cards reveal. She, along with her best friend Phoenix (Finny) Carrington, seeks out those who are doomed and try to change their lives before something awful happens to them.
Can Katie stop a mad man from the deaths that surround her, or will she fall victim to the very same mad man responsible for the death of so many?

About Elicia M. Seawell

Elicia M. Seawell started out as a freelance graphic artist and fell in love with writing when she began her work in the newspaper industry. After long sleepless nights, she found writing as a way to combat her insomnia however most of her characters were developed while standing in the frozen food section deciding on ice cream. She is the author of Peach River Acres and The Tarot Diaries series, both being released by Rebel Ink Press. She is also the author of the self-published YA novella, Shadows: The Story of the Kayouta. Elicia is currently studying Behavioral Analysis/Psychology and is married to Michael Seawell. She has three children: Brandon, Rachel and Greta. She was also born in Darlington, SC and currently resides in Darlington.   

Excerpt from Tarot Diaries: The Fool

   The young child sat at his table, bread in hand, dog barking at his feet and wondered where to go from this point. He could stay in his mundane life and live each day knowing that his end was drawing near. However, a huge part of him started to wander, as his mind did.
   What else could be out there?
   He stared blankly out the window and sighed. He threw the last piece of bread to the dog and stood. His small room closed in on him more and more each day. How could he not want to move on and find out what was beyond the horizon?
   He looked to his faithful companion who didn't offer much advice and sighed.
   It would be considered a Fool's journey, he told himself, but at the same time, the young one wanted more. He craved more.
   There wasn't much left in the small room he shared with his dog and the foolish young one decided it was time to leave. It meant leaving everything behind but if he never left, how would he know his true path?
   He found a large square of cloth and filled it with everything he could possibly carry and placed it on a huge stick. He looked to the dog and said, "Let's go."
   The door to his small, modest room opened to reveal a path. He had no idea where this path would lead him, but he was willing to accept the journey for what it was worth.
   A small voice inside his head spoke to him. Dear child, careful of the journey you choose. You are responsible for your own life and it will be difficult to make the decisions that you will have to face. Take heed to those who try to betray you, embrace those who help you and learn what you can from your journey. It will be a long one.
   The foolish boy nodded and exited the room on his way to the most amazing journey he could have imagined – life

Readers can find Elicia on her website, Facebook and Twitter
You can purchase The Tarot Diaries : The Fool at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Bookstrand 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Layla Swanson : The Character Interview

This is my first time interviewing a character and I couldn't be more excited to be interviewing Miss Layla Swanson! Layla will be making another appearance in Britni Hill's upcoming novel From the Rubble due out later this fall. If you have read the first book, Tears in the Rubble you'll be anxious to hear some of these answers and if you haven't you're in luck too (there's no spoilers).

So Layla, what’s life been life after high school?

Life since high school has been…interesting. 

You left Hollow Oaks for the city, are you happier in a metropolitan?

I love Hampton.  The noises of the city and all of the fun places to go and discover, but there’s just something about the stars in the country.  I miss that.

What’s been the most exciting thing to happen since getting out of the small town?

So many things have happened since I left Hollow Oaks.  One of the biggest things is getting my job.  I manage a small boutique in the arts district.  I could really go on and on about…uh...exciting things.

You’ve always seemed career motivated, what are your career goals for the future?

I think my main goal is to have a place of my own eventually. 

What’s your dream job?

I’d love to have my own fashion line, but I don’t really have the creativity for it.  I have the eye to spot trends and dress people but creating my own pieces has never worked out.

Do you find time to date? If so, are you seeing anyone? What ever happened to that high school boyfriend of yours….?

Time to date…no not really.  I’ve never really found anyone that was worth the time and my life is kind of complicated to say the least.  Taylor’s around.  He’s not my biggest fan anymore.

How different do you think your life would’ve turned out had you not left for college?

I really couldn’t say.  That wasn’t an option for me.  I guess finding out the answer to that question always terrified me.  I could just see myself with a bunch of kids sitting at home all day with nothing to do, still going to the high school football games.  Nope, not for me.

When you look back at high school do you consider it to be the best time of your life?

The best time, no.  I’d have to say I think the best time of my life lies ahead of me.  I’m having a great time now, but I think it will just get better.

What’s your current guilty pleasure?

Shoes.  Always shoes.

What’s next for you?

I don’t know.  I’ve learned a lot in the past years.  There would have been a time when I had a plan for everything, but plans generally don’t go as expected, so I try not to depend on them.  I try to go with the flow.

Thanks to Layla for chatting with me today!

You can purchase Tears in the Rubble on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookstrand and ARe. And look for the sequel From the Rubble coming soon. For more information on both books and the author, go to Britni Hill's website.