Today on Author on the Couch,
(the story behind the storyteller)
I conduct a session with
AE is offering her MIND SWEEPER NOVELLAS to one lucky person.
At the end of this post I’ll tell you how to enter to win.
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
AE: I would say that losing my mother has had and continues to have a huge impact on my life. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I was devastated. One of the ways I learned to cope was through my writing. I escaped into a world that I had control over. My mother loved books and she passed that along to me from the moment I was born (or it might have been while I was in utero). She was my fan, advocate, coach, beta reader. You name it and she did it. When I lost her, I dove into my writing with a passion. It helped me move through my grief, plus I knew that she wouldn’t have wanted me to stop doing something that I love.
Me: Writing does have a certain therapeutic power. It has something to do with distraction away from intense feelings and filtering emotions into a manageable form.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
AE: It’s two-fold for me. One is having the drive or persistence to keep writing even when the words don’t come easily but the rejections do! The other is imagination. I’ve been making up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. Thank goodness the characters in these stories finally demanded that I write them down to share with others.
Me: Persistence and imagination–two key ingredients to being a successful writer.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
AE: Self-doubt can be a big deterrent for me. If I flip into that mode then I start questioning my writing and that’s not a good place to visit. I think that’s because as a writer I spend a lot of time inside my head. The interesting thing is I have met a LOT of writers who talk about that negative voice in their head, but their persistence outweighs the doubt and they continue on! That’s why writing communities are so powerful. We all can relate and support each other.
Me: What was your high point as a writer?
AE: So far my high point as a writer has been winning the Golden Heart for Mind Sweeper, Book 1 in my paranormal romance/urban fantasy series. First was the call that I was a finalist (you can relate to that Abbie!) from a representative from Romance Writers of America. I was a giggling-babbler on the phone.
Then finally attending the ceremony in Atlanta and sweating buckets (literally) as the evening went on. I also have to mention that I sat at a table with Eloisa James and Sarah MacLean at the awards. So on top of everything else I was having a total fan girl moment. And then having your name and picture flashed up on a jumbotron as the nominees are announced and hearing “and the winner of the Golden Heart for paranormal romance goes to”… Wow.
Beyond surreal. Whenever I think about it, I still sweat a little bit. Standing up in frontof two thousand authors and industry professionals, many of whom are my idols, to accept an award was mind-blowing. And to add icing to the cake, my writing buddy and chapter mate, Miranda Liasson, also won a Golden Heart as well that evening.
A wonderful part of being a finalist has been becoming friends with the other Golden Heart finalists that year, the Lucky 13’s. We’re still in touch today and cheer each other on. We’re a wonderful support system for each other.
We’ll have to wait and see what this summer brings during the RITA awards. Oh boy, I just started sweating again…
Me: Reading about your experience when you won the Golden Heart gives me chills! I was in the audience that night and will forever remember the cheers from all the NEORWA (Northeast Ohio RWA) members! My fingers are crossed that you win the RITA this year. You deserve it! I’ll be in the audience cheering for you!
We can’t talk high points without talking low points. What was your low point as a writer?
AE: I don’t know if I have one particular low point, really. I think slogging through rejections can bring any writer down, especially if those rejections come from someone who was so excited about your project at the outset. And I read the rejections, gather what I can from them and move on. Again, persistence, persistence, persistence.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
AE: I have written several books that will not see the light of day, but were necessary for me to write in order to learn. I call it ‘on the job’ training. Currently in my Mind Sweeper series I have two full length novels and two novellas that have been released. Book 5, another full length novel, will be coming out late summer. And I have the first book of a new series written that (fingers crossed) will come out in the fall.
To write a full-length novel it can take me 2-4 months or so. And then edits and proofread, etc are another 1-2 months.
The most painful part of the process for me is getting to the daggone middle of a book. The beginning is great, the end is my favorite part, but those chapters leading up to the middle usually torture me slowly until I meet the mid-way point and then I say to myself “You’re half way done!” After that I write a lot faster.
Me: What book do you wish you’d written? Why?
AE: This might sound like a pat answer, but I would have loved to write Harry Potter and not because I would be a gazillionaire by now! JK Rowling created a magical world with endearing characters who became our best friends. Did we not see ourselves as being in the house of Gryffindor? Or playing quidditch and learning our spells?
And yes the magical world captivated us, but the reason why the books are such powerhouses is because she tapped into universal truths and emotions.
The stories were of growing up and facing our fears and fighting against prejudices. When it comes down to it, Harry Potter is a David and Goliath fairytale. Good wins out against evil. Everyone can relate to that.
Me: What’s your writer’s mantra?
AE: This is a wonderful question. In January 2014 I actually embraced a writer’s mantra that I blogged about on my website. My mantra is BE FEARLESS. I decided on this mantra at the same time I decided to self-publish my Mind Sweeper series. It was a scary leap to make, but I did it. And even though it has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, it has also been the most rewarding.
Me: Tell me about your newest project.
AE: THE MIND SWEEPER NOVELLAS (Box Set)
The Mind Sweeper Novellas Box Set: Discover the Mind Sweeper series through the eyes of Jean Luc and Talia in these two novellas.
THE FLEDGLING – A Novella
Vampire Jean Luc Delacroix has been alive for nearly four hundred years. Alive, but not really living. This changes when he meets newly turned vampire, Talia. Feisty and beautiful, Talia is the first female Jean Luc has been attracted to in centuries. But when he finds out she is also a bounty hunter who is interfering with his investigation of a supernatural serial killer, he pushes her away for her and his own good.
Bitten and thrust into the supernatural world against her will, Talia wants nothing more than to do her job. She doesn’t have time to deal with an overbearing, ridiculously sexy vampire. But Jean Luc and Talia butt heads on their single-minded crusade to stop a murderer. And unless they can set aside their troubled pasts and learn to trust each other, they may never have an opportunity to explore their true feelings. Especially when they face off with the killer.
THE PURSUIT – A Novella
Thirty years after their initial meeting, Jean Luc Delacroix and Talia Walker once again cross paths. After seeing Talia again, Jean Luc’s feelings reignite. This time he will do whatever it takes to make her a permanent part of his life.
Talia learned everything she knows about love—and about being a vampire—from Jean Luc. And when she comes face to face with Jean Luc again, she wonders if her continued independence is as important as being with the vampire she still loves.
Before either can acknowledge their feelings, they are embroiled in a deadly case of a vampire draining humans. In the midst of an investigation that threatens the very foundation of the vampire nation, can Jean Luc and Talia finally find the courage to follow their hearts? Or will the killer destroy them first?
Me: These novellas sound amazing!
Share with us a favorite paragraph from your newest release.
AE: Okay, I cheated a little bit here. I’m giving you a mini-scene instead of a paragraph, but I love this interplay, so I wanted to share it. Jean Luc is a 400 year old vampire who suppresses his emotions. He is starting to fall in love with Talia and doesn’t know what to do about it. This is his reaction to it as he teaches her how to be a vampire.
“Vampires are able to detect pulse and heartbeat. This is very helpful when you are in a threatening situation. You can often tell when someone is about to strike because their heartbeat speeds up. Close your eyes, and I will show you.” She did so without argument, which surprised him. “Now let go of everything around you and just concentrate on my heartbeat.”
Talia stood still for a moment. With her eyes shut and her face relaxed, she was Venus summoning him to sin with her.
“I can hear it,” she whispered.
He clenched his fists to keep from gathering her into his arms.
Her eyes popped open. “Your heartbeat just sped up. Were you going to attack me?”
She had no idea.
Me: OMG! I love this excerpt! I gotta see what happens next!
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To win a copy of THE MIND SWEEPER NOVELLAS,
just leave a comment. On Saturday AE will pick a winner from among those who comment.
What do you think about AE’s mantra?
Have you read any of the other books in the MIND SWEEPER Series?
Have you had any experiences similar to AE’s?