Roxana Jones – Up Close and Personal

Roxanna Pic

 

If you are already a follower of Roxana Jones on Twitter, then you know that she is creative, inspiring, and joyful. She is a bestselling and award winning author, Anthropologist, Master of Political Science, and more.

But for those of you who do not yet know Roxana, here are a few tidbits you will no doubt find interesting:

When did she first know she was meant to be a writer…

RJ: “I was born to be a writer. When I was a little girl, I used to have many journals and diaries that I used to hide in my room because I was very shy and I wasn’t willing to share them with anyone. I remember how my happiest moments were those when I was creating with words, many stories which manifested later as my own life.”

What was the defining moment in her life that really changed things for her writing career…

RJ: “It was in 2009. There came a moment in my life’s path when everything was taken away from me. When I say everything, I mean it. My homelessness and hollowness were what made me realize that I had to go back to my childhood dreams of becoming a writer. After twenty years or more, of denying and evading who I truly was, I was fortunate to be able to reconnect with that part of me that truly made me happy. This has been crucial for me, because today, I’m convinced that to be able to become a good a writer, you have to write from that space where you can transmit your passion and your love.”

Which of her writing projects is she most proud of…

RJ: “The trilogy “While I Was Learning To Become God.” The first book is a best-seller and award-winner, and the second one, “The Dead Still Want To Live,” has just been released a few weeks back. I have started working on the third and last one of the series so I will be spending some time in London and Edinburgh getting some ideas that I need for it. More than being proud of this ongoing project, I love the fact that it is a gift that the universe has offered me so that I never forget what I have been capable of creating in this lifetime. We human beings have a tendency to forget the power of our light, often times we belittle ourselves, and I am no exception. This project will always remind me of how I was able to turn my light on so that it could grow and expand.”

Which author is she a fan of…

RJ: “I truly admire Paulo Coelho. I think he represents a new kind of author, the type that writes to change the world in positive ways. He has a message and he uses his books as the conduit to spread it throughout the world. In that sense, I am one of those writers too, more focused on the message than on the literary forms and shapes.”

How does she overcome Writer’s Block…

RJ: “What I have discovered is that blockages are a thing of the mind. When you write from the heart everything flows more easily. This is why while I’m creating a story, I first let my heart lead and then, in a second moment, I allow my mind to enter as the editor of what the heart has put into words. It works for me every time.”

Her suggestions for new authors who are trying to get exposure for their work…

RJ: “The book industry continues to be transformed at a very fast pace. It is so much easier to put your writings “out there” for others to start getting to know your work. But at the same time that through the Internet it is easier to have access to your audience, you also need more time to build your name or brand, and even if you have a team of people working on this for you, I don’t think that any strategy can be effective if you’re not involved in the process. New authors must be willing to learn about publishing, marketing, sales, PR, social media, and all the different aspects that were once exclusive territory of the traditional publishing companies. In other words, two concepts must definitely stay in mind: multitasking and engagement.”

To find out more about Roxana, check out the links below:

Roxana Jones

Roxana on Twitter

Roxana’s Author Page at Amazon

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Strength of Spirit

We have all been at “rock bottom” at one point or another in our lives. Usually, hitting rock bottom brings inevitable change.

Don’t we all just cringe at the idea of change?

But change doesn’t have to be bad.

Change can actually be a launch pad for opportunity and growth. It can be the spark we use to mold and shape our lives into something new and better.

Without knowing the particulars, I think it boils down to perspective.

You can wallow and let it enslave you; or you can choose to embrace and persevere.

Making the best out of a less than ideal situation is not failure. It is an alternate route to future success.

The Next Big Thing Blog Post!

Welcome to my post for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop! I want to give a quick shout out of thanks to L.H. Cosway for the invite to participate. This whole thing is designed to raise awareness of our work in progress. We do that by answering ten questions about it. We graciously thank the person who nominated us, and tag other authors whose work could well be that NEXT BIG THING.

Q1: What is the working title of your book?

My current book in progress is “Dark Horizon”.

Q2: Where did the idea for the book come from?

Oddly enough, my true inspiration came from a board game called “Battle Ball” that I bought for my son when he was about 8. The 3D playing pieces are little armored guys who play a version of football. But for this book, my imagination somehow spun it into a gladiator style version along with some tender romance.

Q3: What genre does your book fall under?

This is a YA (young adult) book. It wasn’t actually intended to be, in the original concept, but during the writing process the characters just sort of took me in that direction.

Q4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My main characters are Silas and Dahlia. As I have been writing the book, the actors I most easily imagine portraying these characters would be: Channing Tatum for Silas and Amanda Seyfried for Dahlia.

Q5: What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

This is a love story set in a futuristic world that is harsh and desperate.

Q6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I intend to self-publish this book because it is so much easier to make your own work available to the world with today’s technology.

Q7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I am actually still in the final stages of the first draft. I expect it to be completed by Dec 16th. I wanted to finish it for Nanowrimo but life has thrown me a couple curve balls in the meantime.

Q8: What other books would you compare this story to, within your genre?

I guess the Hunger Games comes to mind because of the age group. Also, the spotlight on violence for entertainment in that world/setting, and the struggle of the main characters to survive.

Q9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to really dig my heels in and write this book after publishing my first short story on Amazon.com. Once I felt the satisfaction of publishing my own work, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get started on my next project.

Q10: What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

This book is filled with action. There are exciting things happening in nearly every chapter. The characters are strong and well-developed, and their budding romance is tender and passionate.

Now I’d like to pass the torch to other deserving authors, and let them tell you all about their work. Their posts will bear the same title and will be live between tomorrow and December 5.

Maria Monteiro

Mike Lane

 

Considering the Holiday Buzz

Black Friday is behind us and Cyber Monday lies ahead. Everywhere we look there are decorations and sales fliers proclaiming things about the upcoming holiday.

Its so easy to get caught up in the holiday buzz. Especially when holidays mean different things to different people.

But I hope as you read this, that you remember this: The best presents don’t come in wrapping paper.

Having a Chat with Maria Monteiro…

Maria Monteiro

Maria Monteiro

One of the greatest things about life are the surprises. One day I was on twitter, minding everyone else’s business (aka reading tweets), and the next I had stumbled upon an up and coming young adult author named Maria Monteiro.

Her writing is bursting with the best components of young adult romance: emotional conflict, amazing characters, and the struggle to reveal what is hidden in the human heart. If you haven’t already done so, do yourself a favor and check out her book “Hold on Tight” available here!

In an effort to get to know a little more about the woman behind the writing, here are some things about Maria you might like to know…

Q.  If you could spend a day living the life of one of your characters, which one would it be and why?

Maria: “I would love to be Emma from Hold on Tight for one day. She has two very hot guys pursuing her. Who wouldn’t want that? The only thing is I would have more fun with Court and Nash (the two hot guys), and not worry so much of who I want to be with. She also works at an amusement park and I always wanted to do that when I was younger.”

Q.  Which of your writing projects are you most proud of?

Maria: “This is tough because each one of my stories are like my children and how could you pick between one, but if I had to I would have to say Hold on Tight. It is not the first book I wrote, but it’s the first one I published and had people actually read. I still remember the first time I held my book in my hands, I could not stop crying and beaming with pride. It was a magical moment.”

Q.  Since most writers are also avid readers, which author or authors are you a fan of?

Maria: “I have so many authors I am huge fan of: Jennifer Echols, Judy Bloom, Jenny Han, Jen Naumann, Danielle Sibarium, and L.H Cosway. They are all so talented in different ways. Every time I read one of their books I fall in love with reading all over again.”

Q.  Do you have any favorite bands or playlists to help motivate you during your writing?

Maria: “I can’t even imagine writing without music. It inspires me in so many ways. I even titled every chapter in Hold on Tight and Letting Go after song titles. Right now the bands that motivate me the most are O.A.R, Parachute, Lifehouse, American Bang, Led Zeppelin and a female singer named Alexz Johnson. They all have a perfect song that fits with what my characters are going through.”

Q.  If you could give any piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Maria: “The biggest piece of advice I would give my younger self is: do not let the fear of failure control you. I spent too many years of my life not doing what I wanted to do because I was afraid someone would tell me I’m not good enough. I’m so happy I finally took a chance.”

Q.  What job did you dream of having when you were a kid?

Maria: “I always knew I wanted to be writer. I’m so lucky I’m finally doing it.”

For more information on this amazingly talented writer, please check out the links below.

Maria Monteiro – Inspired by the Small Moments

Maria on Twitter!

Maria’s Author Page at Amazon.com

Painted Faces – The Reveal

Painted Faces Cover

Painted Faces Cover

Today’s post is dedicated to the upcoming release of the book, “Painted Faces” by L.H. Cosway. This wonderful romantic comedy is set to be released Sunday, December 16th.
Trust me when I say, this is not a book you want to miss!

For your reading pleasure, here is the synopsis courtesy of L.H. Cosway:

“Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn’t have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

She is gobsmacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself embroiled in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her addictively beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.”

A Peek Inside the Mind of L.H. Cosway

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Today’s post features an interview with one of my personal favorite authors: L.H. Cosway. She has written several books including: Tegan’s Blood, Tegan’s Return, A Strange Fire, and A Vision of Green. Believe me when I tell you, more great books are yet to come our way from this talented author.

But for now, let’s take a peek inside the creative mind of L.H. Cosway and see if we can figure out what makes her tick.

Her thoughts on knowing when she was meant to an be author: 

“I don’t think there was an exact moment when I decided this was what I wanted to do, but I’ve always found that writing was one of the few things in life that came easy to me. I’ll admit that when I was at school I didn’t really put in much of an effort academically until my very last year, and I can remember that when I did start to put in some proper work my English teacher told me one day that I should become a writer. Perhaps that planted the seed.”

The defining moment in her life that changed things for her writing career:

“I can’t exactly pick one out, because I don’t know if this moment has come for me yet. Hopefully one day it will, that would be nice. When I got my first job as a writer with a company in Dublin I’d get to go to all of these conferences for research and I’d be introduced to people as the company’s writer, it kind made it official that this was my job now.”

If she could spend a day living the life of one of her characters:  

“I’d spend a day in the life of Finn, the Irish vampire slayer from my Ultimate Power Series, not for any deep reason, I’ve just always wondered what it would be like to be a man, to see what goes on inside their heads. He’s a real cool customer, so it would be great to get to walk in his kick ass shoes and make derogatory comments about vampires. Oh, and killing them. That would be fun.”

The writing project she is currently most proud of:

“At this moment in time I’m most proud of my as yet to be published romance novel Painted Faces, mainly because it’s set in the every day world that I live in and has provided me with a chance to paint a picture of modern Dublin as I see it. I think there’s something very precious about a book that you haven’t published yet, because it hasn’t had the chance to be shaped by other people’s opinions. It’s just this perfect thing that belongs only to you. When you put it out there it doesn’t belong to you any more, and the story has different meanings for different people.”

Who she feels has helped her in becoming the person she is today:

“I’d like to be sentimental and name one person, but I can’t. I think the person I am today is shaped by everyone. I love coming across new people and studying them, getting to know them and taking something away from the exchange. Each new person I meet changes me, makes me adjust my view of the world, whether it’s in a tiny way or a really big way.”

 The authors she is a fan of:

“I tend to gravitate more towards female authors rather than male, probably because I prefer the female point of view. Women have different priorities when telling a story than men, I think, and female priorities appeal to me far more than male. I adore Kelley Armstrong’s books, I must have read all of them by now, and there are a lot. Other authors I love include Andrea Cremer, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Cassandra Clare.”

On whether she has an all-time favorite book:

“I have many. I could never choose just one because I think I fall in love with a new book on a weekly basis.”

 Her technique for overcoming Writer’s Block:

“I get out of the apartment and do something that’s as far removed from writing as possible. As a writer I find that sometimes you can fall into the trap of trying to write all the time and you neglect the real world. The problem with this is that the experiences you have in the real world are what feed the fictional worlds you create, so you need to balance how much time you spend in each. I get writer’s block when I try to push myself to stay indoors and write. If a writer stays indoors then they’re not going to have any human interaction to draw on. Studying people and interacting with them helps me to learn what makes them tick, and hopefully helps me to create realistic characters on the page.”

The music that helps motivate her writing:

 “Music is a huge driving force for my writing. I mostly love songs where the artist is basically baring their soul to you through their lyrics. I can’t stand lyrics that are vague or metaphorical. I like songs that hit you in the face with their honesty. My favourite artists include Regina Spektor, St. Vincent, Amanda Palmer, and Camille O’Sullivan. There’s also a little dark cabaret band from Brighton called Birdseatsbaby that I love, they haven’t hit the big time yet but I’m sure that’s all to come, they’re amazing.”

The piece of advice she would impart to her younger self, if she could:

“Well, when I was a child I was extremely introverted, and then quite ironically when I got into my teens I talked a lot of rubbish. So I think I’d tell my kid self to speak more and my teenage self to shut up.”

Her suggestions for new authors:

“I’d advise them to spend every moment they can find promoting themselves. This is the part that I hate the most, but it’s the part that’s going to get more people reading your books. Also, make connections with like-minded people. Watch what other successful authors who have been publishing longer do and learn from them. “

To learn more about L.H. Cosway, please check the links below:

The Amazon.com Author Page for L.H. Cosway

The Blog of L.H. Cosway

Twitter Page of L.H. Cosway