Saturday, February 25, 2012

Interview with author Cynthia Woolf


Today I’m interviewing Cynthia Woolf.  Her book, Centauri Midnight is a sci-fi romance and was released on January 9, 2012
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Centauri Midnight takes place on the planet Gregara.  My heroine and hero have tracked a murderer to the planet and are determined to take him back to Centauri for trial.
Nice! I like suspense, far away planets, and romance! Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  
This is a sci-fi romance or space opera.  I also write western romances set in 1880’s Colorado.

Sci-fi AND westerns? You must have quite the imagination, which a great writer needs IMHO. When did you start writing toward publication?  
I’ve been writing for years.  I started my western, Tame A Wild Heart, in 1990.  After several rejections from publishers over the years, I decided to publish it on my own.  It has become my best seller.  I guess the big publishers in New York don’t know everything, huh?

I can attest to that. My own jump into self-publishing has given my readers Dragon In The Mist and Southern Fried Dragon. Why have you become a published author?   
I became a published author because I love to write.  Now I hate to edit, but the initial writing stage, “the puking phase” where you just write and get it all out, is the part that I love.  I know sounds disgusting but I believe that Nora Roberts was the first one I heard use that phrase and it is so descriptive of what actually happens when you write the first draft.

I love Nora. At a conference I heard her say something like ‘Get your butt in the chair and write.’ Our local RWA chapter has ‘Book In a Week’ where participants throw garbage at the screen to rack up pages and worry about edits later. Very freeing. After your edits are complete and your book is out, what sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

For promo, I tweet, facebook and blog.  I think that blogging is the biggest helper and provides the steadiest flow of sales.  I don’t have any help, I haven’t paid to go on a blog tour although I might do that in the future.  Setting up your own blog tour takes a lot of time and effort as you well know.

I hear you. Writing guest posts and interviews can take time, but blogging on other blogs really helps (which is why you are here, today!) I mentioned I am a member of Romance Writers of America. Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

I am a member of RWA and Colorado Romance Writers.  CRW has been very helpful.  Their classes and mentoring attitude have taught me the process of writing and allowed my creative spirit to soar above all my expectations.  I don’t think I’d be published now if not for CRW.  I belong to RWA because I need to in order to belong to CRW.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 
Don’t wait for the public to come to you.  Publishers are becoming less and less likely to publish new authors because of the self publishing phenomenon.  Take advantage of this and publish yourself.  Make sure that you have a good product.  Get a professional cover, have your book edited and put the best product out there that you can and then promote, promote, promote.  Find your readers.
Cynthia Woolf, author
Kitari ‘Kiti’ Dolana wants justice for her murdered brother. She’s trailed the man responsible to a distant planet where swords outmaneuver blasters.

Garrick Marcus, Spaceship Captain, is on a mission to hunt down a ruthless killer. The same man Kiti is after.

But Kiti and Garrick discover an explosive attraction that makes it hard to keep their minds on their goals.  As they try to bring down the killer, they find that love and vengeance are a volatile mix.
A little bit about the author

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden.  She spent her early years running wild around the mountainside with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend.  That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader.  Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week.  This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug.  She wrote her first story at the age of ten.  A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write.  Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates.  She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories.  In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.  Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2000, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend.  One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker.  Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing.  She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
Thanks for stopping by today. How can my readers buy your book?  
Readers can go to Amazon or go to Barnes &Noble

You can find more information about Cynthia Woolf and her book, Centauri Midnight by visiting her WEBSITE or her BLOG

Nancy Lee

Friday, February 17, 2012

Interview With Author James Hutchings

Today I am interviewing James Hutchings. His book, The New Death and others is a collection of fantasy short stories and poems and was released on September 27th, 2011.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

It's a collection of stories and poems, 63 pieces in all. It's only a bit over 41,000 words in total, so most of them are quite short. Most of the stories are fantasy, but there's some 'general fiction' in there as well. The style ranges from funny to very grim. I'm much more influenced by older writers like Tolkien and Robert E Howard. In fact, I've never read any of the Harry Potter, Twilight or Game of Thrones series, or most other popular modern fantasy authors.

I do not think I have ever met anyone who has not read Harry Potter! When did you start writing toward publication?

I did a Bachelor of Arts majoring in creative writing and media, but I didn't do anything with it after graduating. Years later I created a fantasy city called Teleleli or Telelee as a background for role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Once I finished I realised there wasn't any demand for it. My ex suggested I use it as a setting for stories instead, and that's how I got started. I wrote the pieces in The New Death and others over about a year, from September 2010 to September 2011.

Many people have no idea how long it takes to create a work of fiction. On that note, do you have any rejection stories to share?

I got a rejection email for one of my poems which said that "There were several amusing parts in this poem, but it’s not consistently funny throughout, which is what I’d be looking for in a humour poem. I think the problem (as I see it) is that you’re often vague or allusive; specific details tend to be funniest." This would have been a lot more encouraging if the poem was meant to be funny.

Oh, no! How funny…or not. I hate rejection letters unless they are filled with constructive criticism. The show must go on. What is your writing routine like?

I make myself write every day. I think if I tried to write, say, three times a week, that would actually be harder, because it would be too easy to put it off and say I'll do it later. If it's every day I 'have' to write now. I usually write at the end of the day before I go to bed (actually early in the morning).

I used to work 3rd shift and found writing before sleeping through the day was relaxing, knowing I accomplished ‘something’. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Self-publishing through Amazon and Smashwords has become much more common, and much more potentially rewarding, to the point where it's likely to be the 'default option' for writers in a few years.

I have written for two small publishers, but I ‘took the plunge’ recently with DRAGON IN THE MIST and SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON, both self-published. What’s next for you?

The main thing I'm working on right now is a poem set in the old West, called 'Confession of a Bounty Hunter'. I've been encouraged to write a novel set in the fantasy city of Telelee, which is the setting of a few of the stories in 'The New Death and others'. I have a lot of background for this world, because I blog every day and most of it is setting detail. I also have a half-finished novel called 'All-American Detectives', which is a combination of a detective story and a story about superheroes, which I'll probably come back to in the future.


Death gets a roommate...

An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question...

A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain...

44 stories. 19 poems. No sparkly vampires. There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it - but from which direction?

A little bit about the author

James Hutchings lives in Melbourne, Australia. He fights crime as Poetic Justice, but his day job is acting. You might know him by his stage-name 'Brad Pitt.' He specializes in short fantasy fiction. His work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, fiction365 and Enchanted Conversation among other markets.

Excerpt from THE GOD OF THE POOR

In the beginning of the world the gods considered all those things which did not have their own gods, to decide who would have responsibility and rulership.

"I will rule all flowers that are sky-blue in colour," said the Sky-Father.

"I will listen to the prayers of migratory birds, and you all other birds," the goddess Travel said to him. And so it went.

At last all had been divided, save for one thing.

"Who," asked the Sky-Father, "shall have dominion over the poor?"

There was an awkward silence, until the Sky-Father said,

"Come - someone must. Those with no gods will grow restless and cunning, and in time will cast us down, and we shall be gods no more."

"Not I," said blind Justice, and her stony face flashed a momentary smirk at the thought. "Why not Fame or Fortune?"

"Darling I don't  think so," said the sister goddesses together.

There was a long pause. The gods shuffled their feet and avoided one another's gaze. At last a voice broke the silence.

"I will," said Death.

How can my readers buy your book?  

You can find more information about James Hutchings and The New Death and others by

The New Death and others is available on

Thanks for visiting with me today, James.

Nancy Lee

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Love is a curious thing. Is it a profound message from the Heavens? Is it fate? Or, is it an animal's response to a creature of the opposite (or same) sex?

Whatever you or I believe in does not matter. If we are fortunate to find love, we should enjoy the feelings and strive to protect it.

Is there a certain special someone out there for you? I hope so. I have been fortunate in love, and now use my experience to bring it to my many characters. If I can show how a Scottish dragon can leave all she's known, fly across the ocean, settle into a human existence, and fall madly in love with a can find love, too.

How do characters find love? It is different for each one, especially when my characters are different as night and day. Here are some examples:

SECRET LOVE MATCH  Becca, 21, wants to play tennis in the Olympics. Taylor, 40, is a former TV star going for the big screen.
DRAGON'S CURSE  The ward of a Scottish Laird, Brianna works like a servant. Draco, exiled since his kin were killed, is cursed to turn into a dragon at inopportune times.
DESTINY'S MOUNTAIN Destiny works at a college dining hall and lives on a mountain. Jacob is a stuffy college professor going through a divorce.
UNWRAPPING CHRIS  Army widow Jayne is searching for a better life. In walks Chris, the one guy who broke her heart.
DRAGON IN THE MIST Nessia has left the water of Loch Ness to find love as a human. American Scientist, Rory, is searching for a missing link.
LOVE TO THE RESCUE  Josie is a paramedic firefighter with the hots for one guy. Unfortunately, Pete calls her 'Joe', treats her like one of the boys, and has a dark secret.

If you are looking for love, KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. If you have found love, CONGRATULATIONS! Remember, hold on tight and give more than you receive.