Category Archives: Book Award

Permanent Halloween with author AE Jones

How My Obsession Fed My Writing

Since it is October, I’ve got a confession to make. As a child I loved, loved, loved Halloween. All of it: the decorations, costumes, jack-o-lanterns, candy and the fun. And this obsession has not ceased in my adult life. I spend months coming up with my costume each year that I wear to work. I decorate my home with a different Halloween theme. This year it’s witches. I actually have more Halloween decorations than I do Christmas decorations. And of course, I can’t forget about the parties. I have a Halloween luncheon party for my co-workers and a costume party for my neighborhood.

What is it about Halloween that draws me to it? It’s the idea that for one day we shed our own skin. That we take on a persona that is different than our own. And that persona has its own story to tell which is oftentimes whimsical or grim or fantastical or funny. Halloween is about imagination and anticipation and a little thrill thrown into the mix.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I write paranormal. Writing paranormal romance/urban fantasies allows me to celebrate Halloween all year round. There is something special about delving into a world of beings with powers. It makes the telling of the story that much more exciting and challenging. And there is a wonderful contrast when powerful beings struggle with their daily lives and relationships.

In the writing, like in the donning of my Halloween costumes, I create my characters. And I ask myself, what makes them different? Sure they have fangs, or fur, or glowing eyes, but why should the reader care about them? Because a good story has us rooting for the hero or heroine. We want them to defeat the bad guy, or fall in love even though they are blocked by circumstances and their own insecurities. No one is perfect. If they were, the story would be over quickly with little to no fanfare.

In my series, my heroine, Kyle, is far from perfect. She was born with the ability to manipulate memories. She struggles with her own insecurities and straddles the human and supernatural world she lives in, not truly fitting in to either. And this idea actually stems from the age old fish out of water trope. As readers, we may not understand what it’s like to have fangs and live for hundreds of years, but we all understand what it feels like to not fit in. And that understanding grounds us in the story, even when the ‘otherworldness’ of it allows us to escape into a different reality.

And for me as a writer and a reader, the escape is what I yearn for. The escape to a world where I can empathize, befriend, cheer, and fall in love with the characters.

As it turns out, my obsession with Halloween now feeds my obsession with writing. Voices in my head that want to be heard. And this costume-wearing, pumpkin-carving, party-throwing, author is happy to share their stories. One supernatural word at a time.

About the author:

ae jones pic 180 x 270Growing up a TV junkie, award winning author AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural—their angst and their humor. After all life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

 

AE lives in Ohio with her eclectic family and friends who in no way resembles any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

2013 RWA Golden Heart® Winner, Mind Sweeper

 

An angel, a demon and a vampire walk into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s just another day in the life of Kyle McKinley.

 

Kyle was born with the ability to erase memories, and the inability to keep her opinions to herself. She and her teammates – a vampire who looks like a sexy pirate with fangs, and a Shamat demon with a penchant for Italian pastries – provide supernatural damage control when humans see too much. Today’s problem? A sword-wielding angel and a demon had a supernatural smackdown during happy hour in a Cleveland bar, leaving behind a headless vampire and a dozen human witnesses.

 

This latest supernatural slip-up is attracting all kinds of attention. So much attention that the police step in, and Kyle has to deal with Joe Dalton, a know-it-all human with the sexiest turquoise eyes she has ever seen. Kyle has no room in her life for yet another human who will treat her like a freak. However, Dalton definitely makes her naughty parts sit up and take notice, and it’s more than mutual. But before they can act on their attraction, they must join forces to solve a dangerous puzzle. And when they uncover the truth, the apocalyptic ripple effect forces Kyle to make a choice. Learn to trust again, or risk losing everyone she cares about, including Dalton.

finalrevised copy

Mind Sweeper is Book One in the Mind Sweeper Series.

Book Two – The Fledgling, A Mind Sweeper Novella (coming October 2014)

 

 

 

Book Two – The Fledgling, A Mind Sweeper Novella (coming October 2014)

 

fledgling cover compressed

Another Next Big Thing by Katy Lee

Fellow author Debby Lee (No relation at all) recently tagged me in a blog. She sent me a list of questions that I’m to answer regarding my next book and post them to my blog. Now since I already told you about my October 2013 release, Warning Signs, a Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense story, here,  I will tell you about my next book after that one. So here goes.

WHAT’S THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR BOOK?

In Too Deep to be released mid 2014 with Love Inspired Suspense. Title may change. In fact, knowing my editor, it most likely will. Warning Signs used to have a working title of Forever Silenced. That’s just the way it works.

WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM FOR YOUR BOOK?

Well, first I love a good forensic anthropology story, especially when my heroine anthropologist gets to butt heads with a handsome cop to solve the case. But because I also participate in many events with the Creation Coalition here in New England, I wanted a character that has a strong faith in God as her creator, even when some of her colleagues don’t believe.  I hope to inspire readers to stay strong in their faith.

Now because I write romance, the romantic conflict ensues when my hero needs evidence to trust in her because of his own past betrayals, but my heroine doesn’t want to live her life with her actions always under the microscope.

WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?

Inspirational Romantic Suspense

WHAT IS THE ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?

Bones have been unearthed on the island, but the real trouble begins when Anthropologist Lydia Muir and the handsome sheriff, Wesley Grant, start digging deeper.

bradley_cooper_02garnerIF YOUR BOOK BECAME A MOVIE, WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR LEADS?

A long-haired Bradley Cooper and a  sophisticated Jennifer Garner.

 

 

IS YOUR BOOK SELF PUBLISHED OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY?

This will be published by Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense.

WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU COMPARE YOUR STORY TO WITHIN YOUR GENRE?

bones showI hate comparing my stories to others out there. I don’t want to compare this story to the T.V. show, Bones, either, even though that is the first thing that comes to mind. Like most writers my stories are unique and don’t follow another writer’s pattern. It keeps things fresh and surprising!

WHAT ELSE ABOUT YOUR BOOK MIGHT PIQUE THE READERS INTERESTS?

I was excited to return to the Island of Stepping Stones where Warning Signs takes place. So I got to revisit some of the characters from the first book. I hope you like them all!

And now if you would like to see Debby Lee’s answers to her book, click here. And thank you Debby for the invite to share!

P.S. Stay tuned, in a few weeks, I will reveal the cover for Warning Signs!!!

Katy Lee’s at EPICon 2013 finding Her Voice

Hello all, I am writing this from my hotel desk in Washington State where I am trailblazingRealVirtue3_850 the wild world of e-publishing with professionals from all facets of the electronic publishing industry. I’m also up for an award for my first novel, Real Virtue, so that doesn’t hurt! We’ll find out the winners tonight at the awards ceremony, but of course, I’m just tickled to be nominated.

 
There have been hoards of info thrown at me in the workshops this week, from marketing specialist, Jennifer Fusco of Market or Die Author Services to doing a writer’s taxes…UGH! I could try to throw it all on you, but I won’t do that. Instead, I want to share one thing that really gave me a little peace in my heart about my writing.

 
MOD_Author_Services_logo_72dpiI’m sure I’m not the only writer out there who looks at their favorite authors and wonders why I can’t write like them … right? I’m not, right? Please tell me I’m not.

 
Either way, I heard Editor Debra Dixon of Belle Bridge Books speak at the luncheon yesterday about understanding your voice, and I know I will never do her speech justice, but her words finally helped me understand why I will never write like my favorite authors.

 
Now I know it’s not anything I haven’t told myself, but the fact is I can’t write like them because I write like Katy Lee. She said our best writing comes from writing what we know, but not knowledge like many people think. She said the things we know are the experiences we have lived through and come out of. Each writer will be very different from another.

 
Now if we don’t know what those things are, just look at all your writing. What is the recurring theme or conflict that comes up in your writing? Do your stories always have some type of redemption premise in them? Or a character finding their place in the world? Or someone out to prove something about themselves?

 
That may very well be your voice. That thing that readers come to know you by.

 
Now I shouldn’t be so surprised. I recently spoke at a church where I shared how writing for me used to be more than escape. It was a way for me to be in control. I could create a character, give her the same conflicts I struggled with, and try to make her victorious. I say try because most times I couldn’t finish the work.

 
And why couldn’t I finish? Because as Debra Dixon pointed out, I didn’t have the experience to write what I know.

 
The Unlocked Secret: After today’s luncheon, I think I have found my writer’s voice. My inspirational stories follow the same patterns of victory. No matter how drastically different the story lines are, I can see the theme flowing through the work. But what gave me the peace in my heart had nothing to do with finding my writer’s voice, but everything to do with knowing if I could write about victory, then I must finally “know” victory. I can finally write what I know.

And even if I don’t win the EPIC award tonight, I did win the tiara at the luncheon yesterday! Yay!Tiara I’m all set to reign in victory!

 
Question: What do you “know” about in your writing? Compile all your work and start digging. You just might find your voice, too. And wouldn’t that be a huge victory!

And as always, Thank you for your Tweets and Shares!