Author Spotlight: Tabitha Black

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First tell us a little bit about yourself, and who you are:
My name is Tabitha Black. I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pen, and had my first erotic romance novel published in 2005. I’ve never looked back.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Just to keep writing, and to keep making readers happy with what I put out there. Selling lots of books and making money is nice, but I started writing because I love it and because I love hearing from people that they enjoyed my stories.

Which writers inspire you?

There are way too many to list. From George Orwell to Roald Dahl, from Jilly Cooper to Stephen King and probably hundreds in between – all for different reasons. In my genre, I’d have to say that Carolyn Faulkner and Maren Smith have been my biggest inspirations, but since then, that list has also grown.

So, what have you written?

(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
The Abbeyville Way
Taken In Hand
Estelana
Educating Eva: Silverlake Priory Book 1
Summer Camp
Little Tudor Rose
Conquering Cassia
Fulfilling Her Fantasy (A Masters of the Castle novella)
Sharing Silver (A Masters of the Castle novel, Golden Flogger award nominee and winner of the SRR best ménage 2015)
Restraint: His Empire Book 1
Sapphire’s Surrender (A Red Petticoat Novel)
One For Luck (Confessions of a Spanking Author anthology)
Taken By The Enemy (Hero To Obey Military Box set – USA Today bestseller)

Where can we buy or see them?

All of them are available on Blushing Books, with the exception of Restraint, which is currently exclusive to Amazon. The rest are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and, in some cases, Kobo and iBooks.

Who is your favorite character, and why?

Oh, this is tricky. I don’t think I have a favorite. I’m a little bit in love/lust with all my heroes.
What is your current project about, and when do you think it will be ready for the public?
I’m currently working on several projects simultaneously… the current current one is a novella which will be released in January 2017; part of a dark fairytales set I’m doing with six amazing authors.

What genre do you write in?

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Erotic romance. The sub-genres have varied; historical, age-play, contemporary BDSM, Western, post-apocalyptic, dark erotica… but the hero is always strong and the scenes are always explicit.

How much research do you do?

It depends entirely on the genre. If it’s something I already know a lot about (like contemporary BDSM), I don’t need to do as much research as I do when I’m writing a historical book, for example.

Have you ever co-written any of your work?

I’m currently co-authoring my first one… not sure when it will be finished, though.

When did you decide to become a writer?

It was never a conscious decision. I was reading when I was three and writing when I was four. I started my first novel when I was seven years old. I never wanted to be anything else (even though I did have several other jobs in the meantime).

Why do you write?

Because I can’t not. It’s my life, and I love it.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

It depends… I’m also a managing editor for a romance publisher, and that’s what I’d call my ‘day job’. But when I have a big deadline, I write more than I edit. So it varies.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
As and when my schedule allows it.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Only if I have a deadline. Then I’ll set myself a daily target, like 3k words per day as a minimum.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on my laptop with an extra wireless keyboard I enjoy typing on.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Everywhere. My own experiences, my own fantasies, films, books, music… I’m always surrounded by inspiration and sometimes it can come from the oddest places.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I usually start with a seed of an idea, get writing, and see where the characters take me. I only resort to an outline if I get horribly stuck; then I brainstorm ideas of what could happen next.

What do you think is the biggest challenge about writing, or that writers face?

It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline, and it’s all too easy to be discouraged by negative reviews or other unpleasant feedback.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I wrote Sharing Silver in two weeks; others have taken me a year because I set them aside after a chapter or two and resumed them much later. It depends entirely on what else I have going on in my life – and/or if I have a deadline. The most I wrote in a day was 17k words.

How do you handle Writer’s Block?

Not very well. If I can, I take a day or two off to let the ideas ‘ferment’ in my head. Or I go to my own personal romantic hero for inspiration.

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Do you have any techniques, or tips you would like to share on tackling Writer’s Block?

I think people all handle it differently. What works for some, may not work for others. Sometimes it helps to set whatever it is you’re working on aside and write something completely different… other times, you just need to take a break from writing and do something else. But never give up!

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I read a mixture of both. I love both my Kindle and my Kobo for the convenience, but I still have hundreds of paperbacks in my apartment and I could never part with any of them. I also go back and re-read them, if they’re good.

What book are you reading at present?

Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn. I love her writing style.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
As I’m traditionally published, all my books are professionally edited, although I do edit and proofread them thoroughly before I submit, so they’re generally pretty clean.
Tell us a little bit about your book covers: Did you design them, or have them designed?
Again, they’re done by the publisher, although I do get to give lots of input. The cover for Restraint, for example, features a picture by my partner, who’s a photographer.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

I think it depends. I know some people buy books based on the cover, but I’m always far more interested in the blurb, especially if it’s an author I haven’t read before. I also have some go-to authors whose new books I buy automatically with barely a glance at the cover or the blurb.

How are you publishing this book and why?

I like traditional publishing, and have been with the same company for eleven years now. I can see the pros and cons of both traditional and self-publishing but for me it’s mostly a question of time now; my publisher has far more reach than I do and I like being able to send my book off and not have to worry about the editing, cover, marketing and so on. I do some marketing myself but all the other details are taken care of. And getting an advance is always a bonus.

How do you market your books?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my blog and via my publisher’s channels, mostly.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Reviews are a mixed bag. The good ones are fantastic; inspirational, I copy the best ones down and re-read them whenever I’m feeling disheartened. When it comes to the bad ones, it depends. If they’re just unnecessarily mean, I ignore them. If they’re offering constructive criticism, I try to take it on board despite the initial sting.

Which social network works best for you?

I’m most active on Facebook.

Do you ever do giveaways, or free download days?

Absolutely. I like to take part in Facebook parties and blog hops, and often give away free copies of my books or audio books, as well as other prizes, like naming a character after the winner.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“When I want to read a good book, I write a good book. I’ve never not been writing.” ~ Gore Vidal

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read. A lot. Both in your chosen genre and out of it. Learn your craft, and don’t give up.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Tabitha Black Official Website
Tabitha Black on Facebook
@BlushingTabitha
Tabitha Black Amazon Author Page
Tabitha Black on Smashwords
Tabitha Black on Goodreads

Author Spotlight: Tiffany Apan

 

15403103_10210449601450502_1481083384_n.jpgAuthor Tiffany Apan

Photo credit: Andrew Dantzler

First tell us a little bit about yourself, and who you are:

Thank you for having me here!

I am a dark fiction author, along with a singer/songwriter/musician/actor, and also have a new product line of therapeutic candles and other products inspired by my written works, particularly The Birthrite. In addition, I also am involved in the world of Living History. You can say I have a very overactive imagination and always have. And I don’t think it’s going away any time soon.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

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To write stories that captivate the reader and take them into another world. That is always my goal when I write.

Which writers inspire you?

It’s a toss up between Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Bronte. While there are contemporary authors that I do enjoy, I am quite taken by our writers of yore. Poe is just brilliant to me.
With Emily Bronte, the fact that her work, Wuthering Heights, is often so misunderstood and misinterpreted fascinates me alone. I’ve also been reading a lot on her life, those of her sisters Anne and Charlotte, her brother Branwell, and her father Patrick. It is quite interesting finding out what inspired them to write as they did.
Also Tolkien. Because Tolkien reigns supreme.
I also enjoy H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Bram Stoker, Zane Grey, Rod Serling, Washington Irving, Oscar Wilde, Clive Barker, Mary Shelly, Anne Rice, Shirley Jackson, Charlotte Bronte, William Shakespeare, George Orwell, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, Emily Dickinson, Kate Chopin, among others. Any author or writer that can tell a good story with vivid characters and a plot that makes you think (possibly even questioning your own sanity and the world around you) is more than okay by me!

So, what have you written?

I write fiction, along with some non-fiction/editorial pieces. My short stories, The Cemetery by the Lake, Dusk to Dawn, and Romancing Elena are currently available. In 2012, my screenplay, Driving Nowhere, won for Best Horror Short Script in the 2012 International Indie Gathering Film Festival, which was an amazing honor. I also write most of the lyrics to my released songs and I am currently in the process of writing a novel series titled The Birthrite (the first novel and novelette are currently available).
These can all be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble NOOK, iTunes, Smashwords, and other retailers.

What genre do you write in?

My overall genre is dark, gothic fiction. However, some of the subgenres include paranormal, romance, horror, occult, and historical. A lot of the Gothic Fiction I’ve read has shown some of the best depictions of the human experience. And that is the journey I enjoy going on when I write.
How much research do you do?

It depends on the story, as some require more research than others. For my series, The Birthrite, I did about three years of research before the story actually started taking shape. And I’m still researching as I write different installments.

Have you ever co-written any of your work?

I have been on a couple anthologies and I’ve edited some works for other writers, but I still have yet to be a ‘co-author.’ 

When did you decide to become a writer?15328386_10210449610090718_506329641_n

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write stories, lyrics, and poetry. But it wasn’t until my fifth grade writing class that I and others realized just how vivid my imagination could be. At that time, we got to learning of and studying the principles of poetry, so naturally writing a poem was one of the assignments in the class. Because I had an obsession with Norway and Vikings (and still kind of do), I wrote of a Viking sea adventure (when everyone else chose to write of a family member or pet…are there any other ten-year-olds out there obsessed with Vikings or was I the only one?). My English teacher said that I had a great talent for writing and encouraged me to continue from there.

Why do you write?

I get great thrill out of exploring worlds outside of my own and putting them down for others to see.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I do try to write a little everyday, usually early in the morning or late at night (both of those times are when my creative juices are really going).

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

How much I write a day depends on what all I’m working on. If I have multiple projects or a deadline to meet, I will definitely increase the word/page count.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I usually type on a computer, but if there is a section that really needs fleshing out, I find I have an easier time with that in writing longhand.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the Appalachian Mountains, and it had a HUGE impact on my writing. In fact, that setting serves as a backdrop for most of my stories. It is just so beautiful and peaceful up there. It’s almost like another world in itself. Which can lead to the imagination wandering to all sorts of places. I also draw a lot of inspiration from historical events, stories on the paranormal and paranormal events, and sometimes an idea just hits me out of nowhere.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m a very organic writer, so I normally just start with an idea in mind and see where it takes me. However, when the story starts taking shape and the plot becomes more intricate, that is when I tend to outline as a way of keeping everything in order.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

A short story usually takes about a month or two, from rough draft to finished product. A novel can take up to about a year or year and a half. Sometimes less, though.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

Though I have a soft spot for traditional paper/hard back books, I also don’t mind e-books. I do find the latter to be a great way of trying a new author.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

A little of both.
Tell us a little bit about your book covers: Did you design them, or have them designed?
When I go to design the cover for my books, I of course think of the story and what I would like to highlight from it. I then construct and sketch potential covers until I’m happy with the design. Then, with the help of graphics design extraordinaire, Rowen Poole, we bring it to life. 🙂
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I do. We humans tend to be visual creatures and an attractive cover tends to draw a potential reader’s attention before they will look into what the story is about.

How are you publishing this book and why?

Indie for now, as I do want the creative freedom.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I think they are a great advertising tool, especially with the now wide use of the internet.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
I do. Here is the trailer for

The Birthrite:
The Birth Rite Trailer

Do you ever do giveaways, or free download days?

I do. Keep checking my website and blog or follow me on social media if you would like to keep up to date on when I have a giveaway. I also have a newsletter at my website. 

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Thank you for checking out my work. I am at the following links:

Tiffany Apan Offical Author Site
Tiffany Apan Writing Project Blog
Tiffany Apan FB Author Page
@tiffanyapan
Tiffany Apan Pinterest
Tiffany Apan Amazon Author Page
Tiffany Apan on Smashwords
Tiffany Apan Music
Tiffany Apan on Goodreads

IN THE LIMELIGHT: INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR HK STERLING/KD ROSE

In the Limelight: Interview with Author HK Sterling/KD Rose

 

How long have you been a writer? 
I’ve been writing all my life, but I just started publishing recently.
 
What motivated you to become a writer?
 It’s something that just came naturally. I write poems in 
 
my head while traveling, make notes when I wake up from things I dream; have blank notebooks 
 
everywhere imaginable so I have a place to jot things down when they come to me. Believe it or not I 
 
*still* lose ideas. I fall for my own act that I will “remember it later”.
 
What is your favorite thing about writing?
 I live in an abstract world in my head so my favorite thing is 
 
trying and sometimes being successful at articulating those concepts. Other times I can’t because I just 
 
can’t seem to bring it down to earth.
 
What are some of the books by others that have inspired you? 
All the old science fiction writers. Harlan 
 
Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein. I would say Ellison’s Dangerous Visions remains 
 
my favorite, though all of Philip K Dick’s books are favorites. I also get inspiration from music, art and 
 
poetry. Oh, and when I was really young as a kid, I loved Agatha Christie.
 
Does anything else inspire you? Ie movies, music, etc if so, what?
 Ha, yeah, I couldn’t live without music. 
 
There you have the intersection of words ( which I love), ideas, and music so it’s a triple enticement.
 
Tell us about your latest book. What gave you the idea? My latest book ( releases June 13) is a sequel. 
 
Though both books are standalones ( no cliffhangers) they relate to each other and have the two main 
 
characters in each though from a different point of view. I wrote the first book “A Taste For Killing” 
 
because I wanted a strong female lead, but wanted to show her inner insecurities as well. I wrote 
 
the sequel “A Taste For Danger” in order to focus on the anti-hero from the first book, though both 
 
characters appear.
 
Have you ever experienced what others call writer’s block?
 If so, what are methods you use to get up 
 
and running again. Or, if you don’t believe in writers block, tell us why. I have experienced it and I 
 
do believe in it, though I understand why others don’t. If you are used to being a wellspring of ideas 
 
it comes as a shock when suddenly you aren’t. I get over it by reading ( others books or poetry) and 
 
listening to music. Also art. Anything that inspires you will connect with the creative part in you and 
 
then that part will want to speak again.
 
What is your favorite genre to write?
 If you write in multiple genres, tell us why you picked those 
 
particular ones. With two different pen names, I write in multiple genres. There will be even more in a 
 
year or two. I write in the genres I either love the most or come naturally. For example, I have a short 
 
story ( called a Breathless Press Flirt) titled “Eyes Only”. That story is a Russian Nesting Doll (http://
 
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matryoshka_doll if readers don’t know what that is) to the extreme and I loved 
 
writing that. And short too! I love economy of words.
 
In general writing in multiple genres keeps you from getting bored and let’s you try out new things. You 
 
never know what your creativity will find most fruitful.
 
What is your favorite character that you have written?
 
My anti-hero, Jack, in both “A Taste For Killing” and “A Taste for Danger” is my favorite. 
 
What is it about that character that you love? Gotta love the bad boys with good hearts. I typically love 
 
anti-heroes in general. Though I have to say, under my other pen name ( KD Rose) in Erasing: Shadows I 
 
love a character this is a grandmother, but is in no way your ordinary grandmother. She is wise and wily 
 
and full of secrets.
 
Where is your favorite place to write?
 I am lucky in that my husband is an architectural millman so we 
 
bought an old crappy house and made it into what we wanted. I got the office/library of my dreams 
 
and that is what I write in. Though as I said before, I am liable to make notes all over. I think poetry is 
 
probably the only thing I don’t write in my office. That I tend to write outside and in novel places that 
 
speak to me more.
 
Are you on social media?
 If so, which ones do you find most valuable as an author? Yes, I am on all 
 
the social media (Both pen names!) and it sucks the time out of your writing and life. LOL Right now, 
 
Facebook is still most valuable but of course as an author, Goodreads as well and Twitter is more 
 
valuable than one would think. Then of course there is your blogs and others’ blogs etc.
 
Have you ever done in-person events or signings or do you stay pretty much behind the screen?
 
Pretty much behind the screen.
 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
 
Leave Reviews! ; )
 
 
BLURBS:
 
H.K. Sterling’s
A Taste For Danger 
 
Still licking his wounds over blowing it with the love of his life, detective Jack Heart finds 
 
himself in over his head with corporate politics, treachery, and vipers of the female variety. 
 
Under pressure to solve the case, Jack’s taste for danger will place him and those he loves on a 
 
collision course with disaster.
 
 
H.K. Sterling’s
A Taste For Killing
 
Mystery and Romance blend together when competing detectives Carolyn Woods and Jack Heart 
 
find they are surrounded by murder on every side.
 
Mystery and Romance blend together when competing detectives Carolyn Woods and Jack 
 
Heart are both hired to solve the murder of Pete Wallace, only to realize they are working the 
 
same case. To complicate things, Carolyn and Jack have an on again-off again relationship. 
 
Then there is Evan Jones, a handsome architect— but he’s also a suspect. Can Carolyn manage 
 
to solve the case as more and more murders pile up? Will her relationship with Jack hinder 
 
their investigations? And what about Evan Jones? He seems like the perfect man, but could he 
 
actually be the murderer? One thing is for sure: someone close to both Carolyn and Jack has A 
 
Taste For Killing.
 
 
 
EXCERPT FROM A TASTE FOR KILLING
 

He had six-pack abs, and I wanted to feel the carbonation. This one dressed like the

stereotype of a construction worker, down to the handkerchief he used to wipe sweat off his

forehead. I don’t know if he or the hot day brought it out, but sweat poured off of me too. He

had no interest in me as a person, though. I was invading his territory. Still, I enjoyed the view.

For my part, I knew my clothes looked crappy. I didn’t have to wear uniforms anymore, but

my street clothes, well they were very—street. So there I stood, a turd in the sun in front of this

He pointed to a small trailer up a muddy hill. The supervisor I asked to see apparently

stayed in there. Stayed, as in never left. Great. Mud. Now I’d be a dried turd in the sun. Adonis

went back to digging and I started the trek up the hill. At least I came with boots. Steel toed.

Once I made it to the trailer, I heard an argument going on inside.

“Look, I don’t care who you are. The plans are publically filed. Go get them yourself!”

Then I heard a voice I knew. Calm, cool, subversive. “Is there any reason you’re being so

difficult? A man did die on your watch.”

An encounter I hadn’t planned on. Well, at least not until later tonight. I knocked loudly

on the door and with my sweetest voice said, “Hello, boys. Am I interrupting something?”

“Great,” groused the supervisor. “A party.” He appeared to me like another stereotype,

puffing on a cigar over a fat jowl line and rotund stomach that threatened to overturn the small

desk he was behind. I guess there’s a reason for stereotypes. He looked about four hamburgers

On a wooden chair in front of the supervisor sat Jack. A fellow independent detective, an

ally at times, a competitor…and my on and off lover.

“Well, well, well,” he said smiling, but I could tell he wasn’t happy to see me. Not here.

It meant we were both working the same case. “Hello, Carolyn. Who hired you?”

“Girlfriend,” he answered back.

We stared at each other. Complications.

A Taste for Killing is Available at the Following Book Vendors:
 
Breathless Press: 
 
Amazon: 
 
ARe:  
 
 
Bookstrand:
 
Barnes and Noble: