Last week Andrea Dunlop tagged me “it” and asked me to participate in a blog tour. I’m publishing my answers today and passing the baton to two other talented writers – more about them in a minute.

For those of you not familiar with Andrea, by day she is my publicist and mentor, helping me promote myself as a self-published author. By night she’s a writer with an agent currently pitching her novel The Sojourn, which is the story of a young woman who goes to France for a year and becomes involved in a love triangle with ultimately dire consequences. Sounds interesting! I know I’d buy that book!

What am I working on? 

I just returned the manuscript for Dark Horse, the second book in my paranormal romance trilogy, back to my editor. Writing is always an arduous process, especially as you near the end and you’re trying to ensure every word and all of the plot lines make sense. In paranormal fiction, this can be really tricky because the rules for whatever magic you’re incorporating have to stay consistent. If you decide vampires can walk in the daylight, for example, or drink alcohol, then it must remain so for the life of the story. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The books of my Dark Horse trilogy mix politics and current events in with paranormal situations and characters. My main character, Olivia, is a political consultant who gets tapped to join a secret society that intervenes in political races to maintain a civil society. Her adventure begins when an ancient time walker appears in her kitchen one day, changing her life in ways that she could never have imagined.

One thing that separates my work from much of the paranormal romance genre is that while the books are sexy, I don’t ask my heroines to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. (Except maybe the sword fighting) It’s important to me to create strong female characters that inspire women to be leaders and stand up for themselves.

 Why do I write what I do?     

I’m drawn to the bigger questions in life. Why do humans repeat their mistakes? How is it possible for extremists who do things like behead journalists in public squares to have followers? How can they win elections? Can we draw lessons from past history? I like the flexibility that the science fiction/fantasy/paranormal genres give me as a writer. I can examine these timeless human issues from the perspective of a 1000-year old vampire, or a time walker from the thirteenth century. These are creatures that have lived through the life/death cycles of the world and have a lot to say about human nature.

How does my writing process work?

I work four days a week in my office in San Francisco and try to reserve Fridays for writing. I also write most evenings and on vacations. I carry a notebook with me everywhere, so if an idea hits I can jot it down.

And now, it’s my pleasure to introduce Kayla Williams and Holly Lynn Payne. I know both women through my work as a writer and member of the Board of Directors of Litquake, San Francisco’s one and only annual literary Festival. Keep an eye out for their posts on Wednesday, September 10th.

Kayla Williamsis the author of the memoirs Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the US Army and Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War. She is a former sergeant and Arabic linguist in a Military Intelligence company of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). She regularly speaks and writes about military and veterans’ issues for numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Slate.

Holly Lynn Payne is an award-winning, internationally published author, writing coach and founder of Skywriter Books, an independent press. A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers author, she has written four novels. Her latest work of historical fiction, DAMASCENA: the tale of roses and Rumi, is a mystical thriller about the wisdom of the heart. She loves helping people reclaim their voice through storytelling and coaches writers around the country.



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