Spotlight: Author August MacGregor

August is a an author of one of my favorite genres…the erotic fiction. I’ve taken it upon myself to peek into his crafted world and I have to say, I love it.

He graciously sat down to answer my 10 silly questions, allowing us to see more into his life and process. He’s a good natured guy and, well, come on, he humored me…:D  . On with the show!

1. What is your writing process?
I plunk down at my laptop and write. I’m not an outliner, but a “pantser” — as I’ve read is the label for those who write by the seat of their pants. I have lots of projects in the works, so I try to focus on the one that I want to finish first. But sometimes, other stories pull me away. Usually, I have a story that I’m editing and another that I’m writing. Since I’m not wild about editing, this works better for me to break it up. But editing is certainly a big part of putting a story together, as I find lots of mistakes in my first drafts.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
Authors such as Stephen King and Donald E. Westlake. Their writing is really accessible — not dense and hard to understand. And they are great at crafting a story that pulls you along, making you want to find out what happens next.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
With blogging, it’s making connections. Having someone read my work and make a connection with it. Same with me reading someone else’s work and connecting with that. With writing, it’s the joy of telling a story. To me, writing is a rush, and it often clicks with me — where I fall into the story and have a wonderful time. That rush is also like a drug that I love getting back to. It’s an addiction. My goal is to make enough from my ebooks to quit my day job, so I can feed that writing addiction and produce more stories.

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m just a guy who loves to read books and write stories. If you saw me walking on the sidewalk, I’d blend in with everyone else — there’s just nothing that remarkable about me. I’m an introvert, an observer of people, a lover of good conversation. I hold family and friends close to my heart and will bend over backwards for them.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
A strength is that I’m a hard worker. Early on (many years ago), I wrote when inspiration hit me — which was sporadic. I talked about loving writing more than I actually sat down and wrote. Then I learned from the advice of others that you need to write regularly. Make it a routine, like going to the gym. Now I write my butt off, and I’m writing more than I’ve ever done before. A weakness is keeping focused. I have so many ideas, that I tend to jump from one story or poem to another. I have many drafts in various stages of completion that I need to get back to and just finish the suckers.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Not really. I don’t light candles to the gods of writing, or anything like that. Might be a good thing for me to start doing, though — it might improve sales 🙂

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Marketing. I love writing, but trying to sell my stories feels cheap. When I tweet about a book, I feel like I’m saying, “Hey everybody, look at this! It’s really great! Promise!” And then tweeting many times a day. I’ve read on several authors’ blogs that this brings them sales, but it hasn’t done wonders for my sales. As cheap as it feels, I know the reality of self publishing is that you have to promote yourself. It’s a business, and not just crafting stories. If you don’t promote yourself, how are people going to discover your books? You certainly can’t just rely on luck and other people spreading the word about you. But a nice thing about social media is when you meet other indie authors out there. I’ve found a supportive community on Twitter — many people retweet my posts, and I retweet theirs.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
This is probably going to sound lame, but my wife makes our bed in the morning.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Islands in the South Pacific. Those beautiful beaches, lush plants, the gorgeous water. Ahhhh….

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Werewolves. They appeal to me because they speak of a wildness inside of us that probably only comes out when we’re drunk — or for some other reason we let our guard down.

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Not at all prepared. I don’t own a gun. And I don’t think I’ll be able to bring down a lot of zombies with just my axe.

I am currently immersed in Augusts ‘Orpheus Rising‘ and am so not disappointed. If you are a fan of the erotic genre, this is an author you certainly want on your shelves! Click the pics to be taken directly to Amazon!

Orpheuscover400wide

Orpheus Rising: Erotic Stories of Hooking Up is a collection of six short stories that explore the hot moments when two people—strangers or friends—hook up to become lovers. These erotic stories cover a range of characters and settings.

BavarianBeauty400wide

Bavarian Beauty. Simon Edwards has a fetish for dirndls (the traditional Bavarian dress) — and since he is only turned on by this specific dress, he endures many disappointing dates with non-dirndl wearing women as he seeks someone he clicks with. These disappointments lead him to fly to Munich during Oktoberfest to immerse himself in dirndl heaven. He then must ask himself how far he’s willing to go to deliver on someone else’s fantasy.

You can also follow August on his website and twitter @AugustMacGregor! GO! NOW!

Spotlight: Author Heidi Angell

heidiangell pic

Author Heidi Angell

Heidi comes to us from the land of Google+. Well, that’s where I met her and drew her into my dark embrace. ~laughs maniacally~

She graces me with patience and answers my 10 lovely questions!

10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. What is your writing process?

My writing process is different for every book, lending to the telling of that specific story. That being said, I usually have at least a good outline in my mind before starting. to write the actual scenes. I am a very linear thinker and will than write from beginning to end, weaving the ideas in my head onto the page.
2. What do you read for pleasure?

I am a very eclectic reader, though I tend to gravitate to sci-fi and fantasy. I also enjoy anthropological and historical fiction, mysteries and thrillers. Really for me the genre is not as relevant as the individual story.
3. What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

Exploration. Exploration of the human condition, new worlds, alternate realities and how those things affect the way people would react.
4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was a geek before geek was chic. I have a fascination with the weird and unique. I am an entertainment junkie who also loves hiking and spending time with my husband and two boys.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?

I always struggle to find time! Balance is a huge struggle for me. If I had my way I would write morning noon and night, but there is so much more to being an author and I am still working to find the balances. My greatest strength (and weakness) is that when I sit down to write I get completely involved and the real world melts away.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?

I am a “bulk” writer. I tried and tried to follow the advice of making time to write every day, but then the house didn’t get cleaned and dinner didn’t get made. As part of my effort for balance, I dedicate huge blocks on the weekend to writing and spend the “little time” during the week to marketing, promoting, editing and those things that don’t wholly absorb my focus and leave my crew wondering if I will ever come out of the woodwork to feed them!
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

hmm…. This is hard, because I love it all. I think that is why I have chosen to self-publish. I did hate submitting to agents and publishers so I stopped doing that. I guess my least favorite (and mind you, I do enjoy a lot of it) is marketing. The hardest thing is feeling like an attention seeker. I was never the type to want to draw attention to myself. Finding a creative way to market without feeling like I was just screaming “Pick me, pick me!!” has been an interesting challenge.
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

Before I got married and had kids, I made an effort. In the last 12 years that has ended. Ironically, I do make my bed before going to bed each night.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Just one…. hmm… Ireland
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?

All! Wait, being one or killing them?
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?

This is a game we play in my house. When my boys were little and wouldn’t listen I would say. “If you did that in the Zombie Apocalypse, we would all be dead!” Some people thought that was messed up, but my kids had no clue what zombies were. As they’ve gotten older, they’ve been introduced to Scooby Doo’s Zombie Island, Zombie Munchkin, Max Brooks Zombie Survivor Guide, and recently Day-Z, now when I say it they think it is hysterical. They are constantly asking “what if this happened in a Zombie Apocalypse, what would you do?” They keep bugging me to watch Walking Dead, but I don’t think they are quite ready for that. But ready for the Zombie Apocalypse, you’d better believe it!

You can find Heidi’s works on Amazon! Just click the pics!

Angel's Dance Elements of a Broken Mind

The Hunters

Write, right?

1374887_787807397954749_7683702721078787591_n

So its quite late in the afternoon for me to be up and out and about, but I was sitting at home (wallowing) and decided the best course of action was to get out of there. I wanted coffee, that I did make, because come one, coffee shop coffee is usually better.

So I packed up the lappy and here I am. Home away from home.

I’ve gotten things done, too! I accidentally deleted everything in my email! Go me!

Thankfully, my most important things were in separate folders.

I have the spotlights ready for tomorrow.

And now I am working on my story. Just an added chapter I thought of while wallowing. Its coming along nicely.

My only complaint is that the coffee shop is a little crowded today with rambunctious and noisy people. It would be different if they were having quiet conversation…but no, they are loud and shouting and…speaking a language I have no understanding of. Maybe its supposed to be yelled.

My coffee is good though. And I got myself a sandwich in case I feel peckish.

I will admit my nerves are shot and my mood is down. I feel a depression coming on. I’ll work through it, however. I always do.

I was going to cook a nice dinner tonight, but I think I’ll say bugger it and eat noodles…or this sandwich…lol. The spawn can feed herself.

I’ve been reading more erotica lately, which makes me really want to start editing and publishing my own works. But that can wait. I’d like to get Addisons story out of the way first. Sales aren’t doing well at all. Non-existent nearly. But, I will still put out the second book, just for symmetry sake. I’m OCD like that.

Speaking of OCD…the blue of my shirt doesn’t match the blue of my pants slightly. Its bugging me. I almost want to go home and change. But I keep telling myself its so slight, you can only tell marginally in the direct sunlight. But still…I KNOW!!!!

More laziness

2c7d7e876e2b75f2700b17b70507870f

Last night was way un-productive. I found myself on Netflix again. World War Z. I had to get a zombie fix.

And today, things just aren’t looking too bright. Even though I went to bed at a decent hour, I feel utterly run through. I got up, got dressed, gathered my things, went to the coffee shop…then went through the drive-thru, ordered and came home. I have no desire to do anything. I’m tired, and a little cranky.

So, I think I will sit here with fat-cat today. She needs some mommy time, I think.

This crazy weather we’re having may have me in my weird mood. I mean, its been getting into the 60s during the day, but at night its cold, dropping into the 20-30 degree range.

Hey, I know, I shouldn’t complain…but this is the South…anything under 65 degrees is just uncalled for.

There’s a reason I love living in the South, and that’s the mild winters. This one is mild, but a little screwy.

And I just cant get over how tired I am. I can not seem to wake up and perk up.

After reading someone elses blog regarding February’s NaBloPoMo, I think I’ve decided not to participate for the month. I’ve done it every month since November. I’ll still cross post anything I put here over to there, but I’m not going to work so hard to post every day. I’ve been stressing too much on that little subject, and you shouldn’t stress over something like making a daily blog post. I have a book that needs writing. My focus needs to go there.

Not that I wont bedazzle you all with my brilliance and blunders! Never fear!

Being discouraged

medium_Writing_Comic_by_Writers_Write

So, I a back, as you can see. Thank you all for your patience, and show of support.

Its good to be back, really.

My mood is in a funk, however. More irritation than anything.

I was on my way out this morning, and told ‘whats the hurry, you don’t have a job.’

UntitledSo, evidently to this person writing books isn’t a ‘job’.

I think I hate this person.

Anyway. I’m here in the safety of my coffee shop. Maybe its not a job, but I still have a book to write.

I am also considering a change of scenery, as in…a move. My daughter is grown and more than capable of taking care of herself. I am considering moving closer to either my older sister, or perhaps my parents, which would mean another country altogether.

I really hate leaving this area though. I’m comfortable here. My doctors are here. I know where to go when I need something. Its just…comfortable.

But maybe its time for a change. New place, new people. The familiar faces of family. I really hate the thought of leaving my daughter though, and she wouldn’t be able to just conveniently visit, especially if I moved to be closer to my parents. They live down in Guatemala. Moving to be closer to my older sister would just have me moving about 4 hours away, to Atlanta, Ga..  I really hate Atlanta, though. Its too big for me.

The other problem with moving to be close to my parents, is I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. I have a hard time just ordering at Taco Bell. 😛

~sighs~

So, I am pretty discouraged with things right now. Very stressed. I hate being stressed. I cant focus on the things I need to when stressed. I’m easily distracted, and find myself sitting here with my mind wondering.

Blah.

Its time to get back on the ball, however. I have an inbox full of mail, a couple days worth of blog posts to read through, etc.. And then getting back to work on book two. But, seeing as it isnt a ‘job’, I guess I wont rush.

Out of order…

10906388_10155758654105377_1622669738637670239_n

Yes, I know, I didn’t make a post. ~sighs~

I really enjoy posting at least once a day, I really do. But I got tied up in some other business yesterday and just didn’t get to it. I did check my mail a lot, just to be sure I didn’t miss anything mega-important. I haven’t even looked at my Facebook in the last 24 hours. Well, okay, I do that quite often. I despise Facebook. And Twatter, erm…Twitter…Tweeter…whatever…

I have a very good post on the way, however, thanks to some back and forth mailing between Patricia and myself. Its going to have to go on the back burner for now though.

Some pressing family matters have come up, and my daughters grandpa (not my dad) is in the poorest of health. They are not expecting him to last the week.

So there will be a trip to Montgomery today, and then again if anything further happens.

She is not close with her fathers father. He’s not the nicest person in the world. But he is her family. Its only right she pay respect.

So my head is getting an ‘out of order’ sign slapped on it just in case I go missing for a few days. Montgomery isn’t far from here at all, but who knows on how much time we’ll have to spend up there and how much time I’ll be able to sit at the lappy to compose anything.

The only thing I managed to accomplish today was making myself look decent. Meaning I touched up my hair. I really gotta get the kid to trim it for me. Ugh.

I hope you all enjoyed this weeks spotlights and are checking out my new friends! Remember, if you are interested in being in the spotlight, don’t hesitate to contact me!

~snugs you all~

Spotlight: Blogger Ray from The Unsimplelife

me1-e1418358044416

Ray – The Unsimplelife

Ray is in our spotlight this week! He is a fellow wordpress blogger and all around great guy to talk to. You can catch him on The Unsimplelife.

On with my torture of the man!!  😀

10 Questions, Zoe style…

1. What is your writing process?

I try not to have, or stick to any particular process. I find I get the best results when I let just write. I try to let the moment im in take the lead, when I am not thinking about it too much I read back over my work and it seems to have a much more organic feel. When I am writing something of some length, I do have a kind of timeline for main events and I try to write in between them, but I don’t plan the rest. If that makes sense at all.

2. What do you read for pleasure?

I read all sorts of things, fiction and non-fiction. My partner and I both love reading. Personally, I like RA Salvatore, John Marsden, George RR Martin. Right now I am reading The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Otherwise, I love reading science / physics type books, must be the nerd in me. My partner is trying to get me to read some Tamora Pierce, but it isn’t really my thing to be honest.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?

Hard question to answer really, I write for many reasons. I guess I started writing for myself a long time ago, I never really showed my writing to anyone. My wife got a hold of a notebook a few years ago without me knowing, and she enjoyed it. I guess since then my confidence has grown a bit, hence why I have a blog now too I guess. With both, I really enjoy seeing a reader engaged, positive or negative, it is just lovely to know you have made someone think.

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Umm, I guess so. I am in my late twenties, I live in Australia. I spent most of my early adulthood travelling with no money and no direction. I now have a wife and a young boy (3yrs) and have settled down somewhat. I had a pretty crappy for years, I watched one of my friends get eaten alive, my mother died suddenly soon after with cancer, and am now just on the back end of that. Check the blog if you want to know more detail.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?

My strength, and my weakness, is my mood. I can go weeks, months even without writing so much as a word, but I get into moods when I just can’t stop myself. I have been trying to find / think of ways to balance this out a little and try to have a little more consistency to my work, open to suggestions if anyone has any!

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?

Not really… umm, I seem to find a pen to chew, even when I am typing. 🙂

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?

Getting the aesthetics of a blog / post right. I procrastinate a lot with that side of things… I never actually proof read, or edit any of my work as such, probably explains the weird dyslexic moments you may have come across.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

I used to make my bed of a morning, then we had a kid.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Space, ever since I was little the universe has amazed me.

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?

Zombies, is this a real question?

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?

There is actually a local group in my town that has a zombie apocalypse plan, and a location, supplies and everything ready. I am a member, bring it on! 🙂

I love the down to earth-ness of Ray, and his blog. First time parenting is tough! Please scoot on over to The Unsimplelife and check him out!

Spotlight: Author Courtney M Wendleton

31xX2BXHdqL._UX250_

Courtney M Wendleton

I met the lovely Courtney through Google+ and she’s an awesome young woman. Bright, intelligent and fun. She supports her fellow authors and bloggers and just has a dynamite personality.

So, lets get the show on the road and see a little insight Zoe style…

10 Questions, Zoe style…

1. What is your writing process?

My writing process takes place at my Command Center. I have my laptop and speakers set up to watch a movie and use my tablet to actually do the writing. I have the movie going basically for background noise, and something to keep me focused on my writing. Instead of getting up and doing something when my mind begins to wander, I watch the movie for a few minutes and then I’m back to writing.

2. What do you read for pleasure?

Anything and everything on my Kindle. I have horror, sci-fi, Learning Language books, Romance, etc. Usually I read Harry Potter series and Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy once a year.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?

My greatest joy of writing so far has been when I put my first book, Touchdown Interruption, for sale on Amazon. As for blogging, I have not had a stand out joy yet.

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Ocean View, Hawaii, Hawaii. I was born and raised in the northwest corner of Missouri. I love to read, write and play video games. With my small obsession to write, I have an even bigger obsession with names. I can sit for hours coming up with names for my characters and not know it. I also love to travel and have lived in four different states, including Alaska.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?

A strength would be focus. My focus is sharp when I am in the groove and even if I lose focus it is only for a few minutes before I’m back at it. A weakness would be editing while writing. I can’t stand those little red and blue squiggly lines under words or phrases. They bug me to no end and are part of the reason I lose focus until they are made to disappear.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?

I don’t think I have any strange writing habits, but my dragon Kevin (he’s from Pillow Pet land) might say I do. Everything I write goes through him.

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?

Marketing. I enjoyed writing the book, and enjoy blogging but marketing is tedious in my opinion. A necessary evil to push through.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

There is no point in making a bed, it is just going to be messed up later. No one is going to see the bed, unless you go around showing your room to everyone. Plus I’m a “nester.” I burrow and get the pillows and blanket into just the right position for Kevin and me to write. Then fall asleep as I do most of my writing at night when others are asleep.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Ireland

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?

Vamwoldezoms. I love vampires, and demons but am just discovering the world of werewolves and zombies that I can’t choose.:)

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?

Unfortunately I’m not. I am out of shape, I have no preferred weapon of choice and I live on a small island in the middle of the ocean. Plus the island happens to be an active volcano…I’m screwed.

You can visit Courtneys website and take a gander or check out her Google+ page and Facebook!

You can find her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, just click the pic! 😀

41Rc0WjTlcL._UY250_ 419nedbKKXL._UX160_

4180BHv84dL._UY250_

10257835_235574123309307_7865875555676086408_n

Thank you so much for this opportunity Courtney! 😀

It was a dark and stormy night…

darknight

No, seriously…it was.

It started raining around 7pm last night, and did not stop until 8 or 9am this morning. My wind chimes sung pretty songs all night long. It was cold though. Too cold to sit outside on the front porch to enjoy it all.

And in all my mopiness from yesterdays events, I didnt come home and cry as planned.

Instead…I GOT SUCKED INTO THE NETFLIX VORTEX OF DOOM!!!

Yes, I started watching American Horror Story from the first season onward. I really liked the first and second season. The third was okay, but I had conflicts with what I know of true voodoo and what they portrayed of it, Marie Laveau and Daphne. And I thought season four was just dreadful. Blah.

Anywho.

Spotlights…they will be late in getting posted today. Someone hasnt gotten back to me and I have to either post simply one spotlight, or do some re-arranging. And I warn you…I am feeling awful lazy today…so we will probably only see one spotlight.

I had a really great ‘sounding board’ session with my spawn last night over Book Two in my series. New ideas were brought to the table and tossed around. This was a good thing. As I revise my chapters, I will be making a point to add some of this new material we discussed.

My cold seems to be making a little bit of a come back. Not so much the coughing…but I’m liquifying again a little. I will be avoiding outside endeavors while this cold rainy time is settled over the lands.

By the way, with all the rain we got in just the past night…my driveway is like the ultimate mud bog for playing around in a truck with it kicked into 4-wheel drive. And other parts of my yard resemble a swamp. It looks like its not done raining just yet either. Its stopped for now, but its cold, and the sky does indeed look angry.

I feel very lethargic today. If I could cancel the Spotlight, I would, but I hate disappointing anyone.

So, it will get done, in just a bit.

I need coffee. I’m in the mood for coffee sweetened with sweetened condensed milk. LOVE that. No need to add cream or sugar. So yums!