10 Things Every New Indie Author Should Know

1.  It takes time to build a fan base – Go into your journey remembering why you write.  Most of us write because it makes us happy, because we are compelled to do it, and because there are people who love our stories.  People will be attracted to your enthusiasm, but give yourself and your work time to grow a following.

2. The odds are, it will be difficult to sell books, at first – Remember that you are not with one of the big six publishers who would throw money and advertising behind your work.  YOU have to do it all.  However, you will get a longer shelf life being on your own, and get to interact with amazing fans.

3. You will get bad reviews – There are many reasons for this.  Maybe the person just didn’t connect with your work.  There is even a small group of authors who try to sabotage each other.  You can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.  I promise it will hurt, but keep in mind that you evoked enough emotion to make someone take time out to write something negative.  Have a pity part, but move on.

4. Cover art is important I was recently asked by an author if he really needed to hire a cover artist.  The answer is always a resounding, YES! The cover is the face you will present to the world as far as your book is concerned.  A lot of people choose the books they read based solely on cover art.

5. Editing is not the place to scrimp – I made a rookie mistake and contracted with a publisher who refused to edit my work.  In the end, I pulled the book and had it edited myself.  Most people can not edit their own work.  Find a publisher that does both content edits and proofreading because bad editing equals bad reviews.

6. Don’t jump on your first contract without reading the contract – Also have someone you trust review it before signing on the dotted line.  This seems like common sense, but in the excitement of receiving your first offer you can make huge mistakes that take away your rights as an author.

7. Surround yourself with AWESOME – We are very fortunate to have a community of caring and talented indie and small press authors that are willing to help out newbies. These people can make or break you.  Forge genuine symbiotic friendships and you will go far!

8. Research your work – Most of us write fiction, so we are free to create our own worlds and twist and tweak the one we live in. Regardless, it is important to know the subject that you are manipulating. We living in a glorious time when you don’t even have to leave your house to get reference materials.  Use them!

9. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – Last Halloween, I wrote a horror short.  I usually write spooky, but this story tested my abilities, because I wanted to scare the pants off my readers without being gory.  That short story was über popular, and I got great feedback. Try not to ever pigeon-hole yourself in one genre.

10. Don’t be afraid to give your books away – Keep in mind that the more people who read your work, the more others will hear about it.  You can also write those giveaways off on your taxes! Another quick word about SWAG – there is nothing wrong with doing giveaways, but you will probably be struggling to make money for a while.  Make sure that you are getting your fans addicted to your words and not just what they can get from you.  True fans will want to read your books.  Having said that, I do other types of SWAG giveaways a couple of times a year, but don’t break the bank trying to buy fans.

I hope these little tidbits help, and I’m always available to answer questions or help out.  Most of all, have fun with your writing journey.

Don’t forget to check out Bayou Brew Publishing and give us a like on Facebook.

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy with Cajun Flavor!

Please check out my latest novel Black Water Bayou on Amazon!

BWB_MoHo

Gabe was raised to trust his intuition and rely solely on himself. Troubled and alone, he’s spent his life haunted by night terrors, and turmoil over where he came from rages in his soul. Always the lonely hero, he never saw Frannie coming. Under the fury of a southern storm, she blew into Gabe’s life and changed it forever.

Can she tear down his walls? Can he save her from herself and the demons that are after her family?

As the past catches up to the present, long kept secrets are revealed and families are salvaged while evil pours into the waters of an abandoned bayou. No one could have seen the dark forces true power, but one man was marked to battle them.
Can Gabe make amends with his past, or will the devil win his soul?

http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

http://www.twitter.com/mjames13

http://www.facebook.com/moniqueoconnorjamesauthor

http://www.facebook.com/monique.o.james

Other titles available from Monique O’Connor James – The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Musical Scares, Becoming Jolie and Magia Rising

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Rougarou (Loup Garou) – The Cajun Werewolf

 

Here in Louisiana we have our own were-wolf like creature who stalks the swamps.  The Rougarou is a beast who people have described as having the head of a wolf and body of man.  It is believed that if one is bitten by the fiend or even stares into his evil gaze, they will be transformed into this walking nightmare themselves.  The only cure for this ghastly curse is for the victim to keep his condition a secret for a week and a day.  If the individual manages this feat, then both they and the rougarou who attacked them will be freed from the monstrous form.

Legend says that the best way to protect one’s house from the rougarou is to place 13 small objects in all the windows and doors.  Apparently, the creature can only count to twelve and will have to start again becoming so preoccupied that he doesn’t noticed the coming dawn.  Once the morning approaches, he will be forced back into the swamp to hide form the sun.

French Catholics have often used the tale as a caution to young ones who want to break lent, as it is said that anyone who breaks lent for seven years will be turned into a rougarou. (I think I may be in trouble!!!)  How’s that for a reason to eat meat on Fridays?

Hope you enjoyed a little insight into our very own shape-shifting legend.  Here’s a Halloween surprise for all my readers and fans:

Magia Rising will be FREEEEEE! on Amazon 10/31/12-11/2/12!  Hope you enjoy! Tell your friends and Happy Haunting!

Magia Rising Link

  Blurb:

New Orleans is teeming with warring witch clans. Their world goes unnoticed by
the people of the city,unseen by the masses. Nixon was one of those people,
oblivious to the battles brewing around him. That is, until his eighteenth
birthday.

Abandoned and on his own after the deaths of his parents…he’d
grown used to being alone. Now he’s discovering strange powers, learning secrets
about his ancestors, and falling for the wrong girl–or is she the right one? In
this new world he can trust no one…even the dead tell lies. Friends are
enemies, and enemies hide the truth. Who can he trust? What’s real and
what’s illusion?

 

 

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Author of:  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Becoming Jolie & Magia Rising

Coming Soon:  Musical Scares and Black Water Bayou

NANOWRIMO…The Making of a Novel

If you’re an author or up coming writer who has never participated in NANOWRIMO, you may be asking yourself–what’s the point? I wanted to share with you my experience and get you excited about this opportunity to come up with a new plot and push yourself to write, write, write.

Admittedly, I didn’t participate in 2011, however, I jumped in feet first in 2010.  On Halloween day, and i still had no idea what I was going to write about.  Earlier in the day, I had skimmed over the news and seen something about a kidnapping that sparked my interest.  I generally write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, so I knew I’d have to give a kidnapping story a spin that would blow readers away in order to make the thirty days work for me.

I did some quick research and found information about a playground in Alabama.  Several children had been abducted and subsequently, their bodies were all found in this playground.  Morbid–I know! However, it gave me the idea for a novel that was eventually released in September 2012 called Becoming Jolie.  I’m not a plotter by any stretch of the imagination, so I made a few quick notes and decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

Before you start making excuses, hear me out.  I was working a full-time job, taking care of my children and husband, dealing with constant migraines and doing all of the things that we all do just to keep things going.  The only thing I required of myself is that I would write at least thirty minutes a day, even if that meant staying up until everyone else was in bed.  This wasn’t difficult for me, because that’s pretty much the best time for me to write anyway.

Here is the great part–I almost psyched myself out in the beginning.  I kept thinking there was no way I could write 50,000 in 30 days, especially with all the balls I had in the air.  I had to keep reminding myself that nothing horrible would happen if I didn’t make it.  A wonderful thing happened though, the more I wrote, the more the words flowed.  I finished Becoming Jolie and met my Nanowrimo goal in 18 days!

That book has turned out to be a fan favorite.  Of course, it went through changes and edits.  In fact, the finished product after Nanowrimo had some major point of view issues, as I was quite green when I set out to finish it.  My point is, you never know what will happen if you challenge yourself to participate.  Have fun with it and relax–no one will beat you if you don’t finish!

So I know you’re going to ask…am I going to do it this year? I am currently working on a novel and a short story.  What better way to push myself to get them completed?

Ready! Set! Go!  Here is the link to the site –Go ahead–Sign up – http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Interested in the novel created during Nanowrimo 2010?  Here’s a link, blurb and the cover just for you:

   Blurb:

Jolie Bourque is trying to finish her thesis on mass hysteria and get on with her life. Enter Follette, Louisiana. The small town has been plagued by ghost sightings and a rash of missing children. She is convinced everyone in town is crazy — except Hutch Landry and his brother Tucker.

The brothers seem to be the only people willing to help when she starts asking questions. Just when
she thinks things can’t get any crazier, she begins to have dreams and visions of her own. Uncovering the town’s ties to her own life throws Jolie into a tailspin.

Can she survive the madness that is Follette, Louisiana? Who is preying on the town’s children? Can Jolie afford to fall in love while drowning in madness? If she does — how on earth will she choose between brothers?

It’s all just part of the journey to Becoming Jolie.

http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Jolie-ebook/dp/B009DHBW26/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_3

Comment and let me know if you plan to participate and are reaching your goals!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Magia Rising & Becoming Jolie

Coming soon:  Muscial Scares & Black Water Bayou

 

The Book Demolition Derby!!! Scavenger Hunt! May 5-May 20th 2012

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 A fabulous group of authors has gotten together to offer readers the chance to win lots of signed books and PDFs for their collection!  This is amazing!  We hope you enjoy!

Here’s the scoop!  Below is a list of web addresses for each author and a question from their website.  Most of the questions come from the first page. (If a question comes from another page we will tell you where to look).

We made the questions as simple as possible.  The idea is just to visit each website.  Once you have answered all the questions email your list of answers to nique313@yahoo.com.  On May 20th, we will do a random drawing from the correct answers and you can win signed books or pdfs from these authors.  (See prizes below.)

Questions and websites:

1. http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com/ – In what state does Monique live?

2.  http://www.kristinecheney.com/ – click on bio- what is the name of Kristine’s labra-doodle?

3. http://www.ginikoch.com/ – Making the world safer one _______ at a time.

4.  http://sellery.weebly.com/– What is the name of the anthology Miller’s Daughter was published in?

5. http://jfjenkinswrites.wordpress.com – Click graveyard – what does Jillian keep track of here?

6.  www.elainecantrell.com – Hope. Dreams.

7.  www.frederickjarceneaux.webs.com – Where is the setting of Mirrored?

8. http://eawest.mcphitty.com – What are her unusual pets?

9. http://www.lisakumar.com/ – Escape into fantasy and _______.

10. http://www.breaessex.com/ – Shadows and ________.

11. http://www.briclarkthebelleofboise.blogspot.com/oise.blogspot.com – _____ from the life of an author and speaker.

12. http://www.thesupernovasaga.com/– Who is the publisher of Supernova?

13. http://murdersandmysteries.wordpress.com/ – What kind of dog is that on Lindsay’s blog? (hint – Lassie)

14. http://www.iris-b.blogspot.com/ – Dare to live your _______.

15. http://feliciarogersauthor.webs.com/ Click on about me. For what is love without _______.

16. http://www.lisaorchard.com/ click on bio – Where did Lisa grow up?

17. http://www.nancygideon.com/ Romance by any other _____.

18. http://www.loraleelillibridge.com/ – Ordinary People….Extra-ordinary ______.

19. http://www.sherrygloag.com/ – The ______ of romance.

20. http://joselynvaughn.wordpress.com/books-sucker2.htm – The things that give me joy (and _______).

21. http://www.patriciakiyono.com/ – Escape into a great ______ _______.

PRIZES:

FIRST PLACE: 7 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

SECOND PLACE: 5 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

THIRD PLACE: 2 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

FOURTH PLACE: 10 PDFS

FIFTH PLACE: 7 PDFS

SIXTH PLACE: 3 PDFS

Cheers and Enjoy The giveaway!

*** PS:   I did everything I could to get the covers of the books to pull into this post and for some reason the preview button wasn’t working in wordpress!  So here is a list of the books that are being offered just in case it doesn’t work!

Print:  The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Spartan Heart, Secret Santa, Alien in the Family, Her Kind of Man, A New Dream, Mirrored, Sucker for a Hot Rod, Foreshadow, Eternal Witch, Supernova, Seeker of Shadows and All that Matters

PDFS:  His Chosen Bride, Aegean Intrigue, The Legacy, The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Spartan Heart Part One, Spartan Heart Part Two, Spartan Surrender,  Secret Santa, Unfiltered, Legend of The Oceina Dragon, Legend of the Inero Dragon, Vala Agenda, Vala Heritage, Battlefield, The Sentence, Imperfect Beauty, Through the Rabbit Hole, Foreshadow, Eternal Witch, A Body In the Attic, Emily Dahill CID, A Dog Gone Christmas, Journey to Her Dreams, Painted Lady, Love Octagon,The Super Spies – Cat & Lady Killer.

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man

& Coming Soon:  Becoming Jolie and The Watchers!!!

Demons and Fiction

In The Keepers, the villain is a fallen angel turned demon. He actually had human qualities and although he was evil, there was something about him that made readers pity him. Despite the fact the he was clearly on the wrong side, he wasn’t hard to look at and for a moment Jess was pulled in by his appearance and charm. In a lot of movies, the demons are monstrous creatures with no human qualities what so ever.  Even the demons I later wrote about in Jamais Vu, were horrible creatures made up of  decomposing mounds of flesh and bone.

So what exactly are they, and why do we find them so intriguing?

Demons have been defined as everything from fallen angels to evil spirits capable of possessing their human counterparts.  We even use the word to describe those with a great passion for something, such as speed demons.  Some people even believe that demons are just the manifestation of the evil nature that bubbles just beneath the surface of every human and that, that is why we find them so fascinating.

The original greek word “Daimon” didn’t even carry a negative connotation.  It simply meant a spiritual being.  It wasn’t until the Hebrew Bible that the word became something more malevolent.

Throughout history there have been many definitions of the word demon.  Here is a peek:

1.  Mesopotamia – There were 7 evil entities knows as storm demons.  They appeared as winged bulls and were considered to be God’s divine wrath.

2.  Ancient Arabs – The jinn were lower divinities with human attributes.  They liked humans and were peaceable by nature.

3.  Judaism – Demons were believed to do the bidding of the Angel of Death.

4.  Christianity – Christians have had a wide variety of definitions for the word demon.  They can be spirits that inhabit a person or place, fallen angels, unclean spirits or the followers of Satan.

5.  Isalm – Jinn coexist with humans and are not evil.

Demons can be painted in many ways and have throughout the ages, but one thing is for sure.  They always make great fictional fodder.

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, The Mulligan Man, Deja Vu published by Astraea Press

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

SSS – The Mulligan Man Short Story

Dakota Trace sat in Ms. Myers’ third period English class. As usual, the woman had her blonde hair stacked high on her head.  He watched the web of hair move in one heaping mound as she crossed the room. She reminded him of Marge Simpson, and had once told his class she slept with her head hanging off the edge of the bed to prevent her hair from getting matted. He imagined all the blood rushing to her face and the ensuing explosion, which would keep her out of the classroom for weeks. It had yet to happen.

The Mulligan man was written for The Japan Release Anthology Project at Astraea Press.  All proceeds go to this charity.  You can purchase it at the following link: 

http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=1011841&mode=product&product=5192906

Cheers! 

Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers” and “The Mulligan Man”
 
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
 

Meet Stephanie Taylor Publisher and Owner of Astraea Press!

As you may or may not know my first book “The Keepers” was published by a press which was the brain child of Stephanie Taylor.  Astraea also published my short story “The Mulligan Man”, and will be publishing my second … Continue reading

Characters to Love

While I’m on vacation I thought I’d leave you with a couple of blogs so you don’t completely forget me!

Every couple of days in the writer/reader community on social media the following question is posed:  Who is your favorite character and why?

We all aspire to have a character or two that gets mentioned in every one of these threads.  How does one create characters who stick with readers, you ask?  If you google the question, you will get the same answer phrased a million different ways. But, I believe there are several things which come together to make  life-like and lovable, heroes/heroines and villains we can love to hate. Most of them are not covered on these lists.

If you’re like me you love to people watch.  Every person in the world has some habit or idiosyncrasy which makes them unique.  Remember in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, when Jane realized the other spy was John?  She saw him wiggle his leg in a video and recognized him immediately.  These things make people interesting to look at and endear them to our hearts, whether we know it or not.  Does your hero chew on his thumb?  Does your villain bite his lip right before he tells a lie?

You can tell tons about a person by the way others react to him/her.  Does your heroine adore your hero?  Or does the sight of him make her skin crawl?  Your readers will react to all of characters’ feelings about each other, so craft these thoughts carefully.

What goes on  in your MC’s head?  I find the thoughts and questions which formulate inside a characters mind really tie me to them.  Make sure you sprinkle some of this inner dialogue in your story so your readers know precisely how he/she thinks.

When you are writing dialogue make sure you take into consideration the players background, accent, and geographical location.  Read it aloud and ask yourself if that person would really say those things.

Finally, have the character achieve some emotional or intellectual growth throughout the story.  The person doesn’t even have to be aware they have changed. However, within the paragraphs of your tale you can illustrate the differences in their reactions and ideals from the beginning of the story to the end.

Hope these suggestions help!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
 
Check out my novel The Keepers at Amazon, B & N, Astraea Press, or my website www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Debut Novel Supernova – Interview with author – Crystal D Ward

Crystal and I met years ago on a website called www.textnovel.com.  The website was set up for new and indie authors to post their novels and get feed back.  It also hosts an annual contest for a contract.  As soon as I read the first chapter of Supernova on Textnovel, I was hooked and knew I’d love Crystal.  We hooked up on facebook and have been fast friends ever since.  We both just happened to sign contracts with Astraea Press this year, and Crystal bestowed the pleasure of critquing her work on me.

As you probably know I suffer from ADD, in a bad way.  A book has to really grab my attention for me to finish it.  If you see a five star review on a book from me, then the book earned it.  I give Supernova those fives stars.  I was attached and could relate to the characters right away, even though the premise of the novel is fantasy.  I hope you enjoy my interview with her and please check her out on FB, Astraea Press and Twitter.  Her book will be released in August 2011, so keep an eye out and buy this one!

When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?

Crystal:   Well, I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl.  I still have some of my stories from back in the day.  My first big one that I was proud of was about farm animals. LOL  I
think it was in 5th grade I decided I wanted to write screenplays.  I went through that phase
for a few years, wrote a few, and even tried to get an agent in the 7th grade, but of course nothing came of it. LOL

My first year of high school, I joined the drama club and instantly fell in love with acting.  Writing was put on the backburner, but it was still present. After I graduated I tried to pursue my dream of acting, but it didn’t work out too much. ;- )  I tried writing
a screen play again and submitted to probably five million places.  I kept getting told I was “too wordy” for screenplays.  After failing at that for a while, I developed the dreaded writer’s block for years.  It wasn’t until after I read the Twilight books did I feel the need to write again.

So, I give credit to Stephenie Meyer for writing four fabulous books, which I’m in love with, for getting me back out there AND to all the people who said my screenplays were too wordy.  I guess books were the ticket all along! ;- )

 You have very unique names in Supernova. Where do you come up with
your names for characters? Do their names influence their personalities?

Crystal:  Yeah, I totally love my names in the book.  Evania was almost going to be called Layla, because I love the name.  Then I decided, if I was really going to dedicate my time to writing it, I couldn’t just pick random names.  I wanted them to mean something.  So where does one go to find out the meaning of a name?  A baby name website of course! :- )  I picked http://www.baby-names-and-stuff.com/.  It helped out tremendously!  With most of the characters, I looked up meanings, not names first.  With Evania, I looked up fighter and when I saw it, I instantly fell in love.  Desmond’s name was fate actually.  I don’t know why, but in the back of my mind, I always knew Desmond would be named Desmond. When I looked it up on the site, it didn’t really give me a meaning, but it originated from Ireland.  I kept looking until I found out it meant “gracious defender”.  Pretty perfect. :- )  That’s how I did all the names in the book, except for a few.  The only two personalities I would say are influenced by their names are Alec and Gedeon.  I have more detailed descriptions of all of the names on my website.

Is Supernova Part of a series?

Crystal:  It absolutely is. :- )  I call it The Supernova Saga.  There are four books in the series, which have been completed and are in the editing phase.  All four took me exactly a year to write.

Was Supernova your first novel?

 Crystal: Yep, it was, but my first writing expedition, no.  That’d be my screenplays, collecting dust upstairs. ;- )

Was any of the story drawn from real life experiences?

Crystal:  I wish I had a Desmond in my life! LOL No, it’s truly all fiction.  It’s
funny though, my mom was going to read Supernova, got to the third page, found
out Evania had a drug problem, and then called me.  “Do you have something you want to tell me, Crystal?”  LOL I said, “It’s not a biography, Mom.”

I totally understand, my dad call me Jess after my first heroin for weeks.  Do you plan to write books other than Supernova and it’s sequels?

Crystal:  Yes, absolutely!  I started a book called Black Dawn back in January. It’s another Urban Fantasy Romance. Also, there’s one called Without Hesitation I started a few years
back.  I bounced around writing it, so right now it makes no sense, but I’m sure I’ll get back to it one day.  I have lots of ideas for other books too, plus I want to make one of my screenplays, Because of You, into book form as well.

How did you find your publisher and what made you choose them?

 Crystal:  My good friend, fellow author, and writing Mama, Monique O’Connor James suggested them.  Love ya, lady!  She had gotten signed with Astraea Press and I found out through Facebook.  I messaged her to tell her congrats and we got to talking.  I told her about this other publisher I was waiting to hear back from and she told me about Astraea so I figured why not. :- )  I submitted, then a few days later, Monique said I should email Stephanie Taylor, the Editor in Chief of Astraea, and tell her to hold off on my submission because she was going to help me with editing Supernova and whatnot.  We got to work on that, then I received an email from Stephanie a few days later saying she had told her reader to wait on my book, but the reader must not have gotten the message because she read it and loved it! :- )  She attached the contract with the good news.  I got the email at work, cried happy tears, then had to man up and get my work done. ;- )

Any crazy quirks in your writing process?

 Cyrstal:  LOL Oh, yes.  I can write anywhere, and I mean anywhere.  I have a spare room with a desk and all that, but I rarely use it.  I wrote most of Supernova from my bed, but
I’ve also written in every room in my house, at my mom’s, sister’s, friend’s, airplanes, airports, laundry mat, and of course, in the bathroom.  LOL I’ve written some pretty profound stuff sitting on the toilet.  I also have to have something on while I write.  I can’t write in the dead silence.  Usually I have the fan on or television turned down low.  And I have to be doing something else as well.  I’ll have Facebook open, and check that randomly between sentences.  I’ll be like, “Okay, you two kick each other’s butts for a moment, while I comment on this status.”  LOL True story.  Also, whenever I knew I had a big, emotional scene coming up, I’d talk it out to myself in my car.  I’d pretend I was Evania or whoever and literally go through the emotions, crying, yelling, and all that fun stuff.  LOL When I did it at home, my cat stared at me like I was insane.  With everything she had to put up with for the year I wrote the books, the last one will be dedicated to her. :- )

If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would it be
and why?

Crystal:  Desmond, hands down.  He is one hot hunk of man.  Plus he can cook and I
can’t so I’d request some home cooking. ;- )  And with all his travels, I’m sure he has plenty of stories to tell.

What kind of music do you listen to while writing?

Crystal:  I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, but I have a crap ton of
songs that inspired Supernova.  I like the hard, new rock kind of stuff.  Some
of my favorite bands are Shinedown, Skillet, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days
Grace, and Red.

Hope you enjoyed the interview.  Check out the blurb below and a contact info for Crystal.

Blurb-

“I will show you the possible in a world of impossible.”

Everyone is born for a purpose, and for Evania Laylen, that vocation is
about to make itself known.  Guilt ridden
after the death of her parents, Evania sinks into a deep depression and serious
drug addiction.  Giving up, she’s ready
to say goodbye until the enigmatic Desmond Kane enters and shows her the life
she was born to live.  Thrust into a
secret, action-packed world of good versus evil, Evania becomes faced with a
choice: Embrace the new, meaningful life where epic love begins, or follow
through with the morbid plan of being with her parents again.

 About Me-

The first story I ever wrote was about farm animals. . .  I was eight. With no real training in the writing area, I’m a work in progress, learning as I go, and am just fine with it.
:- )  I live in Southeastern Ohio with my old lady cat, Princess.  Until I strike it big, I’m a restaurant manager, who can’t cook at home, and is obsessed with Arizona Green Tea, string cheese, and the color orange.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve changed what I want to be when I “grow up”, but for the first time in my life, I know what I want, and I won’t give up until I get it.

Contact Crystal at:

website- www.thesupernovasaga.com

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Next time your wondering what the two women in the booth are saying…El MexicaNOOOOOOO! – Adventures of the dynamic duo.

Tamara and I weaved through the parking lot headed for lunch.  We couldn’t go far because the glass company had just put a new windshield in my car, and the black tape didn’t, in fact, look like racing stripes. However, I think Tamara believed me when I told her it did, because she agreed to drive so I could pretend it wasn’t my car.  We were supposed to be running errands, but I was struck by a brilliant idea.

“Let’s go to that new Mexican restaurant.”  I said, as I hunched further down in my seat praying no one could see me.  Never mind that everyone knows my car because of the big sticker with my daughter’s name on it. I was still hiding.    

I’d like to go on record as saying Tamara readily agreed.  If she doesn’t want to do something she just says it, but she jumped on this idea, so I refuse to take the blame alone.  It’s always an adventure when we go places together so I really didn’t think anything about the fact that it took nine minutes to park.  Tamara couldn’t get the car between the two yellow lines, but this is nothing new.  I just kept wondering if the people in Payless Shoe Store were all gathered at the window watching her struggle to get more than two inches space between my car and the Suburban next to it. 

I tried to duck around the other side of the oversized SUV, but I heard Tamara say, “What are you doing.”  I just laughed and sprinted for the door.    

Now we should have known right away there was something off about the place.  No other females were  in the building.  All the waiters were male, and otherwise there was a table full of burly construction workers and a couple of old men in the corner.  Of course we both picked this day to wear summer dresses cut above the knee, and as we walked across the floor all eyes followed us to the table.

Tamara stopped in her tracks and glared at the table.  I snorted knowing she had no intentions in keeping her mouth shut.  The benches were hard wood and straight back, with slats on the bottom which were so far apart a small child might fall through them.  Her mouth fell open. “Do they expect us to sit there?” 

 Tamara chuckled under her breath and ordered our drinks.  “Did you see the way he looked at you? I think he wants to eat you.”  

Involuntarily, my body convulsed into a full body shiver as I glanced over at the table of construction workers.  They were all still, eyes wide, staring at our table.  Honestly, I felt like I’d drifted onto another planet where women were alien.  Tamara picks this time to lean across the table and say, “You know, I feel lucky that we haven’t been shuffled off to the human trafficking warehouse in the back.”    

“They won’t stop staring,” I say, as I send the table of goons the stink eye.  None of them react.  Maybe we are visiting another universe.

“Let’s just eat and get out.” Tamara slurped her Dr. Pepper while remaining focused on my face.    

This is the exact moment when the waiter comes back with our food and leans in once again. His hair scrapes my cheek, and I make a noise similar to a whale giving birth…or so I imagine.  Tamara opens her mouth, and I can see the words before they leave her lips.  “Why don’t you just lick her?”    

Mortified, I slide down, until I’m sure only the two old men in the corner can see my face turn blood-red.  The waiter smiles and slithers away.  I can’t think of anything to say so I shovel a bite of food in my mouth expecting to be saved by wonderful Mexican cuisine.  But, no.  The cosmos are not lined up for this cloud to have a silver lining.  I chewed carefully, as if the speed at which my mouth moved had some effect on the horrible taste pooling in my mouth.

Surely, I was overreacting, still freaked out about the run in with Senior Pervert.  Nope, that’s not the case, because as my eyes trail from my plate back to Tamara, she’s trying to look sophisticated while spitting her food in a napkin.  “Oh my God, are you kidding me?”  She didn’t scream, but it was close enough.

“Let’s just get the check and get out of here before I die.” I offer as I dig for my wallet.    

“I don’t want to pay for this.”  She complains while staring at her plate, which is still full. 

In a gust of wind, the waiter comes back and looks down at our plates.  He doesn’t ask if it was okay, or if there is something wrong, he simply whisks our dishes away and plops down the bill.  I know at this point I’m walking a fine line with Tamara.  There exists, in her psyche, a tiny line which once crossed, will send her into a raving fit.  She has that crazy corner smile. It’s getting close.

I whip out my card and push it to the end of the table and in swoops the man to rush it off.  In seconds, he’s back and we are scurrying for the door.  As we pass the cashier, he leans over and says something like, “MMMM, later ladies.”    

Tamara casts a wicked eye back at him, and I grab her arm and push her out the door.  In the parking lot, she was almost laughing, but still obviously irritated.  “We shouldn’t have paid!!”  

“Get to the car. Hurry before we have to go back.”

By now, tears are running down her face as she shoves the key in the ignition and looks up at the tape still on my window.  “You should have let him lick you…then we wouldn’t have paid.”

 

Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers”
 
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com