Q&A with Amber Daulton

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats.

Blurb:
Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

Excerpt:
“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.

“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”

“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”

His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.

He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.

Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”

He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”

Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”

“Take me to your place and you can have me.”

Arresting Mason

Q&A
JNO: My blog focuses on creativity in general. What is your creative/writing process?

AD: I like to daydream first, then plot in as much detail as possible—either on paper or the computer, doesn’t matter to me. I often get new ideas in the middle of the first draft and sometimes the second draft, so the characters just take over the story for a while, and I have to find a way to reel them back in and get the story back on track. On average, I can usually write a novella (15 to 35k WC) in maybe a month or so. For a full length novel (80k plus), it usually takes three or four months to finish the first draft. I have ten books published so far, the eleventh book is currently in edits, and there are several more manuscripts collecting digital dust on my computer.

I try to write a little every day, but it can be difficult. Life happens. Trust me. Even if I can’t get to the PC to write, I’m always plotting my current or future story in my head.

I don’t have children—so no distractions there—but my cats are demanding little creatures, so I have to appease them. My husband Gregory is the cook in the household, so luckily I don’t have to worry about fixing my meals. Otherwise, I’d probably go hungry. Anyway, I usually start writing early in the morning and keep going until the afternoon, but of course I have little breaks in between.

JNO: What prompted you to write this book?

AD: Arresting Mason is a redemption story about a flawed man struggling to right his wrongs and finding love in the most unexpected of ways. I came up with the main plot—a feisty divorcée starting a HAWT relationship with a tattooed ex-con—in a little place called dreamland. I’m always the leading lady in my dreams, and I fell head-over-heels in love with a mysterious former gang member. After I awoke from that seriously mouthwatering dream, I couldn’t stop thinking about Mason, his past, and his current problems. His seductive voice kept whispering to me, urging me to write about him, so I wrote out a rough plotline and quickly finished the manuscript I was already working on. I’ve changed quite a bit in the story from what happened in the dream, but the main premise has remained the same.

I originally wrote this book for a bad boy anthology call, but I had exceeded the maximum word count and still wanted to add more scenes by the time I finished the first draft. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising this story until I was finally happy with it. At long last, the manuscript clocked in at 80 thousand words and sparked ideas for more books. It’s now book one in the Arresting Onyx series, a five-book series about five sexy men—brothers in blood and in life—and the stubborn women they can’t live without.

JNO: What advice would you have for anyone starting to write their first book?

AD: Writing is the easy part and it’s only half of the work. Handling rejections and bad reviews with finesse is a must, taking care of marketing and publicity demands is a handful but a requirement, and writing your next book while dealing with everything else is cause to bring out the vodka. But ‘tis the life of an author. You gotta love it, and I do with all my heart.

Make friends with other authors and readers via social media. Don’t be shy. Start a blog even if you aren’t published yet, so you can join blog tours. A tour is a great way to get a free ebook as long as you write a review and post it on your blog. The author’s readers will then come to your blog to read the review. They’ll know YOUR name, and that’s what you want—to get your name out there.

Just keep trying. I know it sounds cliché, but there’s nothing else to do. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. Period. Keep your hopes up, take rejection letters in stride, and if a publisher or editor gives you feedback on why he/she rejected your work, listen to their feedback. They know what they’re talking about.

JNO: Also, where can people find you and your book?

AD: If you want to learn more about me, Arresting Mason, or my other books, please click on the links below. As you can tell, I hang out on several social media platforms, so feel free to message me, follow me, or send a friend request. I’d love to meet you!

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason

Amber Daulton

Buy Links
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ppcmEJ
Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2uOj90J
iTunes – https://apple.co/2FVAQMP
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arresting-mason
Google Play – https://bit.ly/2Izu3cZ
The Wild Rose Press store – http://bit.ly/2FSVvBa

Buy Links for Audio
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2Nbwr03
Audible – https://adbl.co/2CV6oVU
iTunes – https://apple.co/2NHwMqA

Social Media Links
Blog – http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton
Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/14JoZff
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor/
Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amber-daulton
Book Gorilla – https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B00ALQITWY/amber-daulton/kcc
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368 
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmberDaulton
The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

Q&A with Sterling Jacobs

Photo provided by Sterling Jacobs

Sterling Jacobs is an artist in south-central Oklahoma. He shared some insight into his art and creative process with us.

JNO: Could you tell us a bit about your creative process? How you get started, if/how you plan your projects ahead of time, etc.

SJ: I get right into the creative process. I think about what I want to do then proceed to do it and let the process take hold of me. What will come of it I never can say. That is of course the purpose.

JNO: What’s your background? How did you get to where you are now with your art?

SJ: I started doing art when I was seven. I was looking at a set of encyclopedias my grandmother had. I opened up to see portraits of the presidents. Afterwards, I never looked back. I went to college to hone my skills. Also, I educated myself and, by doing so, learned how to create my identity and express the fluidity of how that identity ebbs and flows within the chaotic currents of ones life force.

JNO: What message do you hope to communicate with your art?

SJ: Art is for everyone. Its very process is therapeutic. Also, I believe art is used to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

JNO: How does current social or political issues influence you?

SJ: I am a believer in inclusive rights for all people. People should not have to conform to any expectations society puts on them in assessment of their own self worth based upon their contributions to social machinations forthwith.

JNO: Who are your biggest influences?

SJ: My biggest influences are Vincent Van Gogh, Hieronymous Bosch, Auguste Rodin, Bernini, as well as cartoon, video game genre of the 20th century.


This is part one of our Q&A. Part two will be posted at a later date.

Q&A with Author Leslie Bowes

Author Leslie Bowes announces the release of her book, Heart Healer, book one of the Heart Healer series. Below, she shares a book trailer and answers a few questions for us.

Exerpt:

“That’s true, but I don’t need a servant. I need a wife.
Catherine dropped the spoon as her whole body shook. What was her father planning to do? Hard work? A wife? What was going on? She was not her father’s slave to trade as he wished. She was his daughter. Too nervous to turn around, Catherine prayed that she heard wrong.
“What did you say?” her father asked, shocked.
“You heard me.” Mr. Von-Clyer laughed. “You had no problem selling her to me as a servant Mr. Andrews, but now that I want her for my wife your conscience haunts you. What’s the difference? Either way your debt to me is paid.”
“Catherine, get over here now!” her father yelled drunkenly. The longer she stared at the vein in her father’s neck; she realized that she was making him angrier than Catherine had ever seen before.
She slowly walked over to the table and stood in front of her father. Her heart was
pounding in her chest as she watched him drink his last bit of wine.
“You will be Mr. Von-Clyer’s wife to pay off my debt.”
“What debt?” Catherine asked angrily.
“Catherine, do not speak unless you are spoken to,” her father snarled.
“What debt?” Catherine yelled.
Her father jumped up from his chair with an angry shout, bumping the table, but James jumped in front of him.
“You cannot treat Catherine like that, Father. She is your daughter and my sister, not your slave!” James yelled.
Catherine’s father was having none of that. He lunged for James, but Catherine got in between them before her father could do anything. She knelt in front of James and wiped his tears. All the while she prayed for strength.
“Thank you, James, but I need you to go to your room.”
“But, Catherine—”
“No buts. Go to your room and stay there until I come for you.”
As soon as James was in his room, Catherine’s father grabbed her arms and shook her hard.
“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, Catherine! Do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” Catherine whispered, scared for her life.
“Good. Now go with Mr. Von-Clyer and pay off your debt.”
“Father, I beg of you. Tell me what my debt is?”
Q&A
JNO: My blog focuses primarily on creativity. What is your creative/writing process?
LB: I put ideas in a game plan of how I want each chapter to go.
JNO: What prompted you to write this book?
LB: Heart Healer started out as a historical romance called Rose Hill but it did not get published. So I stared on a contemporary romance called A Second Change At Love.  When I was in middle of writing, I noticed something was miss. So, I pulled out Rose Hill again and put parts of Rose Hill and A Second Chance at Love together and it became Heart Healer.
JNO: What advice would you have for anyone starting to write their first book?
LB: Never give up and never stop writing.
JNO: Where can people find you and your book?
LB: Heart Healer is available on Amazon in print and on Kindle. I’m also on Facebook at the Heart Healer page.
HeartHealer_11593_med

Making Money Writing

Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

Yesterday, a friend contacted me on Facebook Messenger with a question.

My daughter is interested in trying to publish a book she’s working on. Short stories and poems. She asked if i knew anyone that did that and of course you popped in my head. If it’s not too personal, can you tell me if you make money doing that? And what the process to do so is?

The thing of it is, there’s no simple answer.

Can you make money writing? Yes and no, because it depends on what you want to write and how much you market yourself. As a preliminary, I told her this:

The short answer is that some types of writing can and do make money. I haven’t made much because marketing intimidates the hell out of me. Even the big names have to do self-promotion. As for how to do it, take a look at CreateSpace.com. They’re pretty easy to use. The way I do it with their self-guided process doesn’t cost anything unless I order books.

Yes, I know marketing shouldn’t intimidate me. That’s really not the point here. (Plus I’m working on that and getting better at it.)

One of the biggest things to remember is that writing is just the beginning of the work. How many revisions and edits you go through will vary from project to project. And then there’s the whole publishing process.

Now, like I said in my original answer to my friend, most of my stuff is published using CreateSpace, so I follow the process laid out in their self-guided system. I don’t talk to anyone in customer support, so it doesn’t cost me anything until I order books.

I almost said the work of marketing/self-promotion starts then, but, really, you need to be doing that all along. Be talking about it on your social media platform(s). I mainly use Twitter and Facebook, but I do occasionally post writing-related stuff, especially when I have a new book out, on LinkedIn. The more you talk about it, the more interest you generate, which will (hopefully) translate into sales down the road.

Take a lesson from me: Don’t be shy about marketing and self-promotion. Most of the big names even have to promote themselves. Except maybe Stephen King.

So, what makes the most money?

Mostly, nonfiction. Followed by romance. I did a Google search on the question “what kind of writing makes the most money?” Just click the link to see the search results.

The funny thing (to me) about the timing of this question is that I’ve been thinking about that. Making money writing.

A few years ago, I taught a class through the community education program at the local college. The name of it? “Make Money Writing.” In it, I talked mostly about writing for magazines, the query process, researching articles, finding other resources, etc. I’ve been thinking about moving that online, either as a video course or an email series.

Let me know if there’s any interest in that and which format would be best.

I promised my friend a list of resources. I’ve been thinking about how to narrow that down because I have enough that I could probably fill a book with just links. I’ve decided to just list the top 5. Links will open in a new window. If you have a pop-up blocker, hold the Ctrl key down when you click it so it will open.

Resources:
Writer’s Digest
CreateSpace
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Ralan (market listing)
Help a Reporter (more for nonfiction, though can be useful for fiction)

There are a lot more I could add, but the sheer mountain of information available just from these resources can be overwhelming enough.

By the way, in speaking of making money writing, the type of writing that traditionally makes the least amount of money?

Poetry.

However, with that said, if you’re just writing for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Happy creating.