A look back at 2017

My first ‘look back’ on my blog! How haven’t I done this before? Okay let’s not answer that question. Let’s rather read my ‘look back’ *smile*

 

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The biggest thing for me was the Africa Online Book Fair. It was such a labor of love and great way to create a platform for African romance authors. It was definitely a highlight of 2017 for me.

 

 

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The other highlight was the release of my first paranormal romance. Not only did I move out of the contemporary lane but I also wrote a story set within a shared world. It taught me a lot as an author.

 

My first radio interview! On SAfm their Sunday Literature show with Nancy Richards. A fellow author Leenna Naidoo set it up and I got to talk about the Africa Online Book Fair as well as my own writing. It was nerve-wrecking but also exciting!

I also made some important decisions in regards to what writing groups and organizations I wanted to support and how they are developing me as an author. I do believe that as an author you have to audit the groups you joined. If after a couple of years there you haven’t experienced significant growth or any support in terms of skill development, you should look at other alternatives. 2017 was definitely a year of evaluating networks, promotion styles and author relationships.

Writing-wise, I completed the first draft of a novella the second half of 2017. Then decided to do a rewrite. I wrote extensively about it here and on my Facebook page about it. It was the first time I grappled with whether I liked the direction of a story after I’d completed the manuscript. *ouch*

I also tried my hand at fan-fiction. There’s an upcoming post about that, so I won’t elaborate here. Please do read it and tell me what you think about fan-fiction.

All and all 2017 was packed with a lot!

 

 

 

 

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Author Interview/Feature with Sue Searles

For the month of July I’m going to feature/interview authors on my blog and not all of them strictly in romance. First to my July posts is author Sue Searles! So let’s kick this off *smile*

 

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1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
I love my family, God, writing, crafts, and anything to do with pugs. I’ve had a passion for writing from as early as I can remember. As a kid I was always tinkering with different types of stories, and poems about the stories I’d written. I had notebooks filled with the stuff. I think I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. It’s what I was born to do.
2. What inspires you to write?
It’s hard to say exactly. Writing is a constant passion that kind of bubbles inside me, so when a great plot idea pops into my head, I can’t stop myself from fleshing it out and creating interesting characters, sub-plots, and unexpected twists. I’d say I’m always working on some story or another – even if I haven’t physically started one yet, there’s an idea I’m mulling over, building the characters and storyline in my head before I put it to paper. For me, writing is such a great creative outlet.
3. What project are you most excited about right now?
I’d have to say Lucia’s Web. It’s my latest release and came out just two weeks ago!It’s about three girls who share an apartment, but there’s something creepy and sinister about one of them. The genre is kind of mystery/suspense/romance with a humorous twist. The protagonist advertises for two tenants to share her upmarket apartment, but she’s such a naïve, sheltered thing that she isn’t prepared for the weird and interesting housemates she’s about to take on, or the series of cryptic events that unravels. (Okay, let me stop there. You’ll have to read it for yourself…)
(See excerpt from the book.)

 

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4. Which authors are you currently hooked on? Any recommendations?
I love Lynn Austin’s books. She writes stunning historical fiction and I find myself relating to her style of writing. She’s taught me a lot about significant historical events that I never knew before.

 

5. If one of your books could be made into a movie, which one? And why?
Hmm… I’d probably say Finding Freedom. It’s a story I wrote a few years ago about two women thrust into the underworld of human trafficking.The reader learns early in the book that the younger woman was snatched on the day she was born, and is forced to learn the reasons for her “parents’” desperate act. The older woman has had to endure a hellish existence as a trafficking victim, and when she finally finds the courage to escape, begins a search for the child she was forced to give away eighteen years ago. Each has to embark on a journey of sorts, both in search of themselves and each other, hoping their paths might eventually collide.
With its elements of drama, action, suspense, and romance…Finding Freedom is just crying out to be made into a movie.

*Sounds really interesting and like a very dramatic story!*

Where you can find Sue: 

http://www.suesearlesbooks.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sue-Searles-Author/1434957063477372?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/sue_searles

 

Excerpt from Lucia’s Web:

I sucked in a deep breath and held it, then wiped sweaty palms on my trousers. I’d only arrived home ten minutes ago and hadn’t relaxed enough to freshen up or change out of my work clothes.
Get a grip, Ali. I shouldn’t be so nervous—this was my apartment, my advertisement. So I was in charge.
It took me a little over eight seconds before I snapped myself out of my trance. If Lucia James had seemed distant and sociably inept on the phone, meeting her in person only solidified my impression of her.
Pin-straight hair, dyed jet black with purple streaks, hovered just above a sorry pair of sagging shoulders. A thick, black fringe fell across an insipidly white face, barely hiding brown eyes bordered top and bottom with a heavy band of eyeliner. Black lipstick sapped the girl of any natural color and made her look deathly pale. She clutched a brown leather bag across her chest, and a black leather jacket and studded jeans rounded off the look. The girl bit her lip and dipped her chin, her nervousness palpable.
I closed my mouth when I realized I’d been staring. “Um, sorry…come on in.”
I stepped aside to let Lucia enter. Her brown eyes darted furtively around the spacious lounge, then focused on an invisible speck on the hardwood floor.
“So, do you live nearby?” My eyes remained on her as I asked the question and tried to size her up.
“No, I’m not from around here. I don’t know many people in Umhlanga yet.” A shoulder raised two inches, then went back down.
“Where are you from?” I studied her, trying to draw the girl out of whatever spell she was in.
“Eastern Cape.” Her eyes remained averted, the brown leather bag clutched like a lifeline across her chest. The long fringe hung like a thick, black curtain over her right eye, and I had to resist the urge to reach out and pull it aside.
“So, what brings you to Durban?” I honestly wasn’t trying to sound pushy, just curious. Besides, it was a reasonable question, not so? When Lucia didn’t reply, I crossed the room and closed the front door to give her time to answer. Just as I turned back to face her, she jerked her head away and averted her eyes back to the floor. I felt my frustration levels start to rise. So Lucia could quite easily look at me, as long as I wasn’t looking back at the same time?
I held my palms together and tried to shake off the girl’s unsettling presence. “All right, so…the rent is fourteen grand, split three ways. With water and lights, say an extra grand, we can round it off at five grand each. How does that sound?”
Lucia bit her lip hard and her eyes darted around the room briefly. “Sure. Whatever.”
“Rent’s due by the first of each month.” I tried to keep it upbeat, to sound much friendlier than I felt. “I’d like to check references before I make a final decision.” I gave Lucia a pressing look, one intended to communicate that I wasn’t too convinced about her yet. And in case she hadn’t been looking, I’d made sure she heard the threat in my tone.
“That’s no problem, you don’t have to worry about me not paying or nothing.” My warning didn’t seem to rattle her one bit.
I drew in a deep breath and gathered my thoughts. “Right, so we have a domestic worker who comes in once a week. Name is Thandi.”
Lucia met my eyes for the first time since she’d stepped foot in the place. “A-a cleaning lady?” There was measured trepidation in her voice.
“M-hmm. That’s okay, right? With all three of us girls working—”
She waved her hand. “That’s okay, I’ll clean my own room.” Lucia returned her grip to the bag and her gaze to the floor.
I narrowed my eyes at her, unsure how to respond. For somebody trying to gain approval, she was being surly and aloof, if not downright rude. “Well, if you’re sure. Just let me know if you change your mind.”
She gave a quick nod, obviously just to appease me.
Lucia’s tone was as colorless as her complexion, and lacked any kind of verve or energy whatsoever. The girl was as insipid as a jellyfish, with a personality to match.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lucias-Web-Sue-Searles-ebook/dp/B00ZQMOEQI
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lucias-web-sue-searles/1122137024?ean=2940151276801
Kobo Books: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lucia-s-web
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/551150

 

Meet the Writer Wednesday: Inge Saunders

Katherine McIntyre

Writers work long hours, pouring their souls into their work, and slaving away at the keyboard. And behind each and every e-book you download, or print copy you pick up at the bookstore is an author trying to tell a story. Hence why I’m beginning Meet the Writer Wednesday, a way to get to know some of the hardworking writers out there and the stories they pen!

Today, I’m welcoming Inge Saunders to the blog!

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First off, what’s your favorite quote about writing? There are thousands, but usually one or two stick in the mind longer than others.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King.

Every writer has their own unique brand of inspiration–what tends to inspire you?

Anything. Everything. It`s such a cliché, but it`s true.

I`m a lover of music and lyrics, so many a time a light bulb would go off…

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