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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Meet LaVerne Clark

Hi LaVerne,

It's great to meet you. Thank you for sharing your Adventure in Authorland with us, and for sharing your latest release.

It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you Jean!

What inspired you to write your first book?
Guardian of the Jewel was written in response to a submission call put out by The Wild Rose Press. My friend and writing buddy, Cherie Le Clare, challenged me to write a story for them. I’d never submitted anything to a publisher before even though I’d been writing for years, so this gave me the kick-in-the-pants I needed to take the plunge. Imagine my surprise and delight when they came back to me saying they wanted my book. There was much screaming and dancing around the house that night!

What book are you reading now?
Two years ago, just before becoming published, I became a preliminary reader for TWRP. I read and evaluate manuscripts that writers have sent to the publisher for consideration, giving the editor and the reading coordinator my honest opinion on the book’s good and not-so-good points. I have a read I’m in the middle of at the moment which is pretty good. In between that and critiquing my writing buddies work, I don’t have as much time as I used to in reading for pleasure. The most recent book I read and enjoyed immensely was The Help. Loved that book! And I’m eyeing up Jodi Picoult’s latest.
Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
Thanks for asking J  Here is the blurb on my June 27 release, Affinity, a romantic fantasy set in Auckland, New Zealand.

In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas’s legacy could be a curse—in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna’s DNA giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna’s learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna’s exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test—even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna’s abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
I own a retired greyhound. We adopted her when she was four and we all fell completely in love with her and the breed. I’ve just recently resigned from my position as Area Coordinator for Greyhounds As Pets, but I’m still actively involved in spreading the word of how amazing these dogs make as pets. We go to things like A&P Shows, Women’s Expo – basically, anywhere to show off our hounds and to remind people they are an incredible option when thinking of taking on a dog for the family. You’ll find a certain animal finds itself a bit of a star in each of my books!
I also play social netball twice a week – but very badly J
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?
As a horse-mad girl, I grew up reading Patricia Leach’s “Jinny” stories which I devoured. I was a capable pencil sketcher and would spend hours filling whatever bits of paper I found within reach with drawings of horses – just like the heroine Jinny. Back then, I thought I’d like to be an artist. 

What historical person would you want to meet and why?
Ooo – great question Jean! I’d love to meet Mary Magdalene. There are so many conflicting stories about this woman. I’d love to hear her own story in her own voice. I don’t have any particular religious leanings, so finding information on her that strikes me as true rather than elaborated on frustrates me!

I love to meet new friends, so feel free to come and visit me at my homes on the net:

Thank you LaVerne. It's been great to meet you.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Meet Vonnie Hughes

Hi everyone.

I'd like you to meet Vonnie Hughes, a dear friend and fellow TWRP author. She very kindly volunteered to tell us about her adventure for this first blog. I sent her a whole bunch of questions, of which she was asked to answer six.

Apologies to Vonnie. I had problems uploading her book cover.

So drum roll please, for Vonnie Hughes.

What book are you reading now?

I read a tremendous number of thrillers and romantic suspense novels. They are my favourites. At the moment I’m just finishing J.D. Robb’s Kindred in Death. It is, of course, as polished as all the others in the ‘In Death’ series. Like just about every other reader who has got hooked on these books, I love the back stories of Eve and Roarke because they are so individual and no-nonsense. It is refreshing to have gush replaced with gutsiness and to have a hero and heroine (particularly the hero) with borderline criminal tendencies that he’s not afraid to exploit. I’m not fond of prissy, perfect heroes.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve had five full novels published, along with many novellas, short stories and poems. My favourite amongst my books is the one that came out first, Coming Home, a Regency novel published by Robert Hale Ltd. It is still available in both hardback and e-book formats. The reason I like it is that it was never intended to see the light of day. I was about two-thirds of the way through what eventually became its prequel when I undertook an online writing class. Somehow Coming Home spun off from the original book (now published and called The Second Son)Hom because the protagonists became real to me. As part of the emerging middle class in Britain in the early years of the 19th century, Colly and Juliana struggled to find their places in the world. I’m a sucker for heroes stuffed full of angst, so all of my heroes have big crosses to bear.

Do you see writing as a career?

I don’t think of writing in career terms. Writing is something I’ve done since I was about four, and I’m unlikely to stop now. Like many writers, I have to write. I couldn’t stop if I tried. And I have tried. I’ve got fed up with rejections or just plain bored with the process, and tried to give up. The longest I lasted was two weeks. I definitely get writer’s block and of course have to push through it, but I write something every day.

In which genre do I prefer to write and why?

Umm…this is difficult. I’m known for my Regencies, but I prefer to read and write romantic suspenses that verge on thrillers. (See the latest article on my blogsite where I discuss the blurring of the lines between the various mystery and crime genres). By that I mean novels by writers such as Gayle Wilson and Sharon Sala. I’ve noticed that whatever genre I write in, mysteries and crime-solving seem to creep in, so I guess the answer lies there. Ideally I’d like to write about a 19th century sleuth, but it’s been done and done, so I won’t revisit that scene.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

There are so many! Sandra Brown because she always delivers. Anything in any genre by Jayne Ann Krentz (a.k.a. Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle). Love her quirky characters and the way she sucks me in to wholly believe in her other-worlds. It’s those light brush-strokes of setting that sing to me. James McGee is another author who sets his novels in the 19th century. The raw authenticity appeals to me and he’s a master of research. I enjoy Beverly Barton’s romantic suspenses set in interesting, unhospitable places and I’m one of many thousands of readers who mourn Beverly’s passing. And I find that books by Karen Rose and Dean Koontz are consistently good reads. As with many others, I was brought up on Georgette Heyer Regencies and no matter how many times I read them, I still love them. They form the basis of my keepers bookcase.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

Actually, I wanted to be a journalist/reporter. I’m ancient, and in the sixties, nice girls did not go junketing around, pencil and shorthand notebook in hand, like the male racing reporters did. Very few women were employed by newspapers in those days and even if my parents had allowed me to, I doubt I’d have got a job as a cub reporter. But you can’t keep a writer down. I wrote quite a few articles for papers and magazines during the sixties and seventies, even if I didn’t get the career I wanted. And woot! Here I am, writing for a living anyhow.

About The Second Son:  
‘Second.’ The word defines him. Now an accident has given him the right to be first. Be careful what you wish for.
Vonnie's books can all be obtained from her Amazon author page here: