Sunday, January 1, 2012

WELCOME Phases Authors!

The Indulgent Bloggers got to interview the Phases authors *fan-girl eeek* - Abigail Barnette, Cheryl Dragon, Bronwyn Green, Kris Norris, Brynn Paulin and Mia Watts – to share with you some of their author insight in today’s post. We’ve loved them each in their separate endeavors but putting them all together in this series was a genius idea. Indulge in the series with us but first read their interview.

The remainder of our week here at the Guilty Indulgence Review Site (January 2-7th), we will be reviewing the 12 books in the Phases series.
CLICK ON THE LINK to the right to FOLLOW US. Then leave a comment telling us what your guilty indulgence is or even just leave a question for the authors. They’ll be answering during the week and then at the end, we’ll draw one LUCKY WINNER to receive a copy of EVERY PHASES BOOK (that's all 12 books!) as a prize.

GI: What are your must-haves when writing a romance?
Mia: A hot hero and a happily ever after.
Kris: Besides lots of tension and steamy love scenes, I really want the relationship to drive the plot…and let’s not forget that happy ending.
Abigail: My computer. I'm low maintenance. I don't need chocolate or pictures of sexy guys. Those are helpful, but not must-haves.
Cheryl: Hazelnut Coffee and my barebones outline....I guess my laptop too but I've been known to write with pen and paper when necessary.
Brynn: A computer, a pen and a notebook.
Bronwyn: My computer, something vaguely resembling a plot, something to drink (tea, coffee or coke) and most important, a deadline.

GI: What/ who inspires you?
Cheryl: (Looks around at other authors) This group is pretty inspiring as well as motivational.
Kris: Life experiences are the best inspiration. Taking a simple occurrence and turning it into the premise of a book is very satisfying.
Brynn: Nature and historical places.
Mia: It comes from different places: A photo, a comment, something I saw while driving, etc.
Abigail: Honestly? Hot guys.
Bronwyn: Pretty much anything, a song, a picture, nature, a dream, a snippet of dialogue, a conversation, and okay, I’ll fess up too with Abigail… hot guys.
GI: Do you listen to certain music when you write?
Bronwyn: Yep. Each book has its own soundtrack, but I’m especially fond of Celtic folk, gypsy music and a lot of indie artists.
Brynn: I have a compilation of instrumental pieces from the Twilight movies that I call TwiFavs. It's a perfect background.
Cheryl: I don't do music.  I'll get too into the music and forget about the writing. I'm more of a white noise girl...TV works.
Kris: I prefer quiet too, though with three kids and five pets that’s usually not the case. And trust me, no one wants to hear me sing.
Mia: I agree. No music.
Abigail: I actually listen to ASMR videos on Youtube while I write. Basically, a lot of clicking, scratching, scraping noises that get the brain tingling.

GI: Where do your characters come from?
Kris: Some are people I’ve met, others are people I’d like to meet. And some just live in my head.
Mia: My brain. Sometimes Italy, but mostly my brain.
Abigail: If I knew, my job would be so much easier! I have a theory that writing is more like archaeology than building. The story is there, you just have to get out your little tools, your tiny hammer and brush, and you chip away until you find the story, rather than starting with two bricks and putting them together. But I have no idea where the pieces come from.
Brynn: Venus and Mars :-)
Cheryl: A magical place that can flood my brain without any warning and yet I can never find it when I want to. Call it Oz, Wonderland, the muse or a touch of insanity. I like it there!
Bronwyn: Honestly? Mine come from the same places as I get the rest of my inspiration. The hero of Handcuffs and Lies popped into my head after a bit of overheard conversation.

GI: Can you explain what authors mean when they say "the characters talk to me"?
Brynn: It's when the stories and bits of dialogue appear in your head. For me it's usually when I'm driving.
Kris: Basically, you feel as if you’re a bit crazy because the story starts playing in your mind, with authentic voices for the different characters. Kind of like your own audio book or the movie Night at the Museum where everything comes to life.
Bronwyn: I don’t necessarily think they talk to me – more like talk to each other… in my head.
Mia: I get a sense of them and who they are before I ever start typing.
Cheryl: They're real to us. Just like having a ton of imaginary friends. You're in charge of their happily ever after, but if you make them do something that isn't in their're in for trouble.
Abigail: I'm not a fan of proclaiming that I hear voices. I've always found that to be kind of a trite way of explaining inspiration.

GI: Any tips for aspiring authors?
Cheryl: Figure out what you do well and focus on it. That can be the hardest part but once you figure it out, you're a lot closer to selling.
Brynn: Don't quit, read a lot and make sure to self-edit before submitting books.
Abigail: Finish one manuscript. Just finish one, and the hard part is over, it's all downhill from there.
Bronwyn: Never give up and finish the projects you start. We all tend to have more ideas than time, but until you’ve sold a few stories it’s nearly impossible to sell something on proposal. 
Mia: Never stop writing, no matter what the nay-sayers tell you.
Kris: Ditto. Never give up, never surrender…and grow a thick skin.

GI: Do you use pen names? If so, why?
Bronwyn: Originally, when I started publishing, my kids were a lot younger and went to a super conservative school and I wanted to keep my personal life and my professional life somewhat separate.
Mia: Yes, me too. Actually I'm in witness protection. Almost for real.
Abigail: I write as Jennifer Armintrout, which is my actual name, and as Abigail Barnette. I use two different names to indicate that the material you're getting is a different product.
Cheryl: Yes, my real last name is hard to spell and pronounce. You want to make it easy for the reader to find and remember you.
Kris: Nope. Haven’t seen a need for one yet.
Brynn:  I’ve needed to use one for "church" reasons ;-)

GI: Share your best author moment.
Cheryl: Romantic Times Convention, 2011 in L.A....someone saw my badge and said "It's Cheryl Dragon...I just read you!" She was so excited! Writing is so solitary that those moments are amazing!
Kris: It’s a tie…the day of my first ever release and the day I first held one of my books in my hand.
Mia: Meeting an author who didn't know I was me and hearing her swoon about me for an hour. :D
Bronwyn: Honestly, I think it happens pretty much anytime I get a note from a reader or meet them at conferences. I’m super easy like that. ;)
Abigail: When I got my very first royalty check, I opened the envelope on the way up the driveway from the mailbox. I read the amount on the check and fell to my knees, right in the driveway. My husband came running out because he thought it was bad news!
Brynn: The best moments are always when I meet readers at conferences and they're excited about my books. I love meeting readers.

GI: What is your favorite season? Why?
Cheryl: Winter because my allergies love it. I prefer to be cold rather than hot. Plus, I can stay inside and write--no guilt about good weather.
Kris: To quote a song…summer…where every single moment is worth its weight in gold…summer it’s like the world’s best story and it’s waiting to be told…
Abigail: I like summer too because I don't have to wear shoes. And I don't. I'm basically a hobbit.
Mia: Fall. Leaves, baby, leaves… and crisp chill.
Brynn: I like Fall too. It's the end of humidity! (and really pretty too).
Bronwyn: I’m torn – it’s a toss-up between autumn and spring. I love the changing colors and the crisp, cool air, but I also love sights and smells of the earth coming back to life after being frozen all winter.

GI: Do you like to read as much as write?
Mia: Yepper.
Cheryl: Yes, I only wish I could spend that much time reading.
Kris: I love to read and squeeze it in whenever possible.
Brynn: Me too. I love to read. I wish I could read as much as I write!!
Bronwyn: I do too, but I don’t get as much of a chance as I’d like unfortunately.
Abigail: I don't read as much as other authors, I think. I'm dyslexic, and reading is a real struggle. I do enjoy it, though, but I feel like a fraud when this question gets asked!

GI: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Brynn: The writers here with me today… also Emma Hillman, Lora Leigh, and Lynsay Sands.
Cheryl: That'd take up way too much room. I love mysteries and paranormals on top of romances. So on my Kindle you'd find a mix of cross-genre stuff.
Kris: Non-romance, hands down…Stephen King, Eoin Colfer, Rick Riordan. For romance…the ladies interviewing with me top the list:) Also, Tielle St. Claire and Lora Leigh.
Abigail: Herman Melville, Tolkien, Robyn Carr, Jim Butcher, Gena Showalter, Terry Pratchett, and George R.R. Martin…
Mia: I'm on this post with most of them. They rock.
Bronwyn: Well, besides this lot (awesome authors, all) I also love Maggie Steifvater, Charles deLint, Becca Fitzpatrick, Suzanne Brockmann and Suzanne Collins.

GI: What is your guilty indulgence?
Bronwyn: There are so, so many – Coke, Salt and Vinegar Chips, Starbucks, Pinterest, Etsy…the list is pretty endless, so I’ll stop here.
Cheryl: TV, chocolate, Diet Coke with Lime, Red Wines and my Keurig that makes me any kind of coffee or tea I want. I've got a lot of these.
Kris: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate… oh, and diet coke, though that’s more of an obsession.
Mia: Netflix. I'm a documentary whore.
Brynn: Wearing my pajamas until noon some days.
Abigail: I'm never guilty about my indulgences. Life is too short for guilt.

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