Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and psy/suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my website.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Healthy Holiday Gifts

In honor of "Black Friday," I'm taking a break from the Newbie writers' series this weekend to share these gift ideas. This is a reprint of an article that I wrote with the assistance of my Divas and Diva Dudes from Romance Divas. I consider it priceless! Look them over and tell me about your favorites.

Looking for healthy gift ideas? Well, you’ve come to the perfect place! Here’s a list of 50 holiday treats to boost the physical and mental health of your loved ones.
cookie mix layered in a jar, with instructions on the tag
*handmade soap, lotions etc
*chili or soup mix layered in a jar, with instructions on the tag
*bath salts
*herb seeds and those little peat pots (and maybe recipes to make once the herbs grow
Seeley DeBorn of Romance Divas
1. Wii Fit Video Game
2. Juicer
3. Grill Pan
4. Vegetable Steamer
5. Puzzles
6. Exercise Video
7. Nutrition Counseling Session
8. Running Shoes
9. Gym bag packed with new water bottle, workout clothes, iPod and gift gym membership.
10. Subscription to health magazine
11. Day at the spa
12. Massage
13. Books (we could get a list of them ranging from physical and mental health books to relaxing novels)
14. Financial portfolio session
15. Relaxing jazz (we could get a list of some faves)
16. Trial gym membership
17. Mini vacation (weekend stay at a hotel)
18. Planning session with a professional organizer
19. Tuition for a community step, ballroom, or belly dancing class
20. Gift certificate for yogurt shop
21. Health journal
22. Tuition for a community stress management course
23. Season tickets to university or city arts events
For kids: Seeley again

Science kits, like crystal growing kits.
Anatomy colouring books
Dinosaur bone dig kits

For Men:
Booze made from organically grown products. We have organic vodka, hemp beer, hemp vodka at our local liquor store.
Hand made shaving soap and aftershave balm (this is a hard to find product!)
Massage GCs
Fair trade coffee and hand thrown mug made of local clay
Chaeya gave me these:
1. Trial yoga membership
2. Music for Yoga and Other Joys - Jai Uttal (CD)
3. Coffee gift cards
4. Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. (Book)
5. Nature hikes (some areas host edible herb tours)
6. Digs (depending on where it is there are places where you can go dig for gemstones)
7. Tai Chi or Qi Gong class
8. Pilates
9. Reiki Session
10. Gift card for vegetarian restaurant
11. Suze Orman - The Road to Wealth (Book)
12. Gift card to iTunes or Rhapsody Membership
13. Sessions with a Nutitrionalist/Dietician
3jen gave me these:
Ooh, Seeley's idea made me think of a home brewing kit. A male friend of ours is really into making beer.

One of my favorite gifts is the stylin' reusable shopping bags I use myself from Envirosax. They fold up really tiny and are cool enough to use as a bag anytime.

Golf clubs (and $10000 cash for course time )

Sled/skis/skates for kids (winter, and all that)

Yoga mat & video

Aromatherapy oils and burner

The Hunger Site (www.thehungersite.com) and it's affiliate sites have a lot of cool gifts. I especially like the gifts like "Send two girls in Afghanistan to school for a year" or "buy a Rwandan family a goat" and they have stuff like that in all price ranges. You could check out the site just for ideas. Great gift for the guy who has everything "Sweetie, here, I'm giving you a goat." "What??" "Don't worry, someone else will milk it for you. On the other side of the world." )

Organic/free trade/recycled clothing items (something seasonal, like a scarf made from recycled milk jugs would work)

Nature guide (i.e. birds, trees, whatever)

Star gazing guide

My 7 y/o daughter adores Folkmanis puppets. Not sure if they're "healthy" but they're incredibly beautifully made and encourage creativity. You can have a really fun time with just one.

Dance Dance revolution (if that's not too old-hat)

Musical instrument (for kids) ie bamboo flute, bongo drums, etc

Scrapbooking kit might be a fun gift for a girl--papers, stamps, ink, etc. My DD loves that stuff.

Other art supplies too. Watercolor paints and paper, clay, anything that people wouldn't normally buy as school supplies would be fun for kids (and maybe adults too)

Nell Dixon gave me these:

Men's ideas - a smoothie maker, a stunt kite
kids - roller blades, pavement chalk
December Q/Anna J. Evans gave me these:
A food dehydrator, maybe?
A mortar & pestle to grind fresh herbs?
Beeswax, coca butter, almond oil, and a small double boiler--that sort of think, like a make-your-own-lotion/lip balm kit?
A lot of toy stores carry kits for kids to make that kind of thing, too.

And for men you can get those make-your-own-beer kits. So they can drink beer with no preservatives or anything like that in them. (Not that women don't drink beer, of course. I love beer. It's just you asked about men.) They have winemaking kits too.
Rob Graham gave me these:
For adults who could use a good read that can reset your mental state, I always recommend The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense. It never fails to make me smile and calm me down when I read it. It's the heretic's Bible.

For kids I think there's only one choice, The Chronicles of Narnia. I can't think of a better choice to bring the joy of reading to a young person.

Allow me to add that other great gifts include a copy of copies of Got Wolf? Anthology 2: Taming of the Wolf, gift certificates to The Wild Rose Press.com, and gift certificates to Black Classics Books and Gifts (251) 476-1060 :)
Don't forget to tell me about your favorites!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Homage

Some years ago, when I was still working in the public school system, mornings were even more hellish than they are now. Each morning, I would drag myself out of bed and go to what seemed to be a thankless job. I still had my grandmother, father, and mother, and for the most part, I still had a clean bill of health. My New Year’s resolution was to say a prayer of thanks before getting out of bed each morning.

Since then, I’ve lost my grandmother, my father, and my clean bill of health. Ironically, I’m still saying a prayer of thanks before I get out of bed each morning. I’m thankful that I still have my mother, and I’m thankful for the many abilities God has preserved in me. A year ago, today, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to work full-time again due to my health, yet now I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with mornings. I’m a night owl, so I never want to get up in the mornings, but I’m thankful for being able to – thankful for having some place to go each morning where I’m expected and needed, and where I can touch lives in a positive way.

If I had to say what I’m most thankful for, it would be God’s grace – that he has allowed me to piddle along and take many of the gifts he’s allowed me to use for granted – that he has still allowed my curiosity about him – that he has welcomed me into a closer, deeper relationship with him – that he has been patient - that he has clarified things I wasn’t even aware I didn’t know – that he has taught me to appreciate my mother and others who love me more and more each day. Have a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Newbie Writers Series #2

All You Need to Know About Publishing (for now)

You’ve decided you love writing enough to go forth. You’ve set some goals about writing. You’ve joined a writers’ board or two or three. It’s time to set some goals about publishing. First things first. Don’t rush into anything. Do your research. The publishing industry is ever changing. Just a few years ago, our options were much more limited. I’m constantly learning about resources that probably didn’t exist a short time ago. That said, let’s talk about your present options and touch on a few elements common to the process of publishing. There are at least six ways to publish or get published. Their differences range from submission requirements to whether and how much the author has to pay, to the availability and extent of editing and marketing services.

This is my take on the six types of publishing houses: large publishing houses (usually called New York publishing houses because many are located there – author doesn’t pay), small publishing houses (some of these are also located in New York, but they generally limit themselves to a particular genre or type of book – author doesn’t pay), vanity presses (you pay these companies to store, print, list, and distribute your work), POD presses (Print on demand. You pay these companies to store, list, and distribute your work, and readers pay for printing as they order), basic printing presses (these presses offer bare bones services to authors for a fee. Basically, they print what you send them and you pay to have your book printed and bound), and my favorite, E-publishers (online publishers – author doesn’t pay). We also have several publishers that are a combination of two or more of these six types of presses.

Publishing houses that do not require you, the author, to pay, nearly always require a query letter (a one-page letter introducing yourself as an author and telling the main plot of your story) and synopsis (a two to five page summary of your story including the conclusion) before you get their permission to send your entire manuscript. NEVER send a manuscript without an invitation. This is a major no, no. Publishers receive so much to read, let alone the editing, marketing, and simply dealing with multiple personalities, that they can not tolerate unsolicited manuscripts. Many of them also require you to have an agent (the person who negotiates your contract and usually takes 15% of your pay to do so). These publishers are also considered to offer the most assistance to authors with editing and marketing. Don’t get nervous. We’ll talk more about the query letter, synopsis, and editing later (note to self). Yep, they’re that important.

For now, let’s continue with the similarities and differences between publishers.
POD and vanity presses do not require agents. While some POD presses require a query and synopsis before they’ll agree to print your work, many of them do not. You’re paying, anyway, so they’re not taking much of a risk on your work. Most vanity presses don’t require the query and synopsis. Remember, though, that before either of these presses will print anything, they require payment. They usually offer a variety of “packages” to authors with a different number of services for different amounts of money. Generally, with these presses, the author has to pay for any editing and marketing services not included in the initial package chosen.

E-publishers were the best fit for me. Authors don’t have to pay, so e-publishers nearly always require the query and synopsis, but unlike the larger presses, turn-around time (the amount of time it takes for your published book to actually be available) is relatively quick (usually 6 – 12 months). Also, unlike the larger presses, you, the author, have a lot more say about the finished product – even the cover of your book, and you don’t have to have an agent. You have to be willing to work for yourself (editing, marketing, and selling your book, that is), but e-pubs offer editing and marketing services free of charge. Again, you have to be willing to work for yourself. Unlike the large publishing houses, e-publishers don’t have big bucks to shell out marketing your book, so you learn a lot about marketing yourself. There are lots of ways to do this. We’ll talk about marketing later, too (note to self). I’m still a newbie at marketing, but so far, it’s enjoyable.

Okay. Take a deep breath. It’s nearly over. Here are a few resources to get you started. Consider them a sample of what’s out there. Take some time and look at them. This is just an inkling compared to the number of resources and choices you have as a writer, so take time to do your research, decide which publisher fits you best, and go for it.

Six Ways to Self-Publish

How to Get a Book Published

Getting Your Book Published for Dummies by Sarah Parsons Zackheim

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Karen and Raven's "no-kill" shelter Benefit

Raven and I are so happy you could come and support the “no-kill” shelter! He's in the back playing games with some of our other friends. Kick off your shoes and join in the fun. If the music's too loud, just hit the pause button. We have something for everybody. Over here, there’s dancing, a variety of games, puzzles, and even a bit of piano playing. We also have Raven’s favorite game right here. You might even want to check out some of the excerpts and Dariel’s WIP, “Jordan’s Wings” while you’re here. Oh, and before you go, make sure you visit the shelter support site.

“Raven’s Shelter” is one of the hot novellas in the Got Wolf? Anthology 2 – Taming of the Wolf.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Writers' Series - The Beginning

People always ask mega-questions about writing. Since it can’t be summed up in one conversation (not even a very long one), I decided to write a series of articles to answer the questions most new writers have. This is my first article in the “Newbie Writers” series. Since I’m relatively new to the industry myself (publishing, that is), consider me a peer tutor  While there’s no way I could know what a veteran in the business knows, the best thing is that information is still new and fresh for me. Feel free to send me questions or information ad libitum.

Where Do We Begin?
Who was it that said “the forest would be mighty quiet if the only birds that sang were those that sang best?” Often the first thing we must do as writers is shake off self doubt and destructive criticism. Accept the fact that no matter how good you are at whatever you do, there’s always somebody better. She might not have even come into her own yet, but she’s somewhere lurking – just waiting for you to screw up. Oh, sorry. I’m supposed to be encouraging – not dredging up the hateful critic who lives inside my head. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Um…believe in yourself.

Writing, like art, music, and dance, is a jealous mistress. You must love it or leave it. Make time to write. The beauty of the arts is that you never arrive. You’re never really finished, and you’re never as good as you can get if you keep working at it. While you’re working on your manuscript, read everything in your genre of interest. Determine your position on the writers’ continuum and set goals consistent with reaching the next rung. No one knows your strengths and weaknesses like you do. Develop a list of small, attainable goals and get moving. Most important – enjoy the process.

When I decided to actually finish a story, I turned off the television and set a schedule which I shared with my family and friends so they wouldn’t interrupt. I read and re-read the work of my favorite authors. In fact, everyone was hard pressed to find me without a book. I still have stacks of their books beside my bed. I started with a short-short (only 10 pages long) paranormal multi-cultural romance. My goal was not to publish it or even enter it in a competition. My goal was simply to finish.

As I worked on the story with the finish line looming ahead, I realized how exhilarated I felt just developing the characters and sharing their world for the duration – the awe of watching my story become my characters’ story. For the second time in my life, I had found something that I loved so much, a part of me would be missing if I didn’t continue to do it – the process of creating something beyond my expectations – something that grew and lived through me, yet apart from me. I was honored just to share, and I was hooked.

One of the best books on getting started as a writer is How to Write and Sell Your First Novel by Oscar Collier and Frances Spatz Leighton. Collier’s “how-to” guide even has excerpts from the beginnings of famous writers such as John Grisham, Stephen King, and Jackie Collins. Yahoo and other internet service providers also have a large number of groups dedicated to beginning writers. Some are genre-specific, while others are for writers in general. According to your needs and interests, you can join groups offering free critiques, pointers, and support. So...tell me about the beginning of your journey. How'd you get hooked on writing? Stop by next weekend and I’ll tell you about publishing as I understand it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interview with Captain Jonathan Hackett from "Sweet Redemption" by Susan Macatee

Jonathan, I've been looking forward to this for some time. It's a pleasure to finally meet you.
1. First, let’s dispense with the formalities. What is your full name?
Captain Jonathan Hackett

2. Where are you from?
I was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1832.

3. Vampirism – that must be frightening. How did it happen?
Just recently, I was pinned down by Rebels on the battlefield at Fredericksburg. All of my troops who hadn’t escaped had been killed or died and I was left alone until a strange man came to my aid, or at least that’s what I thought. But he attacked me and shortly after, I began to exhibit an aversion to daylight and a craving for blood. All attributes of a vampire.

4. What are you going to do?My immediate plan is to protect Mrs. Emery, the widow who took me in, and fight off the creature, who did this to me. I can’t allow him to harm her.

5. I understand that you left the church. Tell me about that.
Sighs. I fear I lost my faith and couldn’t live a lie. I left and, when the war broke out, I joined the Union army.

6. Do you think leaving the church and being bitten by a vampire are related in some way?I’m sure my sin of breaking my lifelong vows caused God to turn his back on me and send this demonic creature to take my soul.

7. How can you make a life with Maddie Emory with impending vampirism looming over you?I’ve decided I can’t and have to leave, because my cravings for her will doom her as well.

8. Don't you think you can be what she deserves?
I wish I could, but there can be no future between us. At least that’s what I believe.

9. I'm sorry to hear that, Jonathan. If you could turn back time, what would you do differently?
My only wish is that I could have met Maddie years ago before I took my vows and could’ve made a life with her.

10. How do you want this conflict to be resolved?
My hope is that by destroying the vampire, this curse can be reversed, but if not, I only wish for Maddie to live and find another man who can take care of her and love her. I want her to be happy, even if it must be without me. Shakes head.

Thank you for speaking with me, Jonathan. I pray that things will work out for you and Maddie.

Susan, thanks for visiting with me, and good luck with Sweet Redemption.

To order your copy of Sweet Redemption, click here.

Visit Susan at http://www.susanmacatee.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Susan Macatee is here today!

“Sweet Redemption” by Susan Macatee

On a cold December night, Union infantry captain, Jonathan Hackett, is pinned down on the Fredericksburg battlefield trying to escape Confederate fire. But a creature of the night, more dangerous than any enemy soldier, stalks him. Jon must fight for his life as well as his soul.

Maddie Emery has lost everything dear to her. Her husband and parents have passed on and her brothers are off fighting in the Confederate Army. She’s alone, trying single-handedly to hold onto her family’s farm, when a Yankee soldier collapses across her stoop.

Maddie and Jon soon form a bond of love and tender desire. But when Jon begins to exhibit signs of becoming the creature he fears most, is their love enough to fight off the evil of a centuries old vampire bent on destroying them?

Hi, I’m Susan Macatee and am happy to be a guest here on Dariel’s lovely blog. Sweet Redemption is a stand-alone novella available at The Wild Rose Press, and my second vampire story. I write romances set during the American Civil War, both straight historicals and a few with paranormal elements such as time travel, reincarnation and, of course, my two vampire tales.


Those knocks were not made by a wolf, but he suspected the wolf had something to do with Reverend Arnwolf. “Is the wolf his minion, or can he transform himself?” he said, under his breath.

“What?” Mrs. Emery moved close. Her scent invaded his thoughts. “Please, tell me what’s going on?”

Jon sighed. “When I said I was attacked by a wild dog, I lied.” He moved back to the settee and sat, his hands dangling between his knees.

She sat beside him, but held herself ramrod straight. “What or who attacked you?”

“I was pinned down on the battlefield. Spent the night in the freezing cold. All of my men had died. A man appeared. Claimed to be a minister from Austria.” Jon grimaced as he recalled Arnwolf’s blood-red eyes and the sharp pierce of his fangs as they entered Jon’s throat. “He offered to help me, but...instead he led me to an abandoned barn and attacked me.”

Mrs. Emery gasped. “You’re not saying this man—”

“He bit me on the throat.” Jon pushed his hand through his hair. “I don’t know exactly what he is, but he’s not human.”

“That’s who you believe was at the door?”
Jon nodded. “I don’t know how, but I now have a connection to him.” He fingered the bumps on his throat. “I know things about him I shouldn’t possibly know.”

To learn more about Susan’s Civil War romances, visit her website: www.susanmacatee.com

Sweet Redemption is available tomorrow at www.thewildrosepress.com

Come back tomorrow when Dariel will interview my vampire hero, Jonathan Hackett.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Interview with Author Melinda Elmore

Author Melinda Elmore's love for Native American culture makes for some exciting stories!

Tell us something about you and your books

To my surprise, I started writing and creating my very own world. A place where I could go and lose myself with just a pen and paper.
I grew up with the fascination of the American Indian. My love for them grew by leaps and bounds as I read about them from my history book. I wanted to show, in my writings, of the proud people that the American Indians truly are. They show honor and respect for all living things. If I can capture just a small portion of that in my writings then that would be an added bonus for me.
Native American Romance and Native American mysteries is my passion. I hope to reveal in my books the uniqueness of the American Indian. I feel truly blessed to try and reveal how special the American Indians truly are.

Are there any new authors who have grasped your attention?

I love Margaret Coel, Linda Broday, Carol Ann Didier, and my all time favorite Tony Hillerman

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I do a lot of research. I find my information from other books, computer, and library.

What promotional ideas can you give to other beginning authors?

Promote yourself as much as you can. Whether it is guest blogging, being interviewed, go to public TV and do an interview, book signings, etc.

What advice would you give to somebody trying to get a literary agent?

Submit to every literary agent you can find until you land one. Never give up.

Are there any words you would like to say to other aspiring writers?

Believe in yourself and your work. Never give up on your dreams of becoming a published author.

As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
Of course, I wanted to be a writer, not just any writer but a best-selling author. One day that will come to for me.

As a writer and published author how do you feel about e-publishing

I feel E-publishing is the future. I hope that books stay in the market but e-publishing is taken off and it is a lot easier for people.

How long does it take you to do research on the books you write?

Well its according. Usually I research for however long it takes, usually a couple of months but sometimes longer.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I always loved to read and write. I read every Laura Ingalls Wilders books and from that point on I decided that I too wanted to become a famous writer and hopefully make a difference in the world.

What is your novel, “Native Dreams” about?

Here is an excerpt:

Precious Hawk is viciously taken from her people
and forced to live in the white world, causing
inner turmoil. Many years later, Cloud Feather, a
perfect stranger, arrives to work on her
husband’s ranch. Experience the “awe” when Cloud
Feather rescues his beloved Precious Hawk, who
has come to him in many of his dreams. His heart
is to return Precious Hawk to her ancestral lands where she rightly belongs.

On the run, the daring couple nearly lose their
lives. Cloud Feather is gravely wounded. He is
taken to his village in hope that Red Wing, their
medicine man, can save his life. All the while,
Precious Hawk is with child, Cloud Feather’s child.

But Precious Hawk knows the evilness of John
Altan. Will he ever leave her alone? No, not until he is dead.

The Great Spirit joins their love, faith keeps
their minds hopeful, and their spiritual guides deliver guidance.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I set at my desk and write looking out at the creek that runs behind my home, taking in all of the animals that happen to wonder by.

Are you working on other things? If so, what are they?

Most definitely, I am working on a Native American Mystery Novel. I have found that mystery is really my thing.

What do you enjoy most about your writing?

I really enjoy making the characters come alive and the scenery of each area that I bring them to. I also like the use of my animal characters that I incorporate with the American Indian beliefs.

Dariel, thanks for having me here. I really enjoyed it.

Walk in peace and harmony,


Melinda's website
Melinda's blog:

"Native Dreams" is available at www.amazon.com/ and www.barnesandnoble.com/

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Author Mary Pritchard has Caught My Eye!

Ghostly Mistakes
Lizzy planned to make this mission short and sweet, but thanks to her client, Carl Taylor's inability to provide details, it looks as if she was in for an extended adventure. A dangerous farmer with buried secrets, and the zealous accusations of a lady's church group keep her on her toes. If all this isn't enough to complicate her task, her growing attraction to the highway patrolman who caught her speeding, adds spice to the brew. If she doesn't solve the puzzle left in her hands, she could find herself stuck with Carl for life. Oh, did I mention he isn't a paying customer? Well, being a ghost does limit your financial abilities.

Jaguar Nights
Can the calming energy of a human empath prevent a dangerous, untamed weir leader from destroying his pard? Will Cole be the answer to Syndee’s longing for acceptance and a home, or will he be her destruction?

For more information about Jaguar Nights, Mary's newest release click here. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/jaguar-nights-p-3710.html

For more information about Ghostly Mistakes, click here.

Here's an Interview with Mary...

1. Tell me about when and how you started writing professionally.

I started writing for publication about six years ago. I went to a reader’s convention and decided I would try and write a book. I came back and immediately started writing. Took me four months to write an 80,000 world book.

2. Did you always want to write, or was your decision more of an epiphany?

I have always written or at least since I was around 10 years old. I would write stories to entertain myself. I loved to read and would write stories about how I would have done something I had read about. I quit writing when I started working and then started back again about 15 years ago only to quit again after a year of trying.

3. Where do you get inspiration for your characters/stories? Give examples from some of your stories.

I dream about some of them and some of them I talk to, learning about them as I write. For example, I started writing about Gavin in See How They Die and then talked with him to find out more about him before I finished the book. I dreamed about Coal from Jaguar Nights and wrote what I dreamed about.

4. Experts say we often build characters to fulfill our fantasies/desires. What characteristics do you desire in your main characters (hero/heroine)? Give examples from some of your stories.

I like strong Alpha characters who expect their women to be strong as well as need their help. I want the men to be capable of most anything and almost be dark but the strong heroine can save them even as the hero saves her.
In Jaguar Nights, Cole is a dark dangerous hero who needs the strength of Syndee’s love to keep his dark side under control. She makes him into a better leader and man.
In Leopard Dreams, Zack is a dark protector hero who’s love is a strong woman/cat both in need of help and able to help him balance is job as First in his pard and his need for love.

5. What do you find most fulfilling about writing? Most challenging?

Seeing my books come to life as I write them. I write from the gut. I don’t outline, though I will jot down things I plan to happen sometimes. It really gets to me when I finish a book and feel like I told the story like it needed to be told.
Most challenging? I suppose the editing process is my most challenging problem. I hate that part but it is very important. I love my baby so much I hate to pick it apart even though it is to make it the best it can be.

6. I’m sure you could write a book about this, but writing is a journey. What advice would you give to those just embarking on the journey?

The most common answer is to write. Just write. Another answer is to accept criticism with a tough skin and learn from it. It hurts for someone to suggest big changes but don’t get angry and ignore them. Seriously think about what they have said and take from it what you can. If you get the same thing from several other writers, you should really listen to it. It’s hard but you will grow as a writer.
Another answer is to read what you like to write and write what you enjoy reading.

7. What are some of your most cherished resources?

I use the Internet quite a bit for research but books are my first love so I have a very large library of resource books concerning what I write. The dictionary and synonym books are really important to me.
I also appreciate critique partners. You need one if you can find one that suits you. It’s not easy.

8. Any helpful hints on balancing self, work, family, and writing?

I am one of the worse people to ask this question. I’m not married and have no children so I can’t imagine how people with kids find the time to write. I write at night and on weekends around my job. I am an avid reader and have to choose many times between the two. It’s not easy.
You need to take time for self because if you don’t, you can’t take care of your family and you can’t write when you don’t.

9. I agree whole-heartedly. Actually, our writing schedules sound similar :) What do you do to re-energize, restore, and recover?

Read, read, read. I also spend time with my zoo. I have seven cats and two dogs. They relax me and help me think about my stories. Exercise is a great way to relax but I am an avid lazy person and tend to put that off for as long as I can.

10. LOL. You have a zoo, too? I have three large house dogs, and yes, they definitely keep your feet firmly planted on solid ground. They're wonderful. I don't see how people live full lives without them. Tell me about your WIPs.

I just finished a round of edits for Book Two of Tales of the Cat. It’s called Leopard Dreams. The first books was Jaguar Nights which is now out.
Leopard Dreams is a continuation of Jaguar Nights with different main characters .
I’m also working on a series of short stories concerning a pack of wolves who are considered outsiders from the main pack. Each short story will be about one of the pack and their trials and falling in love.

It's been a pleasure having you visit with me today, Mary. Here's wishing you a thriving writing career and many sales!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book signing at Black Classics Books and Gifts!

If you're on the Gulf Coast, please come by and visit me on Friday the 13th! I'll be signing copies of "Taming of the Wolf" at Black Classics Books and Gifts from 5:30 - 7 p.m. A drawing will be held and 5 people will receive a "goody bag."