March 30, 2012

Interview with Romance Author, Nina S. Goodin

Welcome back to the blog. Today I have Romance Author Nina S. Gooden, author of A Clockwork Christmas, The Big, Bad… and Light Can Be Gentle.
Thanks for coming on the blog, Nina!

How did you start your career as a writer?
When I was a kid, there were so many things I wanted to do. I overused the line “when I grow up…” and pretty much plotted to work every job under the sun. I had a lot of energy and fully intended to juggle all eighteen of my career choices! Even so, there was always one goal that kept popping up. I wanted to write. In fact, I wrote all of the time! Fanfics, short stories, poems…I spent so much time reading and writing that even today my friends make fun of me because I missed so many movies and musical eras.
Ultimately, it was my family that pushed me to take that final leap into the professional world. I’m kind of a sickly chick, so one day when I was down in the dumps over all the things I couldn’t do, one of them just kinda said “Do the things you can.” So I did. I think that’s an important lesson for everyone to learn, you know? Finding your limits and pushing them. I was lucky enough to be born into a family of Can-Doers.
Don’t let what happens while you’re making plans slow you down. Be flexible, responsive, and determined.
I see you’re published through The Wild Rose Press and Liquid Silver Books. What made you decide to choose these e-publishers over traditional publishing houses and an agent?
It’s probably really sappy, but The Wild Rose Press has one editor in particular who pushed me into e-publishing. In the beginning, I did my fair share of submitting and being rejected. At the time, I was really struggling with building up a thick skin. I also didn’t realize I was making some rookie mistakes in my manuscripts. Callie Lynn Wolfe was a dream come true, she took my first book and validated all of my hard work. It needed some major scrubbing, but her warmth and enthusiasm…well, to be completely honest, reading those emails, even today, can bring tears to my eyes.
There’s just something about the way e-publishers seem to work for and with their writers. In the future, I will probably end up seeking out an agent, but these companies have laid down the foundation for what I will look for in all of my future endeavors. They’ve set the bar high and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
I work hard and I know what I want. That kind of confidence is important to any writer. It’s not an easy business to get in to. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. You just have to keep your eye on the prize and know when to push and when to let up. Unfortunately, the only way to learn which is the better option, is to experience both and the success and failure they bring.
How are you able to balance real life with your writing life or have you?
Oh, that’s an easy question! I have a fantastic support system. My husband is like my own, personal talking Blackberry. Sometimes when I write I get on these binges that can go until…well, until I wake up with my keyboard imprinted in my face. He reminds me when I need to eat, when I need to sleep, and enforces a rather strict exercise/break regiment. You’ll never catch me doing 1k1h on Sunday and that’s because it’s my day off: whether I like it or not!
On the other end, my sisters are what keep me on track when it comes to my various projects. I’m a pretty fast writer, so I can get a book done in a couple weeks if I focus, but between the time-vortex that is the internet and my own special brand of crazy, I’d never get anything done without the constant reminder that I need to continue such-and-such series because they’re waiting for this-and-that to happen.
I cannot express how important it is to surround yourself with positive people who respect what you do. There are always plenty of people who will belittle and doubt you. Be prepared to meet tons of individuals who think it’s sooo easy to write a book that surely if you can do it, then so can they (*Coughs* Not that I’m bitter or anything). You need a strong barrier of love and support to block out all that noise when you’re on your fifth draft and still have no idea why your heroine seems so flat.
Since you’re published through e-publishers, are you working to find an agent and go the traditional route for future projects?
As mentioned before, I have particularly high standards when it comes to the kind of people I want to work with. Every book I write, every drop of ink I scribble onto a page, is a little bit of me. That being said, I have one project in particular that I value. My baby, so to speak. That project, I’m hoping to have represented by the beginning of next year.
 I’ve already gotten my list of targets… I mean agents… lined up. I want to finish at least two of the series I have contracted/published before I go down that route. That gives me enough time to clear some of what I’ve got on my plate, as well as continue to shape my craftwork. I figure this is one of those businesses where you’re never a “Master.” There’s always something else to learn and I want the biggest, shiniest arsenal of awesome before I try my hand at finding an agent.
How long were you writing before you signed your first publishing contract?
I was writing with the goal of getting published for about two years before I landed my first contract. I spent a long time on my first book, trying to make it work when it had some fundamental flaws. It took me that long to be okay with setting it to the side and working on something else. It was a hard lesson to learn, but probably one of the best I could recommend to my fellow writers.
 If something isn’t working, let it go. You can pick it back up later, use it in a different way, or switch it up in the future, but all the time you spend struggling with a faulty concept only weakens your resolve and frustrates you. That doesn’t mean you should drop your work every time you hit a snag, but if you’re editing your little heart out and nothing seems to be working, maybe it’s time for a step back. Sometimes a clean slate is exactly what you need.
Is there anything you’d like to say to novice or unpublished writers out there who read this blog?
Writing can be a very solitary act. It’s easy to sit in your room, write, and completely forget about the world outside, but you mustn’t do that. First of all, you can’t write about beautiful things if you don’t experience beautiful things. If you don’t have a support system at home, there are plenty of writing/reading groups out there. There are classes and workshops designed for the sole purpose of helping you hone your craft and meet like-minded people. Go to them, learn everything you can, and remember you’re not alone in any of this.
My second bit of advice is a little contradictory. Of all the lessons I’ve taken on this journey, it was the hardest to accept, even though it’s kind of obvious when you think about it: not everything works for everyone. Advice is all well and good, but ultimately, it’s up to you to find your own way. Don’t be discouraged if you find that you don’t fit the molds you’re handed. Find your method, your niche, and your voice. You’re the only one who can.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Nina. We really appreciate your information.

Nina can be reached through:

And you can find her books at the following retailers:
Links for The Big, Bad:

Links for A Clockwork Christmas:

Links for Light Can Be Gentle:

March 25, 2012

Revision Hell, Anyone?

If you remember, last year I rewrote the ENTIRE manuscript of Bleed For Me, my second suspense novel. I've learned a lot since that complete rewrite and I've just received the MS from two critique partners.


I'm back in Revision Hell, but this time, it's not so bad. I have some major elements to fix, mainly character development and it's a start. Up next, paranormal romance with angels and demons.

March 23, 2012

Interview with Romance Author, Shannan Albright!

As promised, I’ve dedicated this upcoming year to helping other writers become published, just as a lot of you helped me these past few years. So for today I’d like to welcome romance author, Shannan Albright to the blog to tell us her journey to publication.

Thanks for stopping by Shannan!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a second generation Californian, raised on the Central Coast near Santa Barbara. My family came from a small Bayou town in Louisiana and had made that part of the country their home since the mid 1700’s. I come from a family of artist’s, but I’m the only one who got the writing bug. I also am the only avid reader in my family so I guess you can say I am a true oddity in my family. Lol! I was a dancer, illustration artist and paint to relax and solve any plot problems I come up against with my books.
How long were you writing before you signed your first contract?
I have been writing since 1980. I can probably circle the world three times with all the rejections I have received. I stopped for a few years and would return to it off and on. Then I found the Romance Writers of America, became a member in 2008 and started taking workshops. It was the workshops that helped me to finally get published so I have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to that organization.
Approximately how many manuscripts did you write before then?
Lol! Since 1980? Lord I lost count by 1992! Let’s just say a lot.
Did you follow the traditional publishing route for any of those books?
Yes I did and I know the reason I got my foot in the door to the publishing world is because of the growing popularity of the eBook market.
You’re published with Evernight Publishing and eXtasy Books, what about these publishers drew you in to submit?
I was friended by Evernight Publishing when they opened for business in Oct. 2008. They were looking for authors published and unpublished and sent out a call for submissions for a Christmas anthology. I went to their website, liked what I saw and took a chance. And my experience with them has been stellar. They stand by their authors more than any other I have heard of. I took a small novella to eXtasy because I have friends who are published with them and they contract an entire series instead of one at a time.
What future projects can you tell us about?
I have a book called The Summoning nearing completion. This has been a 3 year project. It took time for my talent to catch up to this book. It’s about Watchers also known as the Grigori and their army of immortals called the Sentinels. They are searching for a key that will allow them into our world to restore the balance between good and evil.
I’m also working on the third book in the Dark Breed Series for Evernight and as I write this I’m finishing up the second book in the Knights of Excalibur for eXtasy. I have one more in the series with eXtasy and that series will be done and I’ll continue on with my other projects.  
What advice would you give a novice or unpublished author?
Don’t. Give. Up. Pure and simple. If I can get published after so many years trying, I know with dedication, workshops and lots of hard work you can get published too if your serious about it and willing to devote the time to really learning the craft and business.

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world, Shannan! You can find Shannan through her website, Facebook, Twitter and her blog.

Check out her books through these vendors:

Dark Passion Rising

Passion's Flight

Beloved Wizard

March 16, 2012

I'm Published!

Wow. The past six months have been a rollercoaster ride, but I'm happy to report, I'm back! For good. As you can see, I've updated the entire site. New look, new information and...well, it's just new.

There are going to be serious elements and posts to the blog to help you in your journey, support you in your own adventures and to keep you updated in mine. We are one this road together and I want to be apart of your journey.

First, I have to explain I'm no longer The Las Vegas Writer. If you remember a few months ago, I held a poll on what my pen name would be and Nichole Severn won. That is my new identity in the writing world and I'm sticking to it.

In the time I've been gone, I've started my own freelance editing business, SPJ Editing, which is keeping me on my toes. I've also been cranking out some great stories in the process and, as you can see from the BOOKS page...


[Insert happy dance]

I've also just started a position with Evernight Publishing as an editor and am getting to know such great authors.

It has been an amazing year thus far and I look forward to growing even more. I'm aching to get back in touch with all of you and hope you'll enjoy keeping updated on my new adventures.

Interviews with published authors and editors
Great giveaways from yours truly and other amazing writers
Q&A posts in which you can ask your questions about publishing

Thanks for stick around!

March 9, 2012

Interview with Siobhan Muir, Author of Her Devoted Vampire!

I am very pleased to resurface in order to interview a great friend and writer, Siobhan Muir. Her latest, and first published work, Her Devoted Vampire was released on February 22nd and it is MUST for paranormal and romance readers.

Her Devoted Vampire by Siobhan Muir

So tell us a few things, Siobhan...

Where do you currently live?
In Las Vegas, the land of wind and sun.
Are you married? kids? pets?
Yes, but not to my kids or my pets. ;)
What/who/ how did you get started writing?
I did. The stories wouldn’t leave me alone and eventually I had to write them down.
Do you want to thank one person in particular for giving that extra push?
For Her Devoted Vampire, I have to thank Shannan Albright for demanding I get this story out where people other than my family could see it.
How many books did you attempt before you were published?
I didn’t attempt to publish, but I’d finished 11 novels before Her Devoted Vampire was published.
Do you have any MUST haves to write? Food, drink or time?
It’s time. Definitely blocks of uninterrupted time to focus.
Which novel is your favorite of your books?
Of my own books? Right now, I think it’s my Navy SEALs story, but there are moments in all my novels that make me think, “Wow, did I write this? It’s really good!”
Who is your favorite character?
How many books do you have in the works now?
I think I have a total of 24 stories in various states of completion at the moment. Most of them are romance, but there are a few sci-fi/fantasy novels in there, too. :)
For your next book, what is the name and when is the release date?
My next release is coming in May from Siren Publishing with a tentative title of Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack.
What made you write this book?
I actually got the whole story for Queen Bitch in a dream I had. It was such a cool idea, I had to write it down.
Do you like writing the hot romance scenes?
Not as much as I like writing the build-up to them and the interaction of the characters.
Do you have plans for another new book/series?
Well, after Queen Bitch, I’m hoping to get a couple of dragon shifter stories (one contemporary, one historical) out there. And then a goblin story, a Navy SEALs story, and a ghost story, and…
What is the 1st book you remember reading and falling in love with?
I think it was Dragonsong by Anne McCaffery. I loved the idea that I could have a dragon of my very own. 
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite series? 
That’s a long list. However I’ll give you the genre favorites that come to mind: 
Science fiction with romantic elements – Cara Michaels
Historical Romance – Monica McCarty
Historical Romantic Suspense – Gaelen Foley
Fantasy – Elizabeth Kerner and Elizabeth Moon
Historical Erotic Romance – Kate Pearce
Romantic Suspense – Roxanne St. Claire
LGBT Romance – Suzanne Brockmann
BDSM Romance – Kallypso Masters
What is your favorite quote?
I have two, actually.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Meg Cabot
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way, you are right.” – Henry Ford
Do you have a favorite book cover?
I have several, but riding ahead of the others is the cover for Her Devoted Vampire, mostly because my name is on it. :D
Naughtiest book you ever read?
Lora Leigh’s Wicked Pleasure ;)

Where can we buy your book?

Her Devoted Vampire is available at:

Anything else you'd like to tell readers?

I love to talk to readers and fans, so if you’re on Facebook, please come visit ( You’ll get all the latest news on releases and writing. Or just come by to chat. I’m also on Twitter ( and you can contact me through my website ( as well as on Goodreads (

Any Giveaways?
I’ll give away an electronic copy of Her Devoted Vampire to one lucky commenter of those who tell me what their favorite fantasy/paranormal creature is and leave a valid email address or twitter handle in their comment.
Thanks for coming by, Siobhan! Be sure to check out Her Devoted Vampire and be on the lookout for Queen Bitch of Callowwood Pack in May!