Vanessa’s Character Picks July 22, 2014

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 20, 2014

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Camy Tang on Writing, Independent Publishing and Knitting

camywebcopyIt’s always so wonderful to have an author back on IC for a second visit. Mostly because it means I haven’t offended her yet ;o). Which is why I am excited to have Camy Tang here today to add some insight to the worlds of writing, independent publishing and, yes, knitting.

Camy, thank you for joining us.

You’ve written Women’s Fiction/Romance, Romantic Suspense and I’ve heard through the grapevine you have written a Regency novel. Which genre do you enjoy writing the most, and why?

I love them all!!!!! I know that sounds completely schizophrenic. I love writing romance, period, and all those genres have romance in them.

Oh, I so get that!

I like the excitement of my Romantic Suspense series (because who doesn’t love a story with Asian hit men with guns?! ;) and all the dangerous situations I can put my characters through, just because I’m mean that way. :)

P-shaw, you just like to write mean.

I also love Contemporary Romance because of the thrill and fulfillment of falling in love, and it also enables me to let loose some of my humor. PreludeForALord lowres

I loved writing Prelude for a Lord, my first Regency romance, because I’ve loved Regencies since I was 14 years old and have read literally hundreds of them over the years, as well as gathering Regency research books to read just for fun. I only wrote my first one this past year because my editor dared me to, since we both love Regencies, and it was wonderful to finally be able to write in a genre that I love so much.

I can’t wait to read it.

Which genre do you enjoy reading the most, and why?

Regency is my favorite genre to read, but I have to also admit that I read very widely. The only genre I don’t read much of is women’s fiction, because sometimes I find that the hard emotional issues hit me personally a little too hard, and it hurts my creativity if I’m crying for 3 days over a book I just finished. One of my favorites that I’ve started reading is Dystopian novels. I love them!

I see you’ve ventured into the realm of independent publishing. What made you take the plunge?

Lacy Williams offered me an opportunity to join with other Love Inspired authors in a collection of novellas, and I jumped at the chance because I know and love each of these ladies even before working with them on this collection. I’ve been fans of their work for many years, including Lacy, who debuted with Love Inspired only a couple years after I did. It was really fun writing our stories and deciding on covers and back cover blurbs, and it’s been great to brainstorm marketing ideas and pool our collective fan bases. It also made me realize how easy self-publishing really is, and also to appreciate some of the things that traditional publishers do that I couldn’t on my own (without a great deal of hassle). It’s made me excited to continue to self-publish and also to continue with my traditional publishers, both for different reasons.

What is your favorite part of being an independently published author?

I really enjoy the freedom of being able to write what I want without publisher constraints. Because publishers market to a specific reader demographic, they often have in-house style guides for authors to adhere to so that the reader demographic isn’t surprised or offended by something in the books they print. I completely understand this, but at the same time there are some things I’d like to write about which I can’t with some of my publishers.

So true!

Also, with independent publishing, I’m not constrained by word count guidelines and can write as short or as long as I like. For the next Inspy Kisses collection, Sealed with a Kiss, I started out writing a novella but it ended up being a bit longer than a novella, but shorter than a typical Love Inspired novel (my story, Unshakeable Pursuit, is about 50,000 words). It was great to be able to let the story go where I wanted it to go without worrying about making my word count.

What is your least favorite part of being an independently published author?

I have been very fortunate to work with some of the best editors in the business through my publishing houses, and one aspect of independent publishing is that I now have to pay for my own editor. I’m used to high standards, and so then editors I choose to work with don’t come cheap. One of the best macro/developmental editors I’ve ever worked with is Meredith Efken, at the Fiction Fix It Shop (http://www.fictionfixitshop.com/) and she’s on par with many of the editors I worked with in my publishing houses. She’s not super cheap—she charges by the hour, typically—but she’s definitely worth the money. She has an incredible eye to see structure and character arc problems and point them out, and even better, she gives great suggestions for how to fix them.

I hear ya.

Do you have any advice for those considering independent publishing?

1. Get a good editor. I’ve read many independently published books (I’m a total ebook junkie, I will not deny it) and some of them were disappointing in that they needed a good macro editor to point out flaws in the story structure or characters. I’m not talking about grammar, typos, and line editing. A good macro/developmental editor will help you fix large-scale problems. It’s those large-scale problems that make readers dissatisfied with the character or the story pacing or with the ending, even though most readers can’t quite verbalize what exactly bothered them. A good macro editor will be able to see that and verbalize and help you to fix it. And trust me, even experienced writers need a good editor.

2. Make sure you have time to learn how to do it, but know that it gets easier after the first book. Learning how to self-publish was a learning curve, but once I did it, I realized how easy it really is. Don’t get overwhelmed—simply start a Word .doc listing all the things you have to do, and group things together that you can do at the same time. It’ll make it much easier to do things the next time, and it’ll help you visualize what needs to be done without being overwhelmed.

Great advice!

I understand you’re a knitting enthusiast (to the point of spinning your own yarn). What types of things do you like to knit?

I love lace knitting, and I’m rather fanatic about Victorian shawls. I’ve knit more of them than I can remember, and that’s partly because I knit several to give away for silent auctions. Right now I’m working on several to give away on my blog (http://blog.camytang.com/) in September to celebrate the release of my first Regency romance, Prelude for a Lord. I figured, lace shawls knit with patterns from the early 1800s would totally fit a Regency gift basket, right? :)

What a great idea!

Any advice for other knitters out there?

I love Ravelry! I don’t know what I’d do without it. It’s great to search for new patterns, or to scan for other knitters’ advice on a pattern I’m using, or to search for yarn information. My favorite yarn shop is Knitpicks.com, where I buy my knitting needles (they’re very reasonably priced) as well as really great yarn at good prices.

Tell us about your newest release.

This month, the second Inspy Kisses collection, Sealed with a Kiss, releases on ebook! It’s priced at 99 cents for a limited time, and you can find the buy links here: http://camytang.com/books/inspy_kisses/2_sealed_with_a_kiss

My contribution to Seswak_webaled with a Kiss is my short romantic suspense novel, Unshakeable Pursuit.

A mysterious young woman warns Dr. Geoffrey Whelan and nurse Maylin Kinley that they are in mortal danger, and then two Asian hit men attack them at the children’s clinic where they work. Geoffrey and Maylin run for their lives, determined to figure out who is after them and why. When they discover the threat is connected to a young teenager whose life they saved, they must race to stop the person who wants them dead—before everyone they care about are caught in the crossfire.

Oooooo!

** In Unshakeable Pursuit, those of you who have read Stalker in the Shadows will find out what happened to Monica and her Free Children’s Clinic, and Liam, whom readers met in Narrow Escape, also makes an appearance. Look for Liam’s story in Treacherous Intent, coming in December!

I’ll be there.

What are you working on now?

I have another Love Inspired Suspense releasing next year, and I’m working on that. The working title is Fighting Chance, and while I don’t have a back cover blurb yet, here’s the two-sentence blurb:

When skip-tracer Joslyn and ex-mob strong-arm Clay both receive vague pleas for help from Clay’s sister and Joslyn’s old schoolmate, Fiona, they determine to find her and help her, only to discover that a family enemy is after Fiona for information about illegal money laundering. But can they save Fiona when a second mysterious enemy is willing to kill them in order to stop them?

Wow! It’s so exciting to see so many great stories coming down the pike. Thank you so much for stopping by today, Camy.

Thanks for the interview, Connie!

*********

Camy writes Christian romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology, and for nine years she worked as a biologist researcher. Then God guided her path in a completely different direction and now she’s writing full time, using her original psychology degree as she creates the characters in her novels. In her free time, she’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

Other posts you might like:

Camy Tang on the IC Hotseat

Camy Tang’s “A Dangersous Stage” and Why Great Characters are a Must—A Sort-of Review

My Prayer Shawl Ministry

Categories: Author Interviews, Book Launch, Contemporary, Current Books, Fiction, General Writing Tips, Guest Author, Guest Blogs, Historical, Independent Publishing, Regency, Romance, Suspense, Writing Tips, Writing Tips | 2 Comments

Vanessa’s Character Picks July 17, 2014

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 15, 2014

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 13, 2014

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The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit? As Christians we learn that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But what is the significance of this person?

 

The Holy Spirit is mentioned innumerable places in the Bible. I looked in my concordance and found many. 1 Thessalonians 1:6 says the Holy Spirit gives us joy. “In spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

 

1 Corinthians 3: 16 says that the Holy Spirit lives in us. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

 

1 Corinthians 2: 12 states that we can’t understand God’s truths unless the Holy Spirit dwells in us. “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

 

These words were written over 2000 years ago and yet the Holy Spirit still makes God known to mankind. The Holy Spirit continues to play a vital role in our lives. I haven’t heard from Confucius, Buddha,  or the goddess of Athens today. But I am blessed daily by the soft whispered voice of the Holy Spirit.

 

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 10, 2014

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 6, 2014

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IC Welcomes Lady Graeye Charwyck from the Novel “Lady of Eve” by Tamara Leigh

eve_ebookWe, at InfiniteCharacters.com, have on occasion, had the honor to host author Tamara Leigh. Today, Tamara has brought a friend, Lady Graeye Charwyck from the novel Lady of Eve. Please join me in welcoming her as she tells us about the journey God has set before her.

Tamara has also graciously offered one commenter a free ebook copy of her newest release, Lady of Eve (Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Include your email address below to enter by 5:00pm July 10, 2014.

Lady Graeye, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Graeye Charwyck. I am the daughter of Baron Edward Charwyck, and the half sister of Philip Charwyck whom readers will recognize as the shameless villain (nay, not all villains are shameless, so I must needs clarify this) of LADY AT ARMS. I was born with a stain upon the left side of my face that my father believed to be the mark of the devil. Thus, when my mother passed away when I was but seven winters aged, my superstitious father sent me away to the convent. There I remained, unloved and unacknowledged, for eleven years. On the day I was to be professed a nun—forsooth, much against my will—everything changed. Word came that my brother had died. As I was my father’s only hope for an heir, I was returned to Medland, and that is where my story truly begins. That is where I met—in most disconcerting circumstances of which a lady should not speak—Baron Gilbert Balmaine, my family’s greatest enemy.

Ah yes, I will not speak of those circumstances either … though I’ve already read about them.

Do you have a profession?

As already told—alas, perhaps I should have kept readers in suspense a bit longer—from the age of seven ‘til the age of eighteen, I was raised in the Church so that one day I might be professed a nun. But on the day of my “clothing,” I left that all behind that I might wed and provide my father with an heir for his demesne. Thus, I suppose my profession became that of “chattel”—the property of a man to be disposed of as he sees fit. But that is the way of things in the 12th century. I pray ‘tis not the same in the twenty-first.

As do I.

What is your favorite thing to do?

I so enjoy being out of doors. I am sure that is due to my early years when my mother and I spent much time outside, the better to avoid my father who always looked upon me with suspicion and disgust. My favorite place to visit with my mother was the beautiful waterfall upon the barony. There, when I knew happiness and love, I learned to swim. Regrettably, those times with my mother came to an abrupt end and my life turned in a direction over which I was given no control.

When did things change dramatically in your life?

I do get ahead of myself, do I not? I have had several dramatic changes in my life. As told, the first was when my mother passed away and the convent became my home. The second dramatic change was when I returned home to Medland as my father’s only hope for a male heir. Now the third… Ah, the third would be my chance meeting with Baron Gilbert Balmaine whose identity would not be revealed to me until it was much too late to prevent happening what did.

It seems others have impacted your circumstances to a great degree.

Who are the most important people in your life today, and why?

There are two people in my life whose influence have shaped and will shape me. The first is Mother Celia who has always been fond of me and whose kindness I cherished in a place where there was little kindness for one who bears the mark of the devil. The other person is Gilbert Balmaine who judges me for my impulsive, desperate act and believes I am no different from my brother. Most unfortunate, I care too much what he thinks of me. More unfortunate, my life is now entwined with his in such a way it seems only God can make right what I have made wrong.

I pray you see God’s goodness in this as He’s shown you a glimpse of it through Mother Cecelia.

Tell us about the current journey you are on.

It truly is a journey, especially in the sense that it is long and difficult. Of course, I can only blame myself for being upon this path. I never wished to be a nun, and to have that burden lifted from me only to have it cruelly resettled upon my shoulders made me think I was justified in doing what I did. Now all know of my sin, and I can but repent and pray for strength to not make the same mistake again. In my age, the term “Daughter of Eve” is an insult leveled against women to remind them of their sinful nature and inclination to tempt men into sin. But as I am a lady, Gilbert believes “Lady of Eve” is a better fit. He has much to learn about me, and he will since it appears he shall be my companion on this journey to forgiveness.

Hmmm. I wonder what Gilbert will learn about God as well.

What inspired you to change things in your life?

How do I answer this without giving away the tale? I believe the inspiration to change my life arose from the sin to which I have alluded. Yes, the sin. To deal with the repercussions, I had to accept responsibility for what I had done and be strong in the face of those who condemned me—not an easy thing to do or to be. Blessedly, my spirit that had been suppressed at the convent by novice mistress, Hermana, who believed I was of an evil bent, serves me well. Thus, though with great grudging I have allowed others to move me like a chess piece, I determined I would be no man’s pawn ever again. And ‘tis as it should be, for I have not only myself to consider now.

Ah, yes. God shows us Himself most powerfully through our weaknesses, does He not?

What things stand in the way of achieving your goal?

Many things—anger, pride, fear—but above all, Gilbert. I do not wish to feel for him. I do not wish to be tempted by him. I do not wish to hope where I should not. But I do. I can but pray that as God is changing me, he will also change the bitter heart that beats in Gilbert’s chest.

Does your faith affect who you are? How?

My faith does affect who I am, for it resides at my very center. Before I was sent to the convent, my mother nurtured my love for God and His son, and in all the years I was at the abbey, God was everywhere, especially in my loneliness. That fateful night, ‘tis true I turned my back on my faith, but it was there waiting for me when I came around again. Disturbed and disappointed, but there.

Thankfully for all of us, we serve a patient and present God.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

Though one cannot call it “cool” or “wacky,” “risk-taking” certainly fits. And once again, we return to that sin of mine and that fateful night. But I can say no more, and so I end this interview with a simple “Godspeed.”

Thank you again, Lady Graeye, for joining us today. I know this has been a difficult time for you. I pray you know God’s presence throughout this journey and am certain He will set things as they should be by readings end.

Tamara, where can we learn more about your novels on the internet?

Website: www.tamaraleigh.com

The Kitchen Novelist Blog: www.tamaraleighauthor.wordpress.com

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamaraLeigh

Ebooks are available at: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks Store, and Kobo Books

Audiobooks are available at: Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes

Don’t forget to comment below to enter to win a free ebook copy of Lady of Eve. Include your email address by 5:00pm July 10, 2014.

LADY OF EVE 

FALLEN

On the eve of her profession as a nun, Lady Graeye Charwyck is called home to Medland by the father who disavowed her years earlier for the “devil’s mark” she bears. Desperate to escape the convent, she agrees to wed a man she detests to provide an heir for her family’s holdings. But when the king declares the Charwyck lands forfeit and awards them to their enemy, Graeye once more finds herself discarded. Grieved by her father’s plans to return her to the convent, she yields to impulse and casts aside her virtue, only to discover that the knight with whom she sinned is the new lord of Medland.

RELENTLESS

Baron Gilbert Balmaine is a man nearly eaten through with desire to see the end of the Charwyck line for all the ills the family has visited upon his own. With the heir dead, the only remaining survivor too aged to beget another, and their lands forfeited for the atrocities committed against the Balmaines, light lies ahead—until Gilbert learns there is a daughter. And his world darkens further when he realizes she is the one who, on a starry night, tempted him past temptation. Certain she intended to trap him into marriage, he vows he will not rest until she is back within the walls of her abbey. Now if only he can forget her… If only that night did not have such far-reaching consequences…

*******

Author BioTamara Leigh 2

Tamara Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. In 1993, she signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books. Her first medieval romance, Warrior Bride, was released in 1994, followed by Virgin Bride, Pagan Bride, and Saxon Bride. Continuing to write for the general market, three more novels were published with HarperCollins and Dorchester and earned awards and spots on national bestseller lists.

In 2006, Tamara’s first inspirational contemporary romance, Stealing Adda, was released. In 2008, Perfecting Kate was optioned for a movie and Splitting Harriet won an ACFW “Book of the Year” award. Both books were released as audiobooks. In 2009, Faking Grace was nominated for ACFW “Book of the Year” and RITA awards. In 2010, Leaving Carolina was featured in Target stores’ “Emerging Authors: New, Notable, Red-Hot Reads” section. In 2011, Tamara wrapped up her “Southern Discomfort” series with the release of Restless in Carolina.

When not in the middle of being a wife, mother, and cookbook fiend, Tamara buries her nose in a good book—and her writer’s pen in ink. In 2012, she returned to the historical romance genre with Dreamspell, a medieval time travel romance. Shortly thereafter, she once more invited readers to join her in the middle ages with the Age of Faith series that includes The Unveiling, The Yielding, The Redeeming, The Kindling, and The Longing. Lady at Arms, the 1994 Bantam Books bestseller originally titled Warrior Bride, is the first of her early medieval romances to be rewritten as a “clean read.” The sequel, Lady of Eve, will be available Summer 2014.

Tamara lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, sons, and a Doberman that bares its teeth not only to threaten the UPS man but to smile.

Connect with Tamara at her website www.tamaraleigh.com, her blog The Kitchen Novelist, Facebook, and Twitter. To be added to her mailing list for notification of new releases and special promotions, drop her an email at: tamaraleigh@comcast.net

Other posts you might like:

Welcome Tamara Leigh Back to IC for a Little Confab about Her New Release, “The Redeeming”

A Traditionally Published Author Wades into the Waters of Self Publishing, by Tamara Leigh

Meet Miss Juliana Dutton from MaryLu Tyndall’s Novel, “The Ransom”

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