Monday, August 30, 2010

Author spotlight with Valerie J. Long

Dear Valerie,Thanks for agreeing to the interview. I have to ask, What has been your biggest influence on becoming a writer?
It must have been one of two things: first, I love books. I always have more books than shelf space for them. I always have a pile of yet unread books. Second, although I read a lot, I still have an unstoppable imagination. I have to write down some of it—and when a friend asked why I don’t try to publish it, I thought: Yes, why not?

How did you feel when you got your first publishing contract?I felt, well, supported? Acknowledged? Surprised? It was one shot, one hit. I have to say thank you to Extasy Books for trusting me.

How do you categorize yourself: pantser or plotter?I had to look up pantser. Yes. I’m both. I can start a story, see where it develops to and then complete the outline that develops. Like in fantasy roleplaying games, I can let my characters run and see how they react to new situations. Open end, everything is possible. I can build a plan, like I did for my current trilogy, that will support three 100k word books and then add detail. I do research on certain topics, but I can let go.

What makes a book great in your eyes?Easy. Three characteristics, in that order: First, it entertains the reader. Moreover, it will suck him/her inside the story and make the reader unable to leave. Second, it will reach the heart of the reader. Make him/her laugh, cry or tremble in anticipation. Third, it is worth to be read more than once. If the reader can discover things he/she may not have spotted before. Those make a good book for readers. Perhaps not for critics, but I don’t write for critics.

What is the biggest piece of your advice you can give a beginning writer?Don’t write for yourself, write for your readers. Use your imagination.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?Yes. Writing is—it takes up time which I can’t spend with my friends and family.

What influences your writing? And why?Everything. Books I read, movies I watch, the news, how I feel, and on top of all, music. For Lilith Rose, I listened to gothic rock like Moonspell, but another day it may be Dvorak.

Name one thing readers don’t know about you.My real-life name, and that remains my secret.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a trilogy in the Zoe Lionheart series. Right now I’m in the middle of the second book and next I’ll translate another sequel from German to English.

Who is your favorite all-time author?I’m not sure if I can name just one, but if I have to, it’s probably Robert Ansom Heinlein. I’ve travelled to the USA to buy a book that would not be sold outside the US, according to his orders.

Are love scenes easy/difficult to write?Easy, if I’m in the right mood. That is, I write love scenes only if I’m in the right mood. Music can help me to get into that mood.

Do you write in one genre or several different ones? And why?Somehow my stories move from one genre to the next. Film Noir? Yes. Action, Thriller, Erotic, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Drama—it’s all there. Somehow the inner logic of the story requires the move from one genre to the next, and who am I to refuse?

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?My first choice would be at Zoe’s side. Okay, let’s put fiction aside. There are three favorite places where I like to be. Broome in Western Australia, Vancouver, Canada, and my hometown, Wiesbaden, Germany. Luckily, right now I’m in one of these places.

How do you deal with the dreaded writer’s block?Writer’s block? What is that? My biggest problem is to find the time to write down all my ideas!

Do you have another career besides writing? What is it?
Yes. Writing is a hobby. I’m an IT project manager, I have to make computers do what people want them to do.

What’s your biggest reward in being a writer?Happy and touched readers.

To date, which is your favorite story? Which one did you have the most fun writing?Lioness’ Dream, the fifth sequel. Or perhaps Lioness’ Pack, the sixth. When you read them, you’ll know why.

How do you go about developing your characters and setting?My characters do their own development, I just give them enough air to breathe. I just shove them out of the door and into the story and say: Go, be a hero! Then they do the rest and I’m proud of them. The setting—well, okay, that’s my wicked imagination.

If you had the opportunity to say one thing to your readers, what would that be?Enjoy reading! Wait—why should I say just one thing? This is not the last time we will talk! Come and visit me on the exFactor loop or on Facebook!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Character spotlight with Lilith Rose

Valerie Long - Lilith Hello, Lilith. Would you introduce yourself?Hello, all! Wow—it’s so exciting, I’m interviewed! My name is Lilith. Well, nobody calls me that, they all just say Lil. I prefer Lilly with a double ell. I am twenty-one and my hobbies are sports, anatomy, chemistry and music—classical opera like Troubadour or gothic rock like Moonspell. I also like books. I’m in a book myself, you know. It just came out some days ago, February 15th, on eXtasy Books as one of the Fantasy Garden stories. Did I say that I like roses?

What makes you special?
Me? Special? Oh no, I’m not special, only that I have failed to keep my promise. Wait—let me think. Yes, there’s one thing. I’m absolutely committed to correct my failure.

Tell me about your most current adventure.
Adventure—well, yes, I think you can call it adventurous. But don’t you think I’d give away too much? No? Okay. You know, until I started my mission I had no idea…I was a virgin, y’know. Well, the first time—it hurt a bit, but I think that’s okay, it’s part of my—chastisement, I’d say. I pulled him in so quick that he didn’t have time to notice. And then, oh, it was such a great feeling! And that was just the beginning!

If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?
She shouldn’t be so sad. She knows I deserved what I got. It was my choice.

Are you happy with the way people perceive you?
Happy? You’re kidding. First, they see a little girl. Then they see some new toy in me. When they finally recognize how wrong they’ve been, it’s too late. No, honestly, I don’t care anymore.

Is expressing love difficult for you? Why?
Well, yes, of course. But it’s a part of my role. I must appear authentic. They may never suspect it’s not the real thing. It’s difficult because I only know it from books and internet video, and there’s such a lot of fake stuff. I really think there are only two or three tapes with moans that are used everywhere.

Is there a message you want to get across in this interview?
If you fail, you have to deal with the consequences. Ultimately.

If you could time travel, where would you go?
A few minutes before that ugly incident. I’d tell my sis not to go to town alone.

How many sex partners have you had? How many at one time?Oh, I did them one by one. That was the only way to complete my mission. Each a different pace and a different method. I think it wouldn’t be fair not to dedicate yourself entirely to one man.

Is there a question you wish I had asked but didn’t?
Yes. You could have asked if it all had to happen this way. No. If my father had been a bit more understanding, if my sister had been a bit more careful, if I had been a bit more alert—but then I wouldn’t be here for the interview, right?

What are your opinions on Eva, Adam’s second wife?
Eva who? Adam? Are you talking ’bout the Bible? I’m not very religious, you see. But if you ask, I think she shouldn’t have eaten that apple. There must have been zillions of other fruit around. Just stupid to pick the one she was told not to. Just stupid to listen to a snake.

What are the pro’s and con’s to being a deity?
Dunno—why do you ask me? Probably it’s nice that you never need care about your moon days, but it must be ultimately boring to sit on a cloud every other day.

How does one become a deity?Look, I don’t know where this interview is heading to, but your questions are getting stranger and stranger. What do I know about becoming a deity?

Describe your best kill. Why was it the best?
Oops, what a question! But okay, it won’t matter anyway, it’s too late for the police. I think I can’t pick one. That would be like taking one aria and ignoring the opera. I think it’s the overall picture that counts.

Could you count on any special abilities?Except being a pretty girl with a firm pair of boobies? No—yes. Perhaps I’m a good actress. But otherwise I’m an ordinary girl, and I did my homework.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve seen or done?
Hmm—this interview?

If you could change one thing about you or someone you loved, what would it be?
Oh my. Perhaps I’d change the way Pop saw my sis. She wasn’t a bad girl and he was a good father. But they didn’t get along very well. Isn’t that so with all teenies?

How do you deal with stress?
I focus on my task. I just have to get it done.

Would you like to give any advice to our readers?I don’t think I’m in a position to give advice. I’m not a good role model. I have failed. I could say Don’t repeat my mistakes, but I think every situation is individual, and so are my mistakes. Use your own good judgement and use it better than I did.

Visit Valerie J. Long at:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Character spotlight with Alex Marinos

Hi, I’m Alex Marinos. I live in Athens mainly, but I spend four months out of the year on my favorite island, Zakynthos, where my family and I operate luxury vacation villas. I love the small and grand pleasures of life—especially beautiful women. As a bachelor, I’m free to indulge all I want.

What makes you special?
Special? I think I’m a lot like the average man…except maybe in some ways I play harder.

Do you have special abilities?
I’d say I have a pretty sharp business mind. I excel at my work because I’m determined to be one of the best in my industry. And, well, I don’t like to brag, but I’ve never left a woman unsatisfied.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Becoming the owner of the Blue Star hotel. I worked very hard to achieve this and after five months’ of renovation, it’s become exactly what I had envisioned.

Tell us about your most current adventure.
Celia’s got me in one of her books titled: The Greek Bachelor, which is a fitting title as I am a bachelor—enjoyably so—and I’m Greek. My family is constantly trying to get me to settle down with a wife, but that’s not in the cards, at least not for a while. In this latest adventure though, Celia throws me a curve ball. Carlie, my sister-in-law’s best friend has come to Zakynthos to photograph our villas, and she’s living right next to me. I’m supposed to be a perfect gentleman and of course, I always am…just that when I saw Carlie again, I wanted her even more than the first time I met her. My brothers warned me to keep my hands to myself, but it’s going to be next to impossible with this gorgeous woman in my company every single day…and when it comes to women, I usually get what I want.

If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?
That’s a difficult question. Celia has a way with words and she knows how to take a story in the right direction. One thing though, Celia, take it easy on us bachelors. Maybe give us a warning before tossing a gorgeous, irresistible and totally unforgettable female our way.

Are you happy with the way people perceive you?
I have very positive relations with the people who matter most and I don’t care much how others perceive me. Although, for the sake of this question, I’ve been called opinionated and a few other interesting adjectives. Going back to Carlie…what I find unsettling is that her opinion of me matters more and more. With women, I always kept things uncomplicated to avoid heartache, but I’ve realized that this connection between me and Carlie is far from simple.

Is expressing love difficult for you? Why?
No, I tend to express my feelings easily. Now, love…there are different kinds of love. I love my family dearly and I’m nuts about my nephews and nieces. Romantically, I’ve experienced in love feelings, naturally, but no woman has given me enough reason to be exclusive to her the rest of my life. I’ll tell you a little secret…there’s a part of me that wants to love deeply…you know, eventually. I don’t dwell on it too much, though.

What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you?
Carlie Bowers. She’s the most interesting thing that’s happening to me now. She intrigues me unlike any other woman. I don’t even want to sleep with my lover. It’s got me a bit panicked, but I want her badly. Problem is, I know she thinks I’m a womanizer and she’s got her guard up. Hell, she’s even got me apologizing for my behavior!

Is there a message you want to get across in this interview?
Yes, to the other Heroes in Celia’s books—be prepared for the unexpected when it comes to love.

Have you ever lost control?
Only in bed.

What was the best sexual experience you’ve had?
Just looking at Carlie, I suspect I haven’t had it yet.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Character spotlight with Nate and Tina

Nate: “You go first, hon.”

Tina: “Thanks, babe. Hi all. I’m Tina Cain. Felig fighter, along with my main man here.”

Nate: “ Hello, folks. I’m Nate Lowe. Fellow Felig fighter and lover to the hottie sitting next to me.”

Tina: “Nate, honey. I think saying hello is enough. If folks want to know details they can find out in PJ Dean’s The Felig Chronicles (

What makes us special?

Nate: “Special? Well people who are shortsighted would say it’s because we are an interracial couple. That’s not particularly special to me. We are just a plain pair who snuggle on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn, who make out like crazy—”

Tina: “And who battle Felig. They invaded Earth a few years back and humans have been running for cover ever since. It’s hard living because the Felig cannot initially be seen or heard. They just sneak up on their prey and BAM! Nasty-behind, life-sucking bug-birds.”

Nate: Tina, be nice. Your mom is one.”

Tina: “Not by her own choice. Your ex is one, too. She loves it. Evil ass cow.”

Nate: “Yeah, she is. Let’s get back to the Felig in general. Our latest adventure found us trying to neutralize these creatures. They generate an enormous amount of heat when around or are feeding off human energy and/or emotion.”

Tina: “That brought us together and Nate’s promise to get my mom back. That started our business partnership.”

Nate: “It has progressed to the very personal, very fast.”

Tina: “We haven’t been apart since.”

Nate “Yes we have.”

Tina: “When?”

Nate: When an encounter with my ex landed you in the hospital and when you ran away from me.”

Tina: “Okay. Okay. Shhh! Let people read about it. Also, we’d like to say that PJ’s story is very good, but she needs to spread the word more. She needs to prod people into wanting to know more about these aliens.”

People’s perception of you…

Tina: “People say that Nate is very organized, very controlled, methodical. He gets the job done. He has integrity and intensity. It’s all attractive to me. That’s why I love him.”

Nate: “People say Tina is in charge, considerate, no nonsense, prepared. She is devoted to those she loves. Plus, she’s beyond hot. That’s why I love her. I’ve heard some call her a hood rat.”

Tina: “Who said that? Teddy? I’ll break my foot off in his—”

Nate: “T! Please! People are reading this.”

Some final thoughts…

Nate: “As Felig fighters we have to keep our wits about us. That endeavor entails a lot of exercise, laughter and sex. They are the only three ways we can let off steam and remain fit and sane. The best and most interesting thing that has happened to us is meeting. If not for the Felig, we would never have met. As a team, we hope to improve on how to rid Earth of the Felig. We have a tiny start on this task. We wish to save the population and continue our journey together. We can’t reveal too much. The Felig may be reading this. *LOL* In the next five years we plan to make them sorry that they left their home planet.”

Tina: “Nate, what about my mom?”

Nate: “She can stay, babe.”