Author Interview with Desiree Holt

Desiree HoltDesiree Holt

Downstroke

  • Genre: erotic romantic suspense
  • Date Published: April 8, 2011
  • Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

What is your day job?

I’m retired so I spend my days writing…and loving it.

What is your book about (in a few sentences)?

Twenty years ago Dallas Creed and Charley Roper were lovers with their entire future ahead of them. Until they split. Badly. Now he’s a country rock icon who made it to the top, hit bottom but is back at the top of his game. And Charley’s the private security specialist hired to protect him from an unknown killer in stalking mode. Caught up in the bitter wash of memories they begin a roller coaster ride that is suspenseful, emotional and erotic. Now their love must be strong enough to erase the past and bring them back together before the killer strikes again.

Most challenging part of the writing process:

The first part of the book. Always, for me. Getting into it and getting the flow going.

What motivates you to write?

I am an obsessed storyteller and my brain never stops working. I want to share my stories with others. Besides, with so many sad things going on in the world I want to give people happy endings.

Did you experience writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

I still do. But now I work on two or three projects at a time, so when I hit a wall with one I move to another. When I come up blank with all of them I call my daughter and we go hit the local wineries! LOL!

How long did it take you to write this book?

Most of a year, which is really a long time for me. But I wrote it while I worked on other projects and it also went through three critique partners so I did a lot of rewriting.

Why did you decide to self-publish this book?

Not self-pubbed. See above.

What is the biggest misconception about writing a book?

That all you have to do is sit down and the words will flow. And once it’s finished selling is a snap. Definitely not so.

What was your favorite aspect of the writing process for this book?

Developing my characters. I always fall in love with them, even the villains.

What tools/methods have you employed to promote your book?

I spend a lot of time online with various groups and at promotion sites, I have a newsletter, I do selected advertising and I use a promotion firm for the initial blast. I also spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter, probably too much, but I love to interact with people.

I’m a writer – if I stop writing, I am nothing. -Wilbur Smith Is this true?

I think so. If I didn’t write I have no idea what I’d do with myself.

Inspiration is the act of drawing up a chair to the writing desk. -Anon How do you feel about this statement?

Not true. By the time you draw up that chair you should already be inspired.

Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky


This is the story of a spoilt rotten, weak minded man of small character and little common sense. During the whole novel, he depicts himself as one of the lowliest creatures in communicado with other humans.

To my mind it was written as if to himself alone. He writes with brutal frankness about his thoughts no matter how dark a light they shed on his personality. Everything he does relates to his need to prove himself better than others, whether his friends, his landlord or the girl who seems to like him.

In all his dealings he emanates uncertainty and discord. To his mind no one is his equal and no one worthy of his time. Everything inconvenient putting him out of sorts at all odd times. He comes across as rude and uncouth.

It was funny in some ways but sad if at all true that someone could live like that. It was good to listen to while I knitted.

**** Yep , I own it.

If You Make Them Yawn, Then What?

MG 2039Too much description and the story gets lost. Too much description and the tale gets swallowed in stagnant fantasy of a lazy writer. If the description is for none other than word count, it turns the tale into mush and boredom sets into the reader. If I can get my reader to the point of yawning in the middle of the night and still hard pressed to put my novel down, I have succeeded. If on the other hand, they yawn and skip most of what I wrote without missing any of the story then I failed miserably.

If the description helps the story, please by all means keep doing it. If it hinders the flow of your story, use an axe, the delete button or whatever is at your disposal to hack at it until the bare essentials are there. It is difficult to cut and splice the words we so diligently sweat over but if we do not do it, the reader will do it for us skipping over all those tedious descriptions that got in the way of their enjoyment. An enjoyment that could mean reading another of our creations or not.

We write for entertainment. Is that true? Are you an entertainer of sorts or do you believe that your books will be studied in colleges over the next few decades and centuries. If so, please disregard my suggestions here and keep doing what you like to do.

Happy Writing!

Tell Me Who To Date

A psychiatrist discovers something about her patient that shatters their relationship keeping her wondering if she should continue helping her.

Meryl Streep is again amazing as she portrays a Jewish psychiatrist counseling Uma Thurman on her love life, in particular. As the story unfolds the three people involved meet making tension escalate even further.

A good solid growing up story. It is fun but sad. The ending left much to be desired but at least it was not your typical Hollywood ending. Much improvement.

**** Loved it! Love Streep and Thurman combo. Good flick! Yes, I own it.

Do Not Need My Husband

Dear Baba Rumcake,
I remember when I was with my first bf (together for 8 years), I was so in love and I was never tired of seeing him. We dated from high school to college. So we were young and we didn’t have much going on in our lives except school. Now I am married (4 years) with a child. I can’t tell if I am still in love with my husband. Most of the time, I feel like I don’t need him. I am perfectly fine with my child.
I wonder if it’s because now I have a career, and a child, and being in a love relationship is no longer a priority to me?

Needing Sparks

Dear Needing,
I guess you have arrived at what most women look forward to. You have no need for the man you are with, yet you are happy. You may need a spark to renew your sex life but the stability of your marriage has helped you grow up and become independent.

You have a career and a child which fulfill you. That means that you are beyond need of a man. But, your desire to make your marriage more enjoyable is healthy and wonderful. This is one of those rare letters that make sense and leave me happy.

Wear plastic wrap and meet him at the door. Buy red lingerie with high heels and have an evening alone after you put your child to bed. Give him coupons that offer sex which he can redeem. Rent a limo and drive around, make love in the back seat.

I heard of a woman who knew where her husband had a business meeting, walked to the bar and sat down dressed to kill. After an hour, she walked up to him as if she knew him not, then bent over and whispered in his ear leaving a hotel key on the table before him. His buddies thought that this gorgeous stranger offered him herself for the night. He was thrilled.

Try these out! If they help, I will suggest more.

Baba Rumcake

Author Interview with Writer Craig Machen

4823530.jpgCraig Machen

Still Life With Brass Pole

Book genre:  Cross-Country Coming of Age Memoir
Date Published: May 17, 2011
Publisher: Me!

What is your day job?

I’ve been a screenwriter since 1997, but I also teach classes and do some writing coaching and story consulting for production companies.

What is your book about (in a few sentences)?

At its heart, the book is about the things that made me want to be dad, but the logline is, “Young love and coming of age in the strip clubs.”

When I was 16 I was down from Oklahoma, visiting my dad in Miami. We’d been doing cocaine (my first time) for three days, and he asked me if I wanted to go to a strip bar. I said, “Sure!” and 10 minutes later I was in a car with Dad’s boyfriend on the way to an all nude club in the woods. That night was a revelation. I went back to Oklahoma the next day, and before the end of my junior year in high school my mom left town with her 23 year-old boyfriend, and my pregnant girlfriend was moved off to Texas by her parents.

This, and a roaring White Knight Complex, sent me on a demented, five year quest for a family of my own. I succeeded, but in between I was like John Cusack holding a giant radio over my head, searching for someone to rescue, until finally someone rescued me.

Most challenging part of the writing process:

Well, that’s an interesting question. I think we’re all like Christopher Columbus when we start a new project, bound and determined to find a faster way to the Spice Islands. Somewhere along the way, though – if we’re lucky – the story will start pulling us in the direction it wants to go. That moment of surrender, where you decide that all of your best laid plans need to be pitched so that you can discover America is it for me. Just getting there, and allowing it to happen, is probably the most challenging, and the most rewarding, part of the writing process.

That, and avoiding mixed metaphors!

What motivates you to write?

Fear of starvation.

Did you experience writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

Yes, I have. I think that has more to do with anxiety or overwork than anything. I just read one of Willie Nelson’s books and he was talking about how Ray Price told him not to try to force anything when the well runs dry. He said that everything you do in between writing songs is filling that well back up. I agree. You can really get burned out and isolated if you neglect your actual (non-writing) life. And if you have no life, you’ll have nothing to write about.

How long did it take you to write this book?

About ten months, maybe a little less. I wrote the first 20 pages ten years ago, but when I sat down and got going, I found a pretty steady and comfortable pace.

Why did you decide to self-publish this book?

Well, I was dying to write this book, but I knew that my manager and agents in Hollywood wouldn’t have any interest in it. From their perspective, books are a huge gamble with very slim odds of paying off. And they are probably right. However, I was obsessed. So I just started doing it and didn’t ask permission.

When I got done, my screenwriting agent didn’t even want to read it. And what’s worse, I found there really isn’t much crossover between Hollywood and the publishing world if you’re not a name brand author. So, I wrote a bunch of query letters and five months later I got a good agent. It took another three months to negotiate the representation contract, and then we had to wait through the holidays. In late January, the book went out and we were hearing the same thing from about 70% of the editors who read it. That bit went something like, “Love the book, love the voice, showed it around to the gang, don’t know how to sell a memoir by someone who isn’t famous.”

After almost three months of this, I pulled the plug. I was just dead tired of swinging in the wind, particularly with something as personal as this. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I could find my audience if I reached out to them. And so, I decided to try. Now this may wind up being the pinnacle of foolishness, particularly if you add in all the time spent writing the book. But no one goes into creative writing because the business prospects are great. Usually you’re plagued with passion, and that’s sort of where I am now.

What is the biggest misconception about writing a book?

That it needs to take forever. I find tackling any kind of long form writing is a lot like going to the gym. A week or two of keeping your appointment with yourself to write, turns pretty quickly into a habit, and if you just let it continue, before you know it you’ll have your first draft.

What was your favorite aspect of the writing process for this book?

I love how unconstrained I felt writing a book. Screenwriting, even very good screenwriting, is sort of formulaic. There are points where certain things need to happen, and a limited number of pages to tell your story. You also need to be very linear, and show, not tell. I tried to keep the best of that cinematic process, and have fun from there.

What tools/methods have you employed to promote your book? What advice would you give to writers regarding promotion?

I’m just at the very beginning of this process, so I’ve been asking a lot of these questions. Putting one foot in front of the other, and just moving in the direction of your dreams, is really good all-purpose advice that has generally worked well for me.

Oh, and Goodreads is awesome. I just love it. I definitely wouldn’t join with a big marketing attitude about it all, because smart people can smell that a mile away. But if you’re a reader or writer, I think you can absolutely find a home there, and all that getting the word out stuff will happen organically.

I’m a writer – if I stop writing, I am nothing. -Wilbur Smith. Is this true?

No. I’m a dad, so I’ll never feel like I’m nothing. And I also think that if you have that artistic compulsion you’ll find a way to express it, even if you’re not writing.

That said, I am definitely much happier and more confident when I’m writing.

Inspiration is the act of drawing up a chair to the writing desk. -Anon How do you feel about this statement?

Oliver Stone said almost the same thing thusly, “Writing equals ass plus chair.” I love that, and I agree whole-heartedly. As long as you haven’t been running yourself into the ground, I think the best inspiration is just “drawing up a chair to the writing desk.”

Anyway, thanks so much to Sonya for inviting me to do this interview. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I hope you like my book.

Craig

Available on Amazon Paperback & Kindle

Daughter’s Love, Mom’s Thankful Heart

_MG_1992.jpgWriting to me is one way to say thank you. Many people deserve my thanks and appreciation but no one more than my loyal and faithful daughter. If life offered me any gifts, she was the first in this life.

At the age of 17, she entered the service becoming a US Marine. During Basic Training, she got word that I was in trouble, unable to pay my mortgage.

My intrepid child went to her CO, asked for the money they set aside for the recruits, her meager salary, to send to her mother. I received a money order and a phone call. The money order was more than I needed. The phone call from her was even more.

“Mommy,” said my oldest child, “I am sorry that it is not a full $500. I had to use $1 for the money order.”

Words could never begin to express my gratitude nor my joy at having this child. Not because she gave me money, but because I am proud she is mine. The Lord allowed me the honor of having this woman in my life for a while. Because no matter how old she gets, she is still mine and I can write about her courage and fearless love for all around her. Her compassion spreads out to all and she is sought out for advice when people are in trouble.

_MG_4747.jpgLike a flower, she grew! Like a duckling she became a swan. And just as ferociously, she loves us all.

I write novels and short stories about life and today,

Writing To Me Is:

Thank you First Sergeant. I love you.

-Mom

Enjoy The Blog-A-Licious Tour: “Writing To Me Is…”

Grilled Shrimp with Sesame Oil Vinaigrette

Chie Sonia

Grilled Shrimp with Sesame Oil Vinaigrette

6a00d83451b81169e20120a5b0e04e970c-400wi.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 16 large shrimp, uncooked
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white Sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Vidalia onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves

Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Directions:

1- Peel and devein shrimp. Leave tail on. Butterfly.
2- Place prepared shrimp in a shallow dish and sprinkle with olive oil; refrigerate, covered, until ready to cook.
3- In a medium bowl, combine sesame oil, lemon juice, onion, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
4- Pour all ingredients over shrimp.
5- Grill and cook approximately 2 minutes on one side; turn and cook another 1 minute or until shrimp are opaque in center (cut to test). Remove from grill.
6- Suggestion: you can make extra vinaigrette to add to cooked shrimp.
Drizzle with a little of the vinaigrette.

Serve over a green salad or cooked rice.
Serves 4.

Melted Time Of Old Friendships

_MG_4544.jpgI had not seen her in 20 years. I missed her. She possessed kind eyes, a kinder heart and an innocent soul. Her love for me was endless. Filled with encouragement and joy were the messages she sent me through others.

Our communication dwindled over the years until very rare missives passed between us. We lost touch in the most basic forms. Very rare noise, information or word came to me from or about her. My love grew over the years through prayer and I never gave up hope of seeing her.

Then I heard that she arrived and I could go visit. A long 14 hour trip over the North American continent from state to state brought me to where she stayed with family.

When I lay eyes on her, my heart lurched with the passage of time over her kind lovely face. It was the same compassionate visage aged and beloved. I hugged her as she covered my face with kisses. Lost time, lost age of camaraderie and friendship came tumbling over us in those first moments.

Tears of joy, amazement and happiness accompanied our first contact after all these years. Her precious face was a sight for sore eyes and as we talked of love and friendship, the time melted away to nothing. The 20 years became as a day.

The Saffron Kitchen, A Book Review


As an immigrant I loved this book. Not for the same reasons as others would but for my own reasons which I will share now.

The story is written by the English daughter of an immigrant woman to England. At the beginning, she described how the arrival of the Mother’s nephew brought on sadness and longing in the woman which leads her to go back to Iran to visit.

Hardship and heartache are all she finds but also kindness and lost friendships. It is well written and charming. Many parts left me sad but without understanding.

I am an immigrant and I am afraid do not share any of these longings with my fellow immigrants. I came to the States to find a new home not to drag my old one like a battered wagon behind me. I found her longing childish and selfish. Her new life with her husband of over 20 years was not enough. Her grown pregnant daughter was not enough. Her life and her garden, all not enough. She needed to go back.

In the end it left me disliking her and hoping her husband would find another wife and discard her for good. It made me annoyed for her lack of appreciation of what she made of her life.

I liked the book but disliked the character. She must be a very good writer to leave me so annoyed by the side kick in the novel. I found Yasmin Crother’s writing delightful and easy to read.

***** Yes, loved it. I own it.