Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Please help me welcome one of my favorite guests and a very prolific writer -- Kathryn Meyer Griffith.



I've read several of Kathryn's books and I've never been disappointed. Thanks for coming and sharing your release and back story for Dinosaur Lake.





Dinosaur Lake’s Backstory Essay
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Available at Amazon Kindle:

Of all my 16 novels Dinosaur Lake has the strangest story attached to its creation, death and rebirth…20 years later…of any of them.
Not so much because, as a few of my books, it took so long to write or publish, but because in 1993 it was contracted, edited and the final galleys had been proofed by me for a 5th  paperback book release from Zebra (Kensington Publishing) after 3 earlier novels with Leisure Books. I even had a stack of the full-color, printed and embossed covers; it was only weeks before it was to go to the bookshelves (in those days the brick & mortar stores were still king, no Internet or ebooks). I strongly believed it’d be my breakout book. You know, the book that’d make my career and launch me into the stratosphere with Stephen King and Anne Rice? How wrong I’d be. But, hey, I thought who wouldn’t love a tale of a cunning but malevolent rampaging prehistoric dinosaur living in Crater Lake, Oregon, and the Park Ranger who, along with a ragtag gang of heroes who’d try to stop it? I mean, I’d always loved anything about dinosaurs…dinosaur books, playing with those little plastic figurines and watching old stop-action dinosaur movies of the 1950’s and 60’s…who hadn’t?
Apparently someone. My new editor at Zebra.
By 1994, after four novels with them, I’d lost my sweet editor there and a new one took her place...and over the next year he didn’t like anything I wrote for him and later that year Zebra unceremoniously dropped me and my book (Predator…which never came out but still lingers to this very day like some weird ghost book in every computer on the global Internet) only six weeks away from going to the bookstore shelves. When we were editing the book and deciding on the title and the cover, I’d begged the new editor not to call it Predator (his choice as they hadn’t liked my American Loch Ness Monster title), bad title since there was a popular movie out of that name and the movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, was nothing about a dinosaur, and the cover was awful, an empty boat on a lake…what!!! Having that book–my first ever–dumped like that was a crushing experience, let me tell you. I had a stack of finished, printed covers and my final edits were done! But nothing my agent or I could say or do would change their minds. They said they were cutting their horror lines and setting adrift a lot of their mid-list horror authors because horror (in 1994) was on the decline. The new editor-that-didn’t-like-my-writing explained: “And no one wants to read a book about a dinosaur.” Yeah, sure.
And six months later Jurassic Park the book came out! We all know how that story ended, don’t we? People loved the book, the movies; they loved dinosaurs.
I’ll never know the real reason they cut the book but that male editor never bought another book from me…which was another weird thing because when I’d met him in New York (I went for a Horror Convention) in the summer of 1993 he’d taken my husband and I out to lunch and gushed over me and said how much he’d loved my last release WITCHES. Hmmm.
Anyway, I got to keep my advance but the book was officially dead. It never came out. I grieved.
I was so disgusted I stashed it in a drawer somewhere and tried to forget it.
Until now. After I’d finished revising and rereleasing all my new/old 15 books (and besides paperbacks they’re in ebooks for the first time ever) from Eternal Press/Damnation Books in June of 2012 I remembered about my American Loch Ness Monster novel, took it out and reread it.
Whoa, like a lot of my older novels now years later I could see what was wrong with it and how to fix it. Back then I hadn’t seen the head-hopping I did or the awkward phrasing, stiff or overly dramatic dialogue, repetitive words and other things I’ve learned since to recognize and stay away from. Of course, computers help make the editing so much easier. I think I’d done the original book on my electric typewriter.
Anyway, telling myself the dumping of that book had been a turning point in my writing life–sending me in the wrong direction for a long time apparently…I couldn’t sell a book for eight long years after that–I decided to rewrite and finally release it. In fact, I was going to do something that twenty years ago would have been unheard of and frowned on…self-publish the book myself. With Kindle Direct. For the first time in forty years I was walking away from the traditional publishers and going on my own. Thank you J.A. Konrath’s blog! I figured I could sell the Kindle ebook a lot cheaper and, thus, use it to introduce (as enticement) more readers to my writing and perhaps, if they liked it, they’d buy more of my other fifteen novels, novellas and various short stories.
It could work, right?
So here it is, retitled, rewritten, updated and with an amazing new cover I love by Dawne Dominique… Dinosaur Lake. I hope my readers will like it.
Written this thirtieth day of Aug, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net   
***

About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
                                                                                                            
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith.

Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, June 2012) 
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010)
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)  
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2010)  You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU77j_q4S8
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2011) 
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc 
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28HZqu-my1g
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) 
You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo  
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010) 
You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) 

My Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)
http:// www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith
E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net  I love to hear from my readers. ***

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Have a little "Patience" with Willsin Rowe and Katie Salidas




Help me welcome Willsin Rowe and Katie Salidas. They will be discussing their recent release – PATIENCE.

Great title, huh? Now there’s something we all need more of — PATIENCE. Especially if the reward is sin. ;)

Willsin has been a guest before but in case anyone missed that visit, Willsin, please tell us a bit about yourself. 



In addition to writing, I’m a husband and father, a musician and cover artist, although I’m gradually phasing out the cover art side of things. I’m a work-from-home dad, so my day is split by taking people to school and picking them up again. I get a good 3-4 hours of work in during the day, but have to work well into the night to make up all the lost school-run time!

On the other hand, Katie is new to Cassie Land. Please, Katie, tell us about yourself.


Hiya everybody! I’m Superwoman, or at least I like to think I am. Actually, I’m an exhausted mommy of two. Just had a little boy a few months back. I also have an older child, my not-so-little-anymore princess. She’s 8 and is a diva!!! Beyond the joys of mommy-hood, I’m a writer of anything that interests me. Paranormal, sure! Romanitc, yes please! Sexy, absolutely! Zombies, no way! LoL. I do have my limits. But I’m willing to give just about anything a try. 

Katie's son is adorable and her daughter is a cutie.

Moving along, now these questions are for each of you to answer.

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

WR: I guess it really can be any one of those. With “The Three-Day Hump” it was the title that came to me first, and from the meaning of that phrase, all the other parts grew organically. With “Patience” it all sprang from the conflict, which is in no small part because of the age difference between the characters.

KS: For me, the idea comes first. I see a scene in my head and start to create the world around it. I ask questions about the characters in order to further develop them. My first drafts always end up as skeletons, just a mere framework of the story, and then I piece together the details until they become fully formed. It’s kind of a bass ackwards approach but it works for me. Now, working with another author on a story like this one, was almost effortless because Willsin had the framework already there. There were some nice bones to work with in this one!

What's your inspiration?

WR: Quite simply, everything and anything. An overheard snippet of conversation, a mis-heard or adapted song lyric, even the patterns of clouds in the sky. Hey, I even have a partially-written story inspired by the wake of a boat I was on!

KS: I’m with Willsin here. Inspiration comes from everything.  You never know what will spark an idea.

What drives you as a writer?

WR: The belief that I’ll keep improving my craft, and that the greatest story I’ll ever write is the next one.

KS: Readers. Knowing that there are people out there not only reading my words, but actually enjoying them. That’s what keeps me going. I’m an attention whore of sorts. I need you to keep paying attention to me and my words.

How long have you been writing?

WR: Like most writers, I began quite early. My first success of any note was in 3rd Grade when I was the only member of class who successfully wrote a limerick! But I allowed music to supplant writing as my chief interest for 20 years or so. It was only in late 2005 that I switched focus back to writing.

KS: I think all writers are born this way. We just have to write something. It doesn’t always have to be a novel. I’ve written shorts and silly stories. I’ve drafted up bogus tongue-in-cheek legal documents (The Dating Application), and its follow up (Romantic Atheism – How not to date someone). The point is, writers like us are always putting the pen to the page. There really is no “when did it start.”


Is there any genre you wouldn’t write? Why? Something you can’t wait to sink your teeth into?

WR: I’m not sure that there’s any I’d refuse to write. It’s more that there are some I would wisely stay away from. I don’t think I’d have the chops to do any justice to mystery or steampunk, for instance. I believe that in my case, the genre chooses me as much as me choosing it. I’d like to branch out into other sub-genres of erotica, such as BDSM. Outside of the broader smut scene, I have a few ideas for some supernatural and dark thriller stories. I look forward to trying those out!

KS: Zombies. I just can’t do zombies! They scare the crap out of me. I won’t read them, I won’t write them.  Now, for things I’d like to try my hand at, I’m with Willsin, BDSM sounds like fun. I’ve got a few ideas for that brewing in the old brain right now. =)

What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know beforehand and you wished you had?

WR: I was fortunate enough that my first story was accepted for publication when no-one but myself had read it. I had no-one to beta-read for me back then. So for me, it would be the importance of a great critique...something Katie’s given me plenty of over the past three years or so.

KS: Thanks Willsin! And while we’re talking about that, don’t be modest; you know you’re my favorite beta reader too. I always bug Willsin when I need an extra set of eyes. He’s got a keen sense about things!
On the subject of what I didn’t know. I could write a book about that. Wait… I did write a book about that. It’s called Go Publish Yourself. Seriously, not trying to hijack this interview, but there is so, so much that an aspiring author should know before diving into the deep end of publishing, whether it be self or traditional. My advice to any aspiring author is to research, research, and research some more. If you’re going to put yourself out there, you need to do it right. Put your best face forward!

Authors have their ups and downs—publisher conflicts, dry spells, real life drama—has there ever been a moment when you stepped back and thought “why in the hell am I doing this’? Since we’re having this interview, we know you worked out the problem, how did you get past it?

WR: Again, like most writers (it seems) I definitely have those times. I’ve never had a publisher conflict, thankfully, but dry spells and real life drama just go hand-in-hand at my place. With my eldest son (13, now!) being intellectually-impaired and socially delayed, there have been plenty of times where writing seems like the most pointless and frivolous use for my time. And time, quite simply, is the factor that gets me through those periods. Waiting until the blackness passes, and making sure not to throw anything out during the dark times.

KS: Being an author, or doing any form of art has a lot of emotional investment. Your feelings of self-worth are often tied to the responses you get from your critics. Lack of sales, bad reviews, etc… they all take their emotional toll. Add in family life and lack of time or sleep and it makes for a very combustible situation. I’m not immune to any of these stresses, and with the recent addition to our family, my son, I have had many moments over the last year of self-doubt and wanting to throw in the towel. Those moments pass though, and no matter how many times I have said “I’m done,” I’m a writer, it’s in me, I have to write. Another story always finds its way out. 

What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

WR: “There’s another story in there.” It was in reference to a poetry exercise in a creative writing class. It taught me to look at every word, and to view the piece as a whole. To figuratively step backwards, and/or to the side, to see what patterns might reveal themselves.

KS: There are two bits of advice that go hand in hand.
“Don’t talk about it, just sit down and write.” That’s the best advice I was ever given. When you talk about a story you want to write, you’re not actually writing it. Actually sitting down and putting the pen to the page is what gets the story out. The second bit of advice is actually just as poignant. “First drafts are supposed to suck.” First, get the story on the page, and then worry about making it good. Editing and revising all come after you “complete” the idea.
Once I really started following those two bits of advice, I began writing more  “complete” stories.

Any WIP? Care to share?

WR: Well, together we have a few more in the works. The 5th of October will see the release of our second co-written title, “Slowpoke”. That story features an American woman and an Australian man. Boy, we had to do some mighty research for that! We expect that by year’s end we should have at least two more co-written stories released, too...we’re just not sure which of them it will be yet.

KS: Willsin already covered that. Suffice to say, we’ve got lots more goodies planned for you. =)

That takes care of the polite questions, now off with the gloves and on to the meaty questions, pardon the pun, uh let's not. ;) I’ve written a few erotic stories with male authors.

Katie, how was it to work with Willsin? Was this your first project with him? Have you worked with other authors, male or female?

This is our first “Official” project and my first time co-authoring. But, as Willsin’s already mentioned, we’re not new to working with each other. We’ve been beta readers for each other for a couple of years now. Through picking apart our stories, I like to think we’ve developed a “feel” for each other’s style. And that is what led to our decision to co-author some stories. We’re both interested in similar areas of erotic writing, and we’ve got quite a few half-ideas that have been bouncing around in our individual heads. Once we start chatting about them, suddenly we find the “rest of the story.” It works and we work pretty darn well together.


No offense, Willsin, but I do know that men see things differently than we ladies. I’ve had a moment or two when I disagreed with how the character reacted or progressed. Did Katie suggest something that caught you off guard and had to be explained?

WR: Actually, there wasn’t anything major that’s stuck in my mind. For sure we each saw pivotal points in different ways, but we were able to see each other’s point of view quite easily. I’ve always found Katie very easy to work with, whether I’m reading her work, she’s reading mine, or I’m making a cover or trailer for her. Co-writing just seemed like a natural extension of what we were already doing.


With you two being from different countries, there had to be a moment when one of you thought “WTF” until it was explained in a flurry of emails.

WR: Oh, yes. We had discussions about using US or UK English, for instance. I naturally write in UK English, and continued to do so even after we’d agreed to use US! Couldn’t help myself. But even though this is our first-co-writing project, we’ve beta-read for each other plenty of times before. The interesting thing that comes out of that is the slight cultural differences of our two countries. The different words we each use for the same thing, and even down to the popularity of names. But I’ve seen enough US TV and movies to have a good handle on which words to use most of the time, and Katie is blissfully aware of the TV and movies from outside the US as well. It gives us more than a little common ground.

KS: Honestly, the US/UK English/slang issue is probably the only thing we tend to get stuck on. I actually love UK English and all of the (what seems to me) novel phrases they use. I’m huge fan of British TV and when I can find it, some Aussie shows as well. Even with that, there are still some phrases that have me saying WTF? LoL. Wait till you read Slowpoke. Willsin and I really took advantage of our Aussie vs. American partnership in that one. 

We’ve had enough PATIENCE, how about a blurb and/or excerpt from your recent release. Please include your links so we can find you and your work.




Patience © August 2012 by Willsin Rowe and Katie Salidas

      Donelle Fortier is no billionaire. She runs her ad agency with passion and scruples...and it shows in her bank balance.
      Edan Dalca is the cocky young hotshot Donelle hired to pump life into her business. He’s intense, passionate...and downright hawt.
      But when his arrogance threatens the agency’s future, Donelle realizes he needs to be taught one very important lesson: patience.
      And with Donelle’s consummate skills, it’s a lesson that Edan will never forget.

This title contains graphic language, older woman/younger man nookie, and an intriguing use of confectionery.

Excerpt

    
He turned, drilling his steel-gray eyes into mine. “You regret last night, don’t you?”
“Last night...” I bit down on my burgeoning smile. “Well, I’ve certainly done smarter things than seduce a co-worker.”
“The way I see it, I seduced you.”
“Such is my skill, young man.” I couldn’t suppress my smile this time. “No, it wasn’t my smartest move, but I certainly don’t regret it. Anyway, I thought you boys compartmentalized everything.”
He slipped his hand onto my thigh. “How can I when you’re right here?”
I bit my lip and squeezed my legs together. “Stop…” It was barely a whisper, not convincing at all. He had such big hands they were impossible to ignore. Especially sliding up my leg like that.
I clamped my hand over his. “No, Edan. We have to get back to the office. We have another pitch tomorrow.”
He dug his fingers in, a needless show of strength. With a puff of disgust he pulled back and turned away. “Fine. Then maybe tomorrow you’ll let me drive.” He shucked out another mint and ground it to death.
“Oh, act your fucking age, Edan.” Jesus. I sound like I’m his mother. I started the car and mashed out my frustration on the gas pedal.
We drove back in man-made silence. Before I’d even turned off the engine Edan had his door open, ready to storm upstairs and broadcast our failure. To distance himself from the stink of it. I curled my fingers around his arm.
“Wait.”
He pulled loose from my tenuous grasp and flounced out of the car. I turned off the engine and rushed after him, my clattering heels echoing off the concrete ceiling of the parking garage.
“Edan, stop!”
The touch of my hand on his shoulder seemed to calm him a little. He stopped and let me turn him around. I felt like his mother again as I pressed him back against the wall. In my heels I was almost eye-to-eye with him. Or would be, if he’d look at me.
“You still have so much to learn, boy.”
“Don’t call me boy. I’m 24 years old.”
“In every way possible.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing. Look, we need to present a united front. Yes, we probably lost the pitch. But those people up there rely on me, and now you, to bring business in. They need to believe in us.”
“Then untie the apron strings! Let me take more control.”
I rested my hand against his chest. Even through the thick wool of his suit, I fancied I could feel the heat of his skin, and I nearly lost my train of thought. “This is not the time for that discussion, Edan.”
“It never is.”
“Stop. I mean it, this is not the time. We need to radiate calm, give off a positive vibe. Can you do that?”
He shook his head and puffed out a resigned chuckle. Finally his cool eyes met mine. “Maybe. What’s it worth to you?”
The warmth of his hand was all too real as he cupped the fullness of my breast through my blouse. I’d been so focused on his eyes I hadn’t seen him move. My breath tripped up as he squeezed my hardening nipple.
“Edan…” The simple urgency of my own voice sounded like a betrayal. With my hand over his I rested my head on his chest, just to take the weight off my untrustworthy knees. With my eyes closed and the heat of his body against me it was easy to forget he was born the year I finished school.
Suddenly he was all hands and breath, all heat and muscle, and lord, did it feel good. I clutched at his belt for balance and he pushed his mouth onto mine.


About our Authors:



Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkins off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.
 And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…
Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.


 
Willsin Rowe falls in love with a scent, a playful expression or an act of casual intimacy more easily than with physical beauty. When confronted by any combination of those elements he is a lost cause. He has done many things over and over, done even more things only once, and half-done more things than he cares to admit. He loves to sing and doesn’t let his voice get in the way. He is intelligent but not sensible. He is passionate but fearful. He is not scruffy enough or stylish enough to be cool.

-----

Hunger

Christmas time in Brisbane is always so hot and muggy you could drink it from a bowl.

Brett Freeman feels the heat like anyone, but for more than 15 years it’s been nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with Corinne. Only one thing stands between Brett and his perfect woman: her husband, Darren.

Despite that stumbling block, Darren and Corinne consider Brett their best friend. They’ve watched in despair as he’s tossed away good relationships simply because, in his mind, no woman could ever compare to Corinne.

Then, one muggy Christmas Eve, a friendly visit takes a bizarre turn. Secrets are shared, an incredible present is offered, and for Brett, life will be changed forever.

Every beginning comes from an ending.


-----

The Three Day Hump

Luther has a solid career as a lawyer and is married to a famous lingerie model. His life has grown comfortable, and he can’t remember how it felt to truly want something…anything.

Opal is young, debatably single, and has lived a life poor in everything but experience. She exudes a lush darkness and it draws Luther to her.

He suddenly remembers desire.

Their flirting turns physical; lust turns to obsession, obsession to addiction. They can’t see a future, but they can think of nothing but the present. They don’t know how to stop, they only know they need to.

An urban myth tells that three days of abstinence will break the back of an addiction. They hole up together in a hotel for a long weekend.

Naked.

Can their addiction be beaten? Maybe. But first, they need to make it over the three-day hump.


-----

Lightning

From the fun and frivolous to the poignant and deeply personal, this collection of flash and short erotic fiction has a little taste of everything. Tales of crossed paths and crossed lines; of fate and fancy; changes, chances and choices.

With flash stories boiled and brewed until only the essence remains, and longer works that simmer and spit, you’re sure to find something to tickle you right where you need it. And with author commentary before each story, you could call this the director’s cut!