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Interview With Author Lexi C. Foss- Two New Series Debut

 

I am very excited to feature a debut author here on my blog. Her name is Lexi C. Foss, and I’m predicting she will be a well-known author in no time! She debuts in May 2017 with not one, but TWO new series, and already has the interwebs abuzz. Her paranormal romance, Blood Laws, and her Contemporary Romance, The Prince’s Game, will both be released in May 2017. Lexi took time out of her ultra-busy release schedule to tell us a bit more about her herself and her exciting new releases.

Welcome, Lexi! It’s unusual for an author to debut two separate series at the same time, so tell us how that came about.

I’m still debating if this was a good decision, or one made in a moment of insanity. I wrote both books around the same time because I needed to balance the dark with the light. Blood Laws is a bit edgier with darker elements, while The Prince’s Game has a humorous undertone and light subject matter. I’m curious to see how they do in comparison to each other with readers. I’ve always loved statistics, so I’m sure I’ll have some fun playing with the results of this case study.

When did you make the decision to write your books and how did you decide on indie publishing?

I’ve always been a daydreamer. On a boring day back in 2009, I decided to write down some dialogue that was floating around in my head. Then I added some description, and suddenly I was staring a 300,000 word monstrosity that I realized was a full blown series. I toyed with various voices, wrote a few other story ideas out, and then I went back to school for my Master of Public Health. My hobby was put on hold until last summer (2016) when a friend of mine encouraged me to get back into writing and take it seriously. She told me about indie publishing, introduced me to an awesome group of writers, and the rest was history.

In Blood Laws, you created a world with paranormal creatures, who appear on the surface to be everyday people. What challenges did you face to make your characters stand out?

I don’t know that I really faced any challenges in making them stand out, but I have faced challenges toning down some of their voices. They are all very loud in my head, demanding I write one thing or another, and sometimes I have to put them in timeout for unruly conduct. Balthazar is the biggest offender. He wasn’t supposed to be in Blood Laws at all, but he kept badgering me until I gave in (he would tell me – “I told you so” – because his scenes did make sense in the end). They all have their own quirks, and I love writing about them. Their voices and unique mannerisms are what makes brings them to life on paper.

The Prince’s Game is a bit different from the intensity of Blood Laws. Was it a challenge to write two series at the same time?

Not at all. The Prince’s Game offered me the mental break I needed after writing Blood Laws. It was a lighter, funnier story that is very different from darkness of Blood Laws. Writing both books so close together kept my creativity fresh, and gave me a break before starting on what will be a very dark novel – Forbidden Bonds.

Will you be attending any conferences this year, so readers can meet you?

I will be all over the place this year:

  • Romantic Times Convention in Atlanta, Georgia: May 2, 2017 – May 7, 2017
  • Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando, Florida: July 26, 2017 – July 29, 2017
  • Book Obsessed Babes Author Signing Event in Destin, Florida: September 9, 2017
  • Indie Romance Convention: October 4, 2017 – October 7, 2017
  • For the Love of Books & Alcohol in Chicago, IL: October 14, 2017

What’s next? Tell us about your upcoming works in progress or new releases.

Blood Laws will be released on May 2nd and The Prince’s Game will be released on May 9th. So those are my upcoming new releases.  As for works in progress: I’m currently writing Forbidden Bonds, which is book 2 of the Immortal Curse series, and outlining The Charmer’s Gambit, which is book 2 of the Mershano Empire series.

Just for fun, let us know something personal about you…

I was born into a family of Eclipse Chasers. You might be wondering what the means… Well, it means I travel all over the world to see total solar eclipses of the sun. I have see 5 so far in my lifetime (Mexico 1991, Caribbean 1998, Zambia 2001, Turkey 2006, South Pacific 2012), and I will be adding a 6th one to my list in August 2017 (Nashville, TN).

Thanks Lexi! I’m so looking forward to reading all of your books. Here are the important links for everything Lexi C. Foss:

Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Blood Laws Buy Links

The Prince’s Game Buy Links

 

 

 

Post-Publication Syndrome- Now What?

attractive woman with laptop having neck pain

You’ve worked hard for months, maybe even years, on your first book. You’ve dreamed of the day you can finally say, “I’m a published author”, and it’s finally here. You had the launch party, your friends and family have congratulated you. You’ve finally made it, your dream has come true.

So now what?

Preparing for that day, which I experienced in October 2016, I tried to imagine what I would do, how it would feel. I asked other authors, I read blog posts and craft books. Most of them said it’s a wonderful thing, and some of them warned that it was just the beginning of even more work and additional challenges. I understood, and was ready and willing to take it on and do the work. But there was something no one told me about. Or, maybe they did, but in my push to get published, I dismissed it.

I’m talking about The Let Down. The Post-Publication Blues. I’ve got it, and I didn’t see it coming.

Mission Accomplished

Now, I’m a practical sort of person. I had no dreams of grandeur, I didn’t expect to be a best seller or even a good seller out of the gate. I’m a business person, an entrepreneur, so I know I’m selling a product and it will take time to find buyers (readers). I’m not feeling down due to lack of sales or recognition.  With time, and perseverance, (and spending money on marketing) it can improve.

It’s just…I accomplished what I set out to, and now I have this sense of loss. It’s purely emotional, and not what I expected to feel at this point in my career.  How I went from hopeful enthusiasm to…a general lack of enthusiasm in such a short time is beyond me. I love my stories, I believe they are worth reading. I haven’t had many reviews yet, but so far they have all been positive. My negative feelings have nothing to do with the work I have published to date. It’s more to do with expectations and realities, and the emotions that go along with them.

So Back to Work…Right?

Being practical, I knew the best thing I could do right now, besides promoting my newly published series (Higher Elevation, Books 1-3), is to keep writing.  I had several projects on the back burner while the Higher Elevation Series was being published, so all I had to do was pick up where I left off.  I needed to get the pipeline going again.  But that proved easier said than done, and I found my post-publication blues were effecting my ability to write. I’d get going and then I’d stall.  I found myself procrastinating, which I rarely did before. Used to be I couldn’t wait to do something, anything writing-related.

It didn’t help that I’d spent the better part of this year editing, rewriting, and all the other business that comes with Indie publication.  My creative muse had been exiled, and when I asked her to get back to work, she had less enthusiasm than I did.  Clearly, something has gone wrong.

What’s Next?

One thing I know I won’t do, is give up. Writing is like breathing to me, so I will keep going, even if the muse stays in exile. And I know negative emotions are usually temporary. But any advice or tips from other writers are welcome. I doubt I am the only one to ever go through this!

Do I just need time off from writing? Or should I push myself and hope it will work itself out?  Have any authors out there experienced a sense of disappointment or loss, even after achieving success? How have you worked through it?

 

My First Author Interview- I’ve Arrived!

unexplained-banner

I know everyone says you are a “real writer” once you start writing. Being published, winning an award, accumulating reviews, or hitting a special list are all wonderful, but if you haven’t achieved any of those, it does not mean you aren’t a writer.

Still, it was a special, exciting feeling last week to finally be published, and have my book, Unexplained, available for sale (on Amazon now, other retailers to come soon). And today, my first interview as a published author went live, so yes, I feel like I’ve finally made it!

The Interview

Author/Professor/Blogger Julie Tetel Anderson contacted me a few weeks ago, and I was thrilled to be interviewed on her blog.  If you haven’t checked out her website, you should. In addition to interviewing up and coming romance authors, she also explores a variety of subjects on her blog.  Romance, travel, and languages are her passions. She’s written several romance novels and also some non-fiction, and her articles have been featured by such publications as the Chicago Sun-Times and the Huffington Post.

I found her questions thoughtfully posed and professional. Here’s the link to the interview:

http://julietetelandresen.com/blog/five-questions-renee-regent/

 

The Appreciation

I’d like to thank Julie for interviewing me, the timing was a great kick-off to my release schedule for the Higher Elevation Series.  I’d also like to thank all the bloggers, authors and readers who shared posts about my debut, Unexplained.  And a huge thanks to those who took the time to leave a review─I so appreciate it!

Thanks also to Funky Book Designs for my awesome cover; and to Enticing Journeys Book Promotions for the cover reveal and release day blitz.

The Future

I was thrilled to see the reviews have been positive. Unexplained (Higher Elevation Series Book One) is a special story. I’ll be sharing some behind the scenes tidbits of how this story evolved in my upcoming newsletters so if you’d like to sign up, see my website here.

My release schedule continues with the cover reveal for Untouched, Book Two of the Higher Elevation Series on November 14th, 2016.  It will be up for pre-order soon, with a release date of November 22.  Book Three, Undeniable, is scheduled to release January 3rd, 2017, so stay tuned for updates on that one.

So if you haven’t achieved some of your writing career goals yet, keep trying!  If I can do it, so can you.

Seven Things To Consider Before Submitting Your Writing For Critique

Woman Thinking

Are you nervous about having your writing critiqued?  Welcome to the club.

Just like reading reviews of your work, critiques are one of those things that most writers get nervous about. In my experience, though, critique, both positive and negative, is a powerful tool for improving one’s skills.

A friend who is just starting out recently joined our writer’s group. She was asking about how we approached critiques, and confessed to being a bit nervous about submitting her work. We assured her our goal was to be helpful and considerate at the same time, an approach we have refined over the years. Then a discussion ensued on the differences between helpful and potentially hurtful criticism.

Several of us have been on the receiving end of criticism by our peers which we found less than helpful.  We’ve also had feedback that was inspiring and constructive. My friend asked for more specific advice, so I mentioned my previous blog post on the subject, How To Survive A Negative Critique. Her question called to mind some other things I have learned in the past five years I have been attending my critique group, and I thought it might be helpful to new writers to share some things to consider before they submit their work:

Just Do It. Writing without feedback is writing in a vacuum. Being nervous is normal, but you won’t overcome it unless you put your precious words in front of some eyeballs. When you finally do become published, you will be judged by the entire world, so starting out with a few writers you know is a relatively safe way to begin. You may actually waste more time by writing without ever getting feedback, and end up having much more to correct and edit in the long run.

Start small. Start by submitting something short─a scene you are working on, or a first chapter. First chapters are actually great to start with, since the opening of a story is considered to be the most important part, and also the most difficult thing to do properly. New writers have a tendency to start the story in the wrong place as well, so don’t be surprised if someone points that out. Writing great openings takes practice, and feedback can help you to learn how to do that more efficiently and sooner.

Baby Steps. By starting with something small, you are not facing judgement of the entire project. Learning to take criticism and use it wisely takes practice. Separating your emotions from the feedback takes practice, too, as we tend to identify closely with our work when just starting out. The more you write, your perspective changes and you realize you can always fix what you wrote, or write some more. You will learn over time how to discern which feedback is structural (plot issues, grammar problems, etc) and which is subjective (the person giving the feedback is filtering through their own tastes).

Submit Clean. Always clean up your work before submitting! Go over it multiple times, use a grammar guide, run a spell check. No, it does not have to be perfect, but clean it up to the best of your ability. I’ve had to critique some work where the premise was exciting and interesting, but the grammar, spelling and general writing was so bad that it was difficult to understand what was happening. Some folks think, “I’ll clean it up after they critique so I don’t have to do it twice”.  No. Just don’t do that. It is a disservice to others who are taking the time to provide feedback when there are a billion other things they could be doing. Have courtesy for your readers, even when your work is in a “raw” stage.

-Alpha Readers. If you have cleaned up your work and edited it to the best of your ability, but you feel you still need major help with grammar and structural issues, consider submitting it to only one or two trusted writer friends. Family and non-writer friends may not give you the kind of feedback you need at this stage. They might be overly kind or overly harsh, depending on the relationship, or they may give neutral feedback to avoid saying anything. One or two trusted writer friends may be able to point out what needs to be done to prepare your work sample so you can submit it to a larger group for feedback.

Fair Balance. Be willing to provide feedback to others. Yes, this means taking the time to read their work and give thoughtful feedback. This process provides tremendous insight as to what to look for in your own work, and helps you to realize others are being brave and putting their work out there. Even though it sometimes made me uncomfortable, I submitted my writing to my critique groups and beta readers as often as I could.  I also reviewed the work of others as often as I could. A successful critique group requires this balance. If certain members only review others, and never submit their own work, or keep submitting but never offer critique to others, it can cause discomfort among the group. Besides, those who only do one or the other are missing out on half of the purpose of critiquing─to become a better writer.

Be Specific. When asking for feedback, indicate what you are looking for. If it is just a general impression, say so, but it will help you to consider what you are looking for specifically. Examples might be: Does this opening hook you? Does the dialogue in this scene sound natural? How much work do I need to do to clean up my grammar?  Is there too much backstory?

 

Taking it step by step will help you to build your confidence so that when you do get that first truly negative critique you’ve been fearing, it won’t hurt as much. You’ll be better equipped to take it for what it is worth, and learn from it.

I hope this helps those of you who are new to writing.  I still have a long way to go, and I will soon be facing the next level of critique of my work─the general public. I am sure to learn from that experience as well. Wish me luck!  I wish luck and great learning for all of you.

 

 

New Author Website Launch and Blog Moving Soon!

blog, blog, blog - blogging concept on a napkin with cup of espr

Part of the fun of being an author is the many milestones you get to celebrate throughout your career.  Whether Indie published or traditionally published, launching your first Author Website is right up there among the proud moments to celebrate.

After months of struggle and work, I am finally ready to launch my very own Author Website, hosted by Zibster.com. My blog will be hosted there as well, and my first post on the new site will explain how I came to choose them.  I am very excited to see my vision finally coming together, and I learned so much during this process, even with all the mistakes and false starts I had to endure.

If you have been a regular follower of my blog, I thank you. I will try to make the transition seamless, but you may have to sign up again after the new site is launched so that you won’t miss any posts. There will also be a separate sign-up for my newsletter, which will be more focused on my books (publishing soon) and geared toward readers. There will be news about my publishing schedule and appearances, inside info on my stories and characters, and promotional events.

I plan to continue writing this blog, and exploring the business side of writing, as well as fun topics such as fiction trends, new age subjects (which are featured in my books), Outlander, and hot guys in general.  It’s a bit eclectic, I know… but that’s how I roll!  I hope you’ll find something to interest you whether you are a writer, a reader, or both.

I’ll be posting an announcement on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus) once the new website launches, so please stop by and take a look. I’d love to know what you think!

Note:  the new website will still be under reneeregent.com.

Thanks again for joining me on this crazy, wonderful journey called being an author.

 

Becoming an Author-Entrepreneur- The First Steps

Empty Road At Sunset And Sign For Success In Blurred Motion

Want to find out if you’ve got what it takes to become an Author Entrepreneur?

I’m honored to be a guest on Jami Gold’s blog today, discussing the first steps to becoming an entrepreneur in the field of Indie publishing. It’s not as hard as you might think, but there’s still a lot to consider before you jump in.  And whether you are going with the traditional route of publishing, or self-publishing, chances are you will be handling many tasks on your own which require entrepreneurial skills.

Here’s the link to Jami’s blog: http://jamigold.com/2016/06/are-you-ready-to-be-an-entrepreneur-guest-renee-regent/

If you’ve never visited her blog before, you should─it’s always informative, but in a friendly, laid back way. Jami has a knack for digging through the layers of a subject, to find out why the topic matters. Her website has been designated as one of the 100 best Websites For Writers, in 2015. So, it is quite an honor to have my debut guest post on her blog!

If you are interested in the business side of writing, I plan to explore this topic more in the future, as I progress through the journey of my writing career.  As a lifelong entrepreneur, I am excited about the ever-expanding field of publishing, and hope you’ll join me. I’d love to hear of your experiences, too, so feel free to comment or drop me a line at reneeregent@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

New Author Interview- Donjaline Hope

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Wayward Pines, the popular novel series written by author Blake Crouch, has spawned a series on Fox television and dozens of titles in the Kindle Worlds publishing program. One of the most recent Kindle Worlds titles was written by my good friend and talented author, Donjaline Hope. This exciting novella was her debut, and she plans to expand into full length novels, writing in a variety of genres such as steampunk, adventure, and romance.

I sat down recently with Mrs. Hope to get the scoop on her debut and what she has planned for the future.

Congratulations on your debut with Wayward Pines: Salt Lake City Expedition. What enticed you to write this novella for Kindle Worlds?  As an avid reader, I got into the mystery of Wayward Pines.  I fell in love with all its twists and turns, and my brain started spinning with new ideas- new “what-ifs”.

 How was the process of submission and subsequent publishing? Would you write for Kindle Worlds again?  I would love to create more Kindle stories. As a matter of fact, I am in the process of writing a series of novellas for another backstory for the Abbies and their transformation in the Wayward Pines Series. I love the idea of allowing authors to write stories to parallel popular Kindle Worlds. Fan Fiction has always been popular. Kindle Worlds opens the door for the rest of the world to have access to some fabulous authors.

 What drew you to write this type of story?

I have prior military experience as well as an interest in survival stories. Wayward Pines takes a new and interesting approach to survival. In Blake Crouch’s story, it’s not so much about survival of the fittest as it is survival of the chosen. I find this concept interesting.

 You also write in the Steampunk genre. Tell us about your upcoming novel series.

I am excited to explore the world of cogs and top hats, adventure and intrigue. I am going to start with a novel mixing romance with a steampunk twist.  Lady Copper, Steampunk in Love Book 1, is in its final stages of editing and will be ready for release in May 2016!  The story is about Lady Copper, who is far from your typical lady. In a time where woman are still sheltered and thought of as only “wife” or “mother”  or “daughter”, it is against the law for them to invent/tinker (those are thought of as jobs of men). Copper is a genius when it comes to these things and being sheltered, shall we say, from society, she really does move to the beat of her own drum. Branton, the book’s hero, jumps in to save her, his thoughts mostly lustful. He must have her, although things don’t always go according to the plan. Their journey has many ups and downs, with twists and turns a plenty.

Here are some teasers from within the pages of Lady Copper, released just for your readers (for more teasers see the website):

Sweat dripped over his tautly muscled stomach. A tingling sensation bloomed low in her stomach. Vines of heat spread throughout her body as she followed his movements. #LustyThoughtsFromCopper

The driver cranked a small lever and the carriage jerked forward. Copper would have tumbled forward had Branton not grabbed her around the waist. A blush spread across her cheeks as she ended up held against his chest. #AccidentsHappen

“The theater is just a few buildings over from here,” Branton informed Copper. “You can see it, over the top of that building there. It’s one of the first buildings the Academy has gotten to hover in the sky. We will have to take one of the giant glass tubes to get to the top.”  #SteampunkHoveringTheaterOverNight

Patience was a gift he had in abundance. He could wait, would wait. It was one of the things that made his job so hard for most people. They got impatient and that’s when they made mistakes. He had all the time he would need, and would wait until he had the perfect opening. #EvilPlots

 What is it about Steampunk that interests you?

The possibilities! There’s something about having the option to rewrite history, changing and keeping what you, as the writer, wish. Steampunk includes everything I love about Victorian England, from secrets and intrigue to the seedy underside of society. I could create romance, mystery, or even adventures with airship pirates. The possibilities of stories is endless.

 Anything else on the horizon?

At the same time as I’m editing Lady Copper, I’m also working on Book 2 in the series which is due to contain the invention of airships. With any new invention there is definitely room for some sabotage, as well as some increased sexual tension. Book 2 has brought out many hot and steamy scenes already, and I look forward to the many adventures my characters will take me on.

 Where can readers get in touch with you?

Website, blog, and random fan fiction: http://donjalinehope.weebly.com/

Twitter: @DonjalineHope

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donjaline.hope

Amazon page for Wayward Pines: Salt Lake City Expedition: click here

 

I’m looking forward to what’s next from this sweet but quirky author. I’ve read some of her steamy Steampunk stories, and even though that particular genre isn’t my thing, I really enjoyed her portrayal of life in that world. Vivid characters, interesting world building and innovative creations are the hallmarks of her stories. I recommend you follow her on social media or her website to keep up with what’s coming next from Donjaline Hope.

Donjaline Hope