Friday, December 31, 2010

An Interview with Lorelei Bell.

Happy New Year people! I know you're all just as busy as I am around the holidays, so I've decided to keep the following interview up for a few days. As a writer, its always interesting to me to witness the road to publication for fellow writer's. It's also a time when I rejoice for a fellow writer. Take Elana Johnson for example and her 12 month trip to actual book. The post shows  her holding her book for the first time. I teared up for her. Truly I did. Elana's trip was traditional, well equipped with a stellar query letter, the landing of an agent, then signing that book deal with Simon Pulse. Sounds great doesn't it? But it was also filled with all the blood, sweat, tears, and bacon she could find. Much like the rest of us. The road for all of us is very similar, the destination may turn out differently, but reaching that destination is why we're all here. And for me, it always helps to see how others find their way to whatever destination they may choose. And Lorelei Bell has been gracious enough to share her trip with us. I hope you enjoy.

Lorelei, how did you decide to become a writer? 
Long story short, I took a creative writing course in high school. I liked it so much that I took it again the next semester and then I took one in college. I found that I loved writing better than art.
What was your founding inspiration?
I can't really pin point it. I think i was inspired by other writers, the idea of becoming a published author, and having that distinction. Once, I 'd joined a writing group and one of the members was published by Zebra while I was there. I was in awe to be in such company, plus there was one published poet and a few that dabbled in other things, and our teacher had been published multiple times. That was in 1983. However, instead of being inspired, it sort of backfired; I felt I would never measure up. I quit writing for a full year, and returned to it, because the need to write was so great. 
What made you decide to self publish your books?
Well, by the time I'd reached my fiftieth birthday, and having tried so many times to get a book published, or getting an agent, and having goner through so many rejections that I simply couldn't face opening them up anymore-you do reach a breaking point. So, the question was "do I want a book published?" The answer was yes.
How hard has that decision been for you?
It wasn't a hard decision to make at all. The difficult part was to find a publisher that wasn't going to try and trickle in little expenses here and there-because many of them do. So, I began checking out different POSs. My first book was with Infinity. They didn't charge a great deal, and their contract was very simple. However, this time I went with Copperhill Media, who charged me nothing and they work just as hard to get my book noticed, or they make no money. In my opinion, it's what a POD should do, but so few do it. I would suggest to all who are seeking to be published, to try it the traditional way first. Try to obtain an agent, and go from there. But always remember there are other options when you're done receiving rejections. 
How many years have you been writing?
Since 1972-you do the math.
What are your aspirations?
To retire comfortably with at least a dozen books out there. I don't wish to be rich, I merely want to share my writing with people who would enjoy what I write. I think that's the ego of the writer, more than the money-but I love the royalty checks too!
What advice can you give to some of us who might want to consider self publishing?
Check the company out thoroughly. Check them on warning sites. Check the contract carefully. If you can't get a copy of their contract online, ask them for it. And don't sign if there's anything on it that either makes you feel uncomfortable, or that they refuse to explain. If you can, have another person such as a lawyer review the contract as well.
Who are your favorite authors?
It's a cross section of different genres, because I think a writer should read different genres to get a feel of how to write before they try to emulate anyone. But J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich-these authors are my favorites. 
Can you give us a snippet of what to expect from Vampire Ascending?
Sabrina Strong is a Touch Clairvoyant who knows a secret. She knows her mother was turned into a vampire when she was ten. Now that she is grown up, a powerful magnate in the Chicago business world hires her to reveal the identity of who relentlessly murders vampires in his ultra-modern stronghold of a hotel. 
Sabrina is not thrilled about the aspect of working for vampires, but she needs the money, and she wants to find the gorgeous and mysterious vampire who has been turning up in her dreams. Is he the one who bit her when she was ten, marked her for his own, and turned her mother so long ago?
Little does Sabrina know that her whole life is about to change as her best friend becomes a victim, too and Sabrina is the only one who can find her. Her friends fate intensifies the desperate need to find the murderer and, consequently, brings her into contact with a rouge vampire. 
Sabrina is quickly immersed in romantic trysts and dangerous situations involving scheming vampires, shift changes, and werewolves. 
Now for a little need to know information about Vampire Ascending:
Vampire Ascending can be purchased here or at Amazon. You should check out the reviews she been getting at Amazon. Here's the latest:
Vampire Ascending is a captivating blend of action, intrigue, romance and the supernatural. Lorelei Bell has incorporated humor with a fast-pace that makes for exciting reading, and has developed a heroine that is engaging, quirky, and appealing. If you are a fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse Series, I believe you are in for a treat. I didn't want to put this book down and I look forward to more from Lorelei Bell.”

~~ Yolanda Campbell reprinted from

How cool is that?
You can check out Lorelei's blog at or if you're around, she'll be holding a book signing at the Borders in Dekalb, Il from 3-5 pm on January 8th. 

Lorelei is currently working on books 2 and 3 of the series. She hopes to have Vampire's Trill out this spring. 

Lastly, I would like to say that I wish Lorelei all the luck and success I can offer. And thanks for sharing your story with us. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Writer Needs a Village.

Over a year ago I sat down to write, I mean really write. I'd always scribbled things here and there, but to write an actual book, I'd never truly attempted. But then everyone around me thought I had lost my mind. I couldn't blame them really. I was sort of talking an awful lot about faeries, and unfortunately, it's been documented that insanity has been known to follow such ramblings. But I wasn't losing it (come on that ship has already sailed). I was following a dream and dreamer's have built every single thing around us from the ground up. But I began to struggle with this concept after awhile. I found myself in a moment where I wondered if dreaming were actually just a foolish pastime. I even felt irresponsible at times. But thankfully, I didn't struggle for very long. No-dreaming is a gift, and we should never take it for granted because not all of  us are blessed with the ability to do so. But all dreams have a beginning and an end. A cost sometimes filled with pain, ya know, the blood, sweat, tears, and alcohol (the alcohol purely for medicinal purposes). They start out at ground level- like, dug- out potato cellar level for some of us, but hey, it's a start. And it's up to us where we take ourselves from there. But we're not alone. We're a unique group of people-dreamers. And we've found each other for a reason. What would the journey be without partners in crime (shudder)? I wouldn't want to know. So this week, I'm going to help (or try to anyway) a fellow partner in crime-Lorelei Bell. On Friday, I'm going to post a special interview with Lorelei about her brand new book called Vampire Ascending. Lorelei has been brave enough to step out there and follow her dream and I can only admire her for her courage. I hope you'll join us for the interview, after all, it really does take a village in this business. In the meantime, tell me what you've been up to people. I'd love to know.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not Cool!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was wonderful. The hub did absolutely awesome! He's my special Santa. He even surprised me with THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY box set amongst other things. He definitely knows how to score himself a few brownie points. Our pup Cooper had an awesome first Christmas. But I'm not sure if he'll ever forgive me for this. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"The Others"

Sorry for becoming a blog abandon-er! Things are way too busy this time of year but I'm so loving it. I haven't had the opportunity to even open my WIP, but on a good note, the presents are all wrapped and under the tree. My kids are too old to believe in Santa, but the hubby seems to have fallen for the Elf on the Shelf thing. Hey, whatever works. I've asked for a lot of books this year. I'm so excited to see what he came up with. He's usually the best when it comes to surprising me. I spent a little time in Barnes and Noble myself, and of course, being a nerd and all, I talked to quite a few of "our kind". It's so funny how you can spot "the others" a mile away. Ya know, the people who don't read (shudder). I know it's hard to imagine but you've seen them- out there just trying to blend in with the general reading population, but it never works. We can spot them a mile away. They're usually the ones perusing the store, totally lost, and silently waiting to pick up whatever you just checked out because the last book they read was actually the cliffs notes for The Catcher in the Rye for that eighth grade English assignment. Hello! Not fooling anybody! So, in general conversation, I discover that most of them just pick up whatever looks good. They don't even read the back. Omigod! THEY DON'T EVEN READ THE BACK! I nearly smacked someone! Not really the Christmassy thing to do people. Then I got to thinking about my own choices when picking out a book. Sure, my choices may be based on some stellar book review from one of my fav bloggers, or a Goodreads BFFs suggestion, or the blurb on the back of a book, but cover plays a big part too. One out of four doesn't make "the others" totally wrong. Does it? So, it got me wondering. What makes you pick up a book at random? On another note, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating this holiday season. Enjoy your friends and family, drink much, laugh much, and love lots. We'll write later. I'll be stopping by your blogs as I can so bare with me. Merry Christmas everyone and be safe!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Short and Sweet!

Today's post is gonna to live up to it's title. If none of it should make any sense whatsoever, please forgive me. I have a house full of family members trying to get ready for Christmas shopping, an incredibly spoiled one hundred and ten pound puppy on my lap ( he thinks he's a shih-tzu),everyone's talking at the same time, two phones are ringing and I can't find either one of them, one daughter is blaring what sounds like Eminem while the other one is blaring Slipknot. I should be feeling angry at the moment, especially, given the music I'm being subjected to while I'm sitting here trying to indulge in my second cup of coffee. But instead, Cooper and I are just watching the ciaos unfold, and I'm feeling like Chevy Chase in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation ( I just love that movie). So as I watch life happen throughout my house, I'm reminded that I need to make it happen throughout my WIP, because life does just that. It happens. When one complicated moment gets conquered, yet another is sure to follow. It's the good stuff and the bad stuff that keeps us on our toes. And occasionally, things will just blend together on their own, however impossible they may seem. After all, I think I just heard Eminem and Slipknot harmonize something unintelligible but it sounded pretty good. I feel so inspired. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cause and Effect.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about setting up the scene in a novel. Ya know, giving your reader all the tools necessary to envision your characters, their surroundings, touch them, feel them, relate to them, love them, hate them. The whole enchilada (just so happens we were having Mexican). So, after dinner I dropped her off and headed home with some obnoxious curtain of guilt, determined to squash any hope of basking in the afterglow, after having way too much guacamole (never, ever, ever, look up the fat content in guacamole, just saying). Naturally I started thinking about cause and effect but not in a way that you might think. I immediately went from apologizing to my thighs (yet again) to thinking about how important cause and effect is in our writing. Then fate stepped in. I get home and decide to flip through the mail (hoping for another free breakfast coupon from Denny's, same as you) and find my brand new January edition of Writer's Digest. So I smile at my lot and dive right in. And there on page thirty seven was an article called....3 SECRETS TO GREAT STORYTELLING by, Steven James. You thought I was going to say Cause and effect didn't you? Well I am, only it wasn't the title, and it wasn't on that page. It was on page thirty eight. I'll give you his number one secret. "Everything in a story must be caused by the action that precedes it." Boy don't I know it, especially, after having the enchilada supreme with extra sour cream Mr. James. Preach on! And just like how I stayed up till way past two this morning reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, thinking I'm off and I have nowhere to be. I can sleep til nine and leisurely enter into my day with Cooper( household pup) and coffee. But who gets pulled from a perfectly good conversation with a fallen angel who simply asked for directions ( hey its a dream, not like I have any control over them) at seven o'clock in the morning (that's a lie it was 8), all because somebody was in the bathroom, using somebody's straightener and it wasn't fair. Humph! I had a whole list of not fairs to offer two teenage girls this morning. So, now I've been up all night reading, talking to angels, thinking about my own WIP, and too much guacamole. So I'm sleepy and maybe even whiny and I'm convinced someone put my pjs in the dryer for like...ever. But on a good note, I've learned so much from all of this and awareness is everything, right? So, does everything in your WIP have an action or event that precedes it? Are you showing reaction before you explain motivation? If you can find the article or order Writer's Digest, do so. It's chocked full of goodies to aid in your craft and you'll be glad you did. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

So Much To Do, So Little Time.

This week has been super busy. My daughter's basketball games have increased to three times a week and I'm happy to report they've been winners all week. Sorry for my absence on the blog. We're traveling to some of the games, so time (I don't even know what that means anymore) is nonexistent. On a good note, I've finished reading Blue Moon by Alyson Noel, and have now moved onto HUSH HUSH, by Becca Fitzpatrick. At least my reading hasn't been neglected as much as my writing. I have, however, come up with a system to help me feel more focused and not as overwhelmed by my WIP. I've started to look at my manuscript as though each chapter were like it's own little book. It makes revisions much easier and they seem to flow along faster this way. I don't know why I never did this before. I always tried to look at the whole thing. All 82,000 words of it. A little much to say the least. It usually left me feeling like progress was impossible, but by concentrating on a chapter at a time, it seems like I'm getting somewhere. Maybe I'm not, but at least I'm pacified by allowing myself a start and a finish. I even open up a new doc, paste a chapter, fix it, and paste it back. It's cool to look down at the bottom of the doc and see 10 pages as opposed to 300. I guess I'm psyching myself out, but hey, whatever works right? What's your method for revising?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Coming Together!

Hey guys, sorry I've been out of the blogging world for the past few days. I'm about to go blog hopping this morning and I can't wait to find out what everyone has been up to, which brings me to a request. I am so thankful for every one of my followers. I haven't been in the blogging world for very long and I'm so pleased at how fast my blog is growing. A big happy thanks to all of you. *Hugs* In return I want to be sure I'm following all of my followers who have blogs as well, so if you're new to my blog, please leave your link. I've noticed that occasionally links aren't showing up when I click on your new pic. Don't know why, but I wouldn't want to miss anyone, so if I'm not following you back, it's not for lack of trying. If you don't see me on your blog, let me know and I will be right on over;)
Now, in other news, basketball season has started for my daughter and with the holidays rapidly approaching, (I'm so not ready) it's been a hectic few days. I've barely had the time to open up my WIP and I'm missing my characters terribly. But I was able to spend just a few minutes on Sunday adding a little here and there. It's amazing what just a few moments can do for your story, and in turn, I was able to walk away feeling a little rejuvenated. I was having one of those moments where everything starts to come together. I'm sure all of you know that moment I'm referring to. You spend all this time writing your heart out and yet there's this nagging little voice inside of you that keeps screaming "your missing something-HELLO"! (are we supposed to put quotation marks around the voice inside our head?) *Shrugs* Well, it was one of those moments. I've felt like I've been on pause for months because of that voice, and then just like that, it all comes together in a matter of minutes. I guess all in all, writing is something that just can't be rushed, and to some extent, we don't always hold the wheel when it comes to this road. So, if you're having one of those moments where your story is taking it's sweet time, let it. It will work out when it's ready, and for reasons you won't be able to see or understand until it all comes together and believe me, it will.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Guys, this is serious business. If any of you happen to come across an ARC of PASSION by Lauren Kate between now and whenever I finish losing my mind, send it my way. Seriously, I've got a couple of perfectly good kidneys over here that my teenagers will never miss. I never read a series until all of the books are out because I know I will hate the wait. But this time, I didn't look ahead. Nope, I just zipped through FALLEN, soaked up TORMENT in like, two days (I know, I know, some of you read an entire book in like an afternoon. Apparently I'm mentally challenged because it takes me two days, so be it) so I finish both books, totally loving them then head on over to Amazon to order number three, only it wasn't there. IT WASN'T THERE! OMG! What am I supposed to do now? So, what are you guys reading that may or may not keep me sane between now and June when it's supposed to come out? Gimme some goodies;) Currently I'm pouty but reading Blue moon by Alyson Noel (my lovely daughter finally brought it back home, she's such a book hoarder). So far, it's pretty good but I'm still in Torment. Have an awesome weekend guys!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Um...I Don't Know.

How many times have you heard, "When is your book gonna be finished?" Like...why haven't you printed it out  and sold it already? Come on people, get to your computer, print out that masterpiece, grab some crayons and construction paper, color your little heart out, and get that thingy on the shelf already. If it could only be that easy (for me it could never be, I generally color outside the lines anyway). But do you ever find yourself trying to explain this whole lengthy, complicated, and draining process to the people around you, only to watch the light behind their eyes pack up shop into a miniature suitcase and pull the cord because they truly do not understand a single word you just said, nor do they even want to understand. They just want to see the book. Spare them the boring non-essentials. What-ev. I swear I'm just going to buy a little pocket tape recorder, record my answer and hit play every time someone asks me this question. It should be short. I'm thinking something along the lines of, Um...I don't know, or your guess is as good as mine, or my absolute favorite, the voices inside my head keep telling me to look to the east every evening at twilight while eating Cheetos ( no idea why this is important) and as I look to the east, a cloud will form before my eyes and take the shape of a book. When the book cloud flips open, I will know that it's time to submit. I bet that one will get the light back on. How about you? What do you say to this?