The Smashwords July Summer-Winter Sale 2018 Edition

Announcing the Annual Smashwords July             Summer-Winter Sale – 2018 Redux

It’s that time of year again. It’s summer in the northern hemisphere (and already hot, hot, hot) and winter in the southern hemisphere (my condolences for those of you who are not fans of the coldest season…) so it’s time for the annual Smashwords summer/winter sale. Now through July 31st, you can get thousands of books and already discounted boxed sets of books from hundreds of authors from 25% off the usual price to completely free.

Smashwords July Sale 2018

All of my full-length books are available and on sale at the Summer-Winter Sale. You can get the romances, the cozy mysteries, the lesfic mystery/romance books from the Morelville Mysteries series…everything. I’ve even put the boxed sets of the first eight Morelville Mysteries on sale. A couple of my books are free for the month of July. All of the rest of my books, including the boxed sets, are 50% off with coupon. And the best part? The coupon is automatic at checkout, an improvement over the codes and the special shopping sections of previous years. Of course, the special shopping section is still there so you can see everything that’s on sale.

The best thing about buying at Smashwords? You can buy eBooks there in ANY FORMAT, downloadable to any eReader or eReader software you have (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, PDF, Text etc.). Check out the Smashwords home page for complete details. And, here’s my direct link:  Anne Hagan on Smashwords

You can also shop from the sale catalog links on the Smashwords home page.

So pick up some great new reads, cheap for the beach or for in front of the fireplace and enjoy!

Posted in Book Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Smashwords July Summer-Winter Sale 2018 Edition

It’s Con Time! – The GCLS Con and the Con Sampler, That is!

I’m off soon to the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) conference in fabulous, sunny (read HOT!) Las Vegas. Last year, before my first GCLS Con, I put together a Con Sampler with three of my full-length books and a short story. I sold it for $.99 all through the month of July, but only on Amazon since the short story was in Kindle Unlimited at the time.

I’ve revived the Con Sampler for this year – at the same low price. And, this time, it’s available wherever eBooks are sold.  You can get it from your e-retailer of choice, right here:  Books2Read Con Sampler. If you don’t see the retailer you prefer (…still waiting on GooglePlay to pick it up), keep checking, or get it in any format you prefer at Smashwords for the same price.

The books included in the Con Sampler are:

The Cover for the Con SamplerDana’s Dilemma, the third book in my lesfic mystery/romance series, ‘The Morelville Mysteries’.

Opera House Ops, the second book in the cozy mystery series I spun off of the lesfic series. It features the 60+ year old mothers of the two main characters in the other series and stands alone from those books.

Broken Women, my first romance novel. It features two lesbian secondary characters who appear in book six of the Morelville Mysteries series, ‘Mad for Mel’. There’s no need to have read that book to get into Broken Women. It stands alone from the series with most of the events in it, taking place prior to the start of the mystery series.

Salt Lake City Utah, the 3rd short story I published in my ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ short story series. Each of the stories in the ‘Loving Blue’ series stands completely alone. ‘Salt Lake’ is a sweet lesfic romance between two twenty-something women.

Please Note: Dana’s Dilemma and Broken Women contain erotic scenes between consenting adult women. If that is distasteful to you, you may want to skip this deal. No hard feelings!

About the GCLS Con…

My wife and I went to Las Vegas for a few days in March of 2016 because that’s where my parents wanted to go to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary. We stayed downtown at the Golden Nugget and enjoyed the whole Freemont Street experience and that vibe.  We only managed to get up to the strip one evening, for a show and only saw a little of it.

We’re away longer this time, and it’s just us…until the Con kicks off on the 4th, anyway. We’re hoping to see and do a bit more, but we’ll see. It’s about 30 degrees hotter there on any given day than it is here in Ohio…which is also unseasonably warm for June.

I know, I know. “It’s a dry heat” out there! I’ve heard it all before. 115+ degrees is still hot, folks!

Anyway, stay tuned here, on Twitter and on Facebook for tidbits from Las Vegas and from the Con, always a good time with other lesfic authors, readers and books…lots and lots of books! I’m on the indie author panel bright and early on Thursday morning, the 5th…no parties after the 4th of July fireworks for me! And I’m doing a reading from my work in progress, Finding Sheila, on Friday the 6th.

If you’re going out for the con, look for me (down low…I’m only 5′ tall), stop me and say hello. I love meeting my fellow authors and our loyal lesfic readers.

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Loving Blue in Red States: Wall South Dakota

The seventh short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series, Wall South Dakota is now out. ‘Wall’ is the story of two forty-something-year-old women, set in their ways, who keep ending up together, trying to find common ground.

For a limited time, it is exclusive to Amazon and free via Kindle Unlimited.

The blurb for Wall:

The Badlands of South Dakota bring two 40-something-year-old women, set in their ways, together, but will they find common ground?

Loving Blue in Red States: Wall South DakotaHeidi spent her high-school years in Wall, while her father served and then later worked as a civilian contractor at the air base near Rapid City after he retired from the Air Force. 25 years later, she travels back as a freelance photojournalist on assignment for a national magazine and has her first run-in with Danielle.

Dani’s a Wall lifer and she likes it that way. She’s on track to retire by the time she’s fifty if she can just keep doing the driving job she loves. She’s been heartbroken. She doesn’t want to go down that road again.

Their attraction is undeniable, but their conflicting life goals stand firmly in the way.

Wall is the seventh short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series by Anne Hagan. It was preceded by, Sweetwater TexasBirmingham AlabamaJackson Hole WyomingPerryville MissouriSalt Lake City Utah, and Savannah Georgia . Look for other short stories and novellas to come out in this series throughout 2018.

The inspiration for the ‘Wall’ story:

Book 3 in this series, Jackson Hole Wyoming, is based, in part, on a trip I took with my former spouse and our son back when my son, now in his twenties, was six years old (nearly seven). Wall, South Dakota has its roots in the early part of the same trip.

We took a nearly two week trip out west where we drove across South Dakota and Wyoming. We visited State Parks, National Parks, National Monuments, museums, caves and so much more along the way. Then there was the big – massive drug store and more in Wall. I can’t even begin to explain it. We saw the buffalo roam, prairie dog towns, saw a moose up close and way too personal, antelope, elk…you name it. As much as we saw, there were many more sites and sights that we never got to. We could have spent another month trying to see everything. It’s a trip I think every American that’s able ought to take.

Minuteman Missile National Historic SiteSome parts of this story are based on that trip. Read my ‘author’s note’ at the end of the story about our transportation issues and you’ll know some of what I’m talking about.

The driver we had back then, actually drove us through an area that no longer exists near Ellsworth Air Force Base. It was an old, old base housing area where she pointed out a place where a Titan missile, she said, once was located underground.

For this story, I couldn’t find a Titan location on any map, but back then, I saw the spot with my very own eyes. I have a feeling it was not a sealed-off Titan launch tube, but one of the original Minuteman missile areas as there were three flights of those built on the base that are no longer there. In the late 1990’s, many of those were removed and obliterated out of existence. Suburban sprawl has replaced a lot of what was once one of the key locations for the nation’s missile defense systems.

The ‘Wall’ story begins with the remaining remnants of the cold war but that’s not really what it’s about. It’s about two women who are very different, or so they think, who have more to give than they each realize.

I hope you enjoy the story.

Posted in Books, Loving Blue in Red States | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Loving Blue in Red States: Wall South Dakota

Four Novels, One Sale

One of my books, Dana’s Dilemma, Book 3 in my ‘The Morelville Mysteries’ series was on sale for much of May. Well, guess what? It still is! Not only that, now Book 4, Hitched and Tied, is on sale too. Actually, there are four novels on sale in one sale.

I’d like to begin by telling you, if you aren’t familiar with the series, each book contains a new mystery which stands alone…with maybe a small thread that spills over into the next book. However, the story of Mel and Dana, our leading ladies, begins in book one and changes throughout the series. It’s best to read these books in order if you want the whole scoop!

Four Novels:

Four Novels One SaleThe first book in my now ten books and counting lesfic mystery/romance series, Relic, is free everywhere eBooks are sold. It has been free for a long time and, naysayers aside, it always will be.

Busy Bees, Book 2, got reduced to $.99 or the equivalent around the world, a long time ago and I just never sent it back to full price.

Book 3, Dana’s Dilemma, is normally $2.99 US. It’s still on sale for $.99 but it’s going back up soon.

And then there’s Book 4, Hitched and Tied. ‘Hitched’, as I like to call it, has never been on sale. Originally debuting at $2.99, it’s been $3.99 for the past year or so and, soon, it’s going back to $3.99.

One Sale:

So there you have it: four books, one sale. Normally $7.97 total, right now they’re just $2.97…better than the boxed set price of $4.99!

Have one or two? Get the others now. They won’t be this price again for a very long time, if ever!

These are available wherever eBooks are sold. You can get the full book descriptions and universal buy links below:

Relic: The Morelville Mysteries – Book 1 (FREE)

Busy Bees: The Morelville Mysteries – Book 2 ($.99)

Dana’s Dilemma: The Morelville Mysteries – Book 3 ($.99)

Hitched and Tied: The Morelville Mysteries – Book 4 ($.99)

I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Book Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Four Novels, One Sale

Paris Adrift is Free…for a very Limited Time

Paris Adrift, the third novel in the Julianna series by Vanda is free for a very limited time, beginning tomorrow, June 6th, 2018. This latest historical romance in the Julianna saga is exclusive to Amazon and free via Kindle Unlimited.

The book cover for 'Paris Adrift' by VandaI interviewed Vanda about her series, here on the blog, just before the May release. And, I profiled Paris Adrift, here. I won’t go over it all again.

If you’d like to download the book and support a great author and friend during this limited time offering, you can use any of the following links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon FR | Amazon AU | Amazon IN

Remember, the sale starts tomorrow and reviews are always appreciated.

Thank you very much for your continued support of lesbian fiction. Happy reading!

Posted in Book Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Paris Adrift is Free…for a very Limited Time

The Color Me Pride eBook Giveaway

Happy Pride Month to all my LGBT friends and allies. In the spirit of Pride, several authors got together, myself included, and we’re offering up eBooks, free for the taking…NO STRINGS ATTACHED! That’s right, you don’t even have to provide your email address or otherwise sign up for anything if you so choose. It’s the Color Me Pride giveaway, now through June 9th.

Color Me Pride eBook Giveaway

There are short stories and full-length novels. There’s romance (of course), graphic novels, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy and more; something for everyone.

The authors include:

  • Alex Bailey
  • Stephanie Barr
  • Cameron H. Davy
  • May Dawney
  • Lyssa Dering
  • Kenna Grace
  • Anne Hagan (Me!)
  • Barry Haws
  • Gianni Holmes
  • Eric Huffbind
  • J. Mercury Jones
  • Angelique Jurd
  • Lina Langley
  • Jonathan M. Lazar
  • Lavina Lewis
  • Kate Logan
  • Clare London
  • AJ Milton (Editor)
  • Maz Maddox
  • R.A. Steffan
  • Jennifer Stevenson
  • Cecelia Storm
  • Silvia Violet
  • Zachry Wheeler

Just click the graphic above or this Color Me Pride link, go to the site, choose your books and download in the format of your choice to your favorite device. What could be simpler?

If you like an author you find, think about signing up for their email list or giving their work an honest review on Goodreads or Amazon. Neither is a requirement but both are the things that make an authors world go around.

Enjoy and happy reading!

 

Posted in Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Color Me Pride eBook Giveaway

The Legal Thriller Challenge…with Outlaws

Sometimes Twitter gets me in trouble. Right now, It’s got me trying to plan and plot a legal thriller. Mind you, I’m not a lawyer. I don’t even play one on TV. I had to take a couple of law classes in college as a part of my major (Business Administration), I’ve had jury duty and I’ve been to court a time or two – stories for another day – but that’s it.

So one day, there I was, scrolling through Twitter (when I should have been writing) and up pops this tweet by Sheena over at The Lesbian Review. She had a little survey question she was looking for answers to:  What would you love to see more of in lesbian fiction? She gave a few options and asked for comments if we had other ideas.

Silly me! I suggested seven or eight things I’d like to see in lesfic…

Legal Thriller Challenge 1

I wrote, in case you can’t read it: ‘Age 40+, children/families, investigators, outlaws, heroes, action and adventure, thrillers, legal thrillers.’ Those are all genres and characters I enjoy reading about that I find somewhat lacking in lesbian themed fiction.

Missing from the thread pictured is where Sheena came back and said she wanted to see a legal thriller and outlaws. As you can see though, a fan jumped in. A big fan. A loyal fan. How could I resist?

Legal Thriller Challenge 2

So now I have until May 2nd, 2019 to produce a book that includes all of those things. I’ve opted for a legal thriller, a favorite genre of mine to read and the one that makes sense to work all of those other elements in.

I’m taking this seriously. Writing about law isn’t hard, it just requires research. I can do that. Actually, I love that. And, If I get stuck, I certainly know lawyers I can consult. The hard part is going to be putting together a good, plausible thriller.

Legal thrillers are a bit (a lot) more involved than writing your average romantic suspense or Sue Grafton style mystery like I write. They’re longer, more descriptive and often tell you who the killer is up front. The lawyer’s job is to prove it or to prove their own client innocent.

I admit, since I started writing a few years ago, I stopped reading legal thrillers. They’re long and involved and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to sit and devote three to four hours for two or three – or four – days to finish one. But, I figured, if I’m going to write one, I better read a few and deconstruct them…see what I need to do to put a good one together.

I went upstairs to my old office and rooted through the boxes of books we moved here that I’ve never unpacked. I pulled out a few oldies but goodies:

  1. The Client by John Grisham
  2. The Burden of Proof by Scott Turow
  3. Mistaken Identity by Lisa Scottoline

I read all of those years ago. I have to admit, I’ve forgotten more about all three of them than I remember. I’ve already re-read The Client, with a writer’s eye.

Not satisfied with just those three, I started rooting around online, looking for legal thrillers that fit a certain profile for me to read, dissect and ponder. I ordered paperback/hardbacks of:

  1. The Jury by Steve Martini (I just finished it)
  2. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  3. True Blue by David Baldacci
  4. Ties that Bind by Phillip Margolin
  5. Motion to Suppress by Perri O’Shaughnessy
  6. Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson
  7. The Rooster Bar, also by John Grisham (his work is a favorite of mine…can you tell?)

Then I went out and picked out a few more to read via Kindle by writers like John Ellsworth, Pamela Callow and Scott Pratt. For Kindle, I also picked up a couple of thrillers by Jay Nadal/Adam Nicholls and by Kristi Belcamino because remember, outlaws and heroes are part of the challenge too.

Some of these books are newer. Some are older. A few are by author’s I’ve read – just not those books (other than the three I pulled out of my own collection). The rest are new to me authors. All piqued my interest. I think I got a great cross-section of what’s out there to work with.

I’ve laid out a schedule. I’m spending time every morning and most evenings reading and taking notes on construction, twists and so forth. I’ve always tried to write in the morning, before work. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. Since I’m always reading stuff on the net anyway, I figured I ought to put that wasted morning time to better use.

I’m enjoying these reading interludes immensely. I imagine it will take me a few months to work through nearly 20 books…lengthy books. If you see me at the GCLS con in Vegas in early July, nose in a book that isn’t lesfic, you know why!

Once the reading is done, the planning and plotting begin, in earnest. Oh, I already have some basic plot ideas given the seven points or so I have to hit. I’ve got a title and I’ve got my designer working on a cover. I’m even thinking three book series!

Yes, I’m really doing this and I am going to enjoy every last minute of it. Stay tuned!

Posted in On Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Legal Thriller Challenge…with Outlaws

Medusa’s Touch by Emily L. Bryne to be Released

What happens when you cross space opera with cyberpunk and lesbians? You get the book, Medusa’s Touch by Emily L. Bryne (aka Catherine Lundoff), that’s what!

Originally written several years ago, but never published, tthe novel started out as an erotic romance novella that Emily was asked to write for an anthology. She says, “I was approached by a mid-sized romance and erotica publisher a couple of years ago. They asked for a proposal, so I wrote a couple of chapters and an outline. They offered me a three book deal and sent me a contract. The contract looked off, so I had a lawyer review it and was advised not to sign. I turned down the deal and the publisher began imploding a few months later (also known as the Saga of How I Didn’t Go Down with Ellora’s Cave).”

“I decided I would finish the novel and see what I could do with it. Once it was done so it went from there. Progress was a bit slow, due to starting my own small press and putting out four other books in the meantime.”

Emily did finish the book though, and it’s finally coming out.

Medusa’s Touch:

Betrayal, desire, and danger: how did a simple side job go so wrong?

Medusa's Touch by Emily L. ByrneMedusa Pilot TiCara X273 is in over her implants and she’s going to need all the help she can get from the lovely Sherin Khan…if she can learn to trust her.

A beautiful corporate rep with a secret, her ailing boss, a covert mission to a hidden destination, an implacable foe with some unexpected allies and a sizzling attraction, seasoned with more than a touch of deceit and betrayal, make for a trip that some of them may not survive. Can TiCara learn to trust the woman she’s falling in love with before it’s too late?

Early reviewer, Sacchi Green says: “Emily L. Byrne’s Medusa’s Touch draws the reader deeply into her deftly created universe of starships and danger and conflict, with a fascinating main character who is entirely relatable even while she pilots her ship by means of hi-tech tentacle implants. Whether she feels the exultation of being at one with her ship amidst “the splendor of the starfields,” or the ecstasy of sex with the beautiful, mysterious woman she can’t entirely trust, we feel it all with her, and gladly follow her through inner turmoil and blood-stirring battle. “ – Sacchi Green, Editor of Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms

The book is scheduled to be released May 23rd to most major retailers. Click here for a universal link to pre-order from the retailer of your choice: Medusa’s Touch.

Bio for Emily L. Byrne:

Author of Medusa's Touch Emily L. Byrne / Catherine LundoffEmily L. Byrne’s stories have appeared in Bossier, Spy Games, Forbidden Fruit, First, Summer Love, Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol. 2, First, Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms, Blood in the Rain 3 and The Nobilis Erotica Podcast. Her collections, Knife’s Edge: Kinky Lesbian Erotica and Desire: Sensual Lesbian Erotica, are available from Queen of Swords Press. She can be found at http://writeremilylbyrne.blogspot.com/ and @emilylbyrne. She also writes less sexy things as Catherine Lundoff.

 

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Medusa’s Touch by Emily L. Bryne to be Released

The Spring Mega Lesfic Sale is on at IHeartLesfic

The ‘Spring Mega Sale’ is on over at IHeartLesfic! There are 45 authors participating, offering more than 90 great books, free or deeply discounted, in over a dozen genres.

There are plenty of names you likely know and love. There are also lots of new lesfic authors and many that may be new to you to try out.  With great books priced so low, why not get them all?! You’ll have to hurry though. The sale is for a very limited time!

Jump right to the Spring Mega Sale and check it out or read a little more about it below.

Spring Mega Sale at IHeartLesfic

I have three books in the sale, Relic, Busy Bees and Dana’s Dilemma. You can also get favorites from quite a lineup, including:

  • S. W. Andersen (She’s had some of her work profiled here before)
  • Elizabeth Andre (I’ve profiled some of her work here, on the blog)
  • Victoria Avilan
  • Harper Bliss
  • Cheyenne Blue
  • Lila Bruce
  • Sally Bryan
  • Tallulah Burns
  • Suzi Carr
  • C. L. Cattano (I’ve interviewed C.L. previously and talked with her about her sale book)
  • Kristen Conrad
  • Charlie Conwell
  • Amy DeMeritt
  • KB Draper
  • MJ Duncan
  • Camryn Eyde
  • Kit Eyre
  • Anna Ferrara
  • Giselle Fox
  • Tiffany Foxe
  • Cailee Francis
  • Lynn Galli
  • Nico J. Genes
  • JD Glass
  • Lise Gold
  • Violette Grey
  • Lily Hammond
  • Jea Hawkins
  • Claire Highton-Stevenson
  • Jae
  • D. J. Jouett
  • Miranda MacLeod
  • Cara Malone
  • Diane Marina
  • Michelle Marra
  • C. K. Martin
  • Monica McCallan
  • Katie Mettner
  • Niamh Murphy (Read an interview with Niamh here, and about one of her recent books, here)
  • Rene Nienaber
  • Jessica Pots
  • Adan Rami
  • Alison R. Solomon (Read my recent interview with Alison)
  • Raven J. Spencer
  • Lucy True
  • ME Tudor
  • Erin Wade
  • Caren J. Werlinger
  • Natasha West
  • Barbara Winkes (I wrote about her sale book, Secrets recently)
  • Fiona Zedde

Didn’t I tell you it was quite a lineup? You can see all of the Spring Mega Sale books here.

Happy reading!

Posted in Book Sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Spring Mega Lesfic Sale is on at IHeartLesfic

An Interview with Alison R. Solomon

Hi there everybody! Today I have a real treat for you. I’m interviewing Alison Solomon the author of two great crime suspense novels, Devoted and Along Came the Rain. I’ve read both and enjoyed them immensely. I’m really looking forward to the May 20th release of her latest novel and the first book in a new series for her, Timing is Everything. It will kick off her Gulfport Mystery Series.

First off, I have an ‘Alison’ story to tell:

Last year I attended my first GCLS Convention in Chicago. I had every intention of arriving plenty early on the opening day of the con but traffic conspired against me. When I finally got there, the opening session was starting.

I signed for our room, and while my wife took our bags upstairs, I rounded the corner into the conference hallway and almost ran into Alison, a membership director for GCLS then. Now, I’d never met her in person before, only ‘spoken’ with her on Facebook. She greeted me by name and gave me a big hug. She told me to wait to register, steered me into the meeting room for the opening and stood with me for the next ten minutes or so, and then steered me right back out to the registration table. It wasn’t the last that time she offered guidance and support that day or for the run of the con. She’s good people and if you ever get the chance to meet her, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Tell us about Alison Solomon; who is she?

Anne: A weird question to get us started: Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.

Alison: Summer! I love sunshine. I grew up in the UK and had to learn to embrace the rain. At 18, I moved to Israel and have never lived in a cool climate since. I find sunshine energizing, peaceful, and warming. And that’s the kind of person I’d like to be.

Anne: The U.K.? So then, tea or coffee?

Alison: Tea. You can take the girl out of England but you can’t take England out of the girl.

Anne: LOL. I figured! I’m right there with you though. I love tea.

Anne: If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live?

Alison: Right where I am! Gulfport, Florida sits on the Gulf of Mexico, and is small, beautiful, charming and friendly. Our library has the first LGBTQ Resource Center in Florida and was recently awarded a national library award for its innovative LGBTQ programming. I’ve lived in Israel, Mexico and California and while they all had a lot to offer, I truly found my home here. I do wish the rest of my family lived here too, though.

Anne: If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

Alison: The Australian Barrier Reef. When I was 19 I hitchhiked down to the Sinai peninsula and discovered the barrier reef there. Ever since, whenever I snorkel at a reef, I’m always a little disappointed because nothing lives up to the Sinai. But I believe Australia would.

Anne: Now, I’ve met you and listened to you speak. You sound like you were American born and raised to me, with that mix of accents so many of us that have traveled this country have. So, I have to ask, can you fake any accents?

Alison: I speak multiple languages; English, Spanish, Hebrew and some French and people usually have a hard time trying to figure out where I’m from whichever language I’m using. My UK family think my English sounds completely American. Americans think I sound as if I’m from New England. When I lived in Israel and spoke only Hebrew, a local storekeeper was convinced I was Russian and would speak to me in Russian because he didn’t believe it when I said I wasn’t!

Alison on Reading:

Anne: All fiction writers start out with a love of reading and books first. Tell us about your journey from reader to writer. First, what is your favorite childhood book?

Alison: The Fortunes of Doria by Pamela Grant. It was my mother’s favorite novel and she passed it on to all of us. Written in 1931, it follows a very spirited, independent, young girl who lives with her mother and grandmother and yearns to go to a girl’s boarding school. Doria is strong-willed, adventurous, creative and has a mind of her own.

Anne: I’m sorry to say, I’ve never read it but it sounds wonderful. I’ll have to look for it.

Anne: What literary character is most like you?

Doria, in The Fortunes of Doria

Anne: Ah! I see, now.

Anne: Where did your love of books, storytelling, reading, and writing come from? Your mother?

Alison: Yes. My mother read to us every night before we went to sleep. As a child, every Saturday afternoon I would walk to the local library, take out 3 books and immediately start to devour them. Plus, it’s a family thing. When my father died, he had over 10,000 books in his library. He built one in the garden when he ran out of space in the house!

Anne: Wow! And we all think we have a lot of books!

Anne: Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Alison: Definitely. I keep a journal listing all the books I read, and I find I have cycles. For a while, I just wasn’t interested in reading novels and only read memoir. Then I discovered domestic suspense novels and read a whole bunch of those. And then there are those times when I just don’t feel like reading at all, and I go to my other love,  jigsaw puzzles!

Alison on Writing:

Anne: Let’s talk about writing now. Inquiring minds want to know: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I often compare writing to doing a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There is nothing more exhilarating than finding the piece you’re looking for and watching how the picture comes together in ways you didn’t expect. On the other hand, all puzzles have a large expanse of something (like sky) and that part can be excruciating to work through!

Anne: Tell us about your new book, Timing is Everything.

Timing is Everything by Alison SolomonAlison: Kat Ayalon will fight tooth and nail to find the driver who smashed into her friend Wynn and then fled. She’ll also do whatever it takes to protect the new love of her life, Gordy, whose only goal is not to get on the wrong side of the law. After all, she’s always been better at taking care of others than herself. But when the worlds of her friend and her lover collide, Kat is faced with the toughest choice of all: How can she help both Wynn and Gordy if supporting one means selling out the other?

Anne: Timing is Everything is available for pre-order from Amazon right now. It will be more widely available at launch on the 20th (Sunday).

Anne: So, since this is the start of a series for you, I have to ask, do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Alison: Great question. If only I’d realized from the beginning that readers want connections and that there might be characters I wanted to pursue. Along Came the Rain is set in a fictional county (Jade) that in my mind was based very much on Pinellas, where I live. The second half of my second novel, Devoted, is set in the town I live in, Gulfport.  Finally I got it — Timing Is Everything, is now officially Book One in The Gulfport Mystery Series and includes characters from the first two novels.

Anne: Almost all of my own books are connected and the readers love it. Right readers?! Seriously though; you’re going to find that writing in series works out well for you. And, you can always go back to the other two books and follow up those stories.

Anne: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Alison: It’s not a secret exactly, but in Along Came the Rain, the protagonist, Wynn, struggles with being extremely absent-minded to the point that could indicate dementia. People who don’t know me ask, “What made you think of her as a character?” Friends say, “I saw a lot of you in Wynn!”

Anne: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your books?

Alison: As well as telling a good story, I like to look at topics that are current and relevant. Timing Is Everything includes the issue of a woman who, though legally in the USA, is terrified of being deported. As a former immigrant myself, I know how insecure you can feel until you actually have your citizenship. Even more so in today’s current climate. In Devoted, I wanted to portray someone who has to struggle to integrate her sexuality and her faith. I grew up orthodox Jewish, so I know this process well. And as mentioned previously, I wrote about someone with memory problems because I know of so many people my age and a bit older who constantly wonder whether what we’re going through is normal, or the beginning of Alzheimer’s.

Anne: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?

Alison: I love reading books that make you question a character’s reality—an unreliable narrator like the heroine of The Girl on the Train who is an alcoholic, the unfaithful husband in Gone Girl. I enjoy writing in a number of genres. Last year I made a book of first chapters and asked my email list subscribers to let me know which one they wanted me to write next. Almost everyone said, “Kissing the Rabbi’s Wife,” which is my memoir. I’m still working on it.

If your readers contact me, I’ll happily send them a link to the book of first chapters.

Anne: Readers, please see the contact links for Alison, below.

Anne: I always ask this question because the answers are always fascinating and, sometimes helpful to me personally with my own books; how do you choose your characters names?

They mostly choose themselves. I have a character in Along Came the Rain named Barker. Readers ask if it’s her first or last name and I tell them I don’t know – it just came to me that that’s who she was. The protagonist of Devoted was called Erica/Rikki almost until publication when I realized she was actually Ashley/Ash. I seem to have a penchant for names that begin with K. When I got to Timing Is Everything and wanted to use characters from previous books I discovered Kat and Kallie would be in numerous scenes together, so Kallie had to decide to change her name! Luckily she’s an adopted teenager so it was a reasonable thing to do.

Anne: LOL…I’ve so been there, what with writing in series!

That’s all we have time for today. Please check out Timing is Everything on Amazon. The links to contact and connect with Alison are below.

Website: www.AlisonRSolomon.com
Email: Alison@AlisonRSolomon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonRSolomon/
Twitter: @AlisonRSolomon
Amazon page: amazon.com/author/alisonrsolomon

 

Posted in Books, On Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on An Interview with Alison R. Solomon