Monday, January 31, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
- · Love between three people can be just as sweet and intense and passionate as between two – at least in romance novels! The real-life dynamics of a ménage are probably very tricky, but virtually everyone has harbored in their heart at sometime the thought that maybe, just maybe, they could love two people. Menage stories play into this fantasy.
- · Menages make interesting plots. Simple, you have three people to play with, to make interact with each other, to provide richness and detail to your story. In Genetic Attraction, two of my lead characters are scientists and one is a supermodel. As readers, we get to see scenes played out in their different worlds –in the lab, at photo shoots, at a faculty party.
- · Pronouns can be killers! Writing male/male stories is a unique challenge since both characters are called “he”, so you have to find ways to differentiate them without using their names constantly, and without being confusing. Now, add another man to the mix as I’m doing in my current work-in-progress, a m/m/m ménage. Yikes. It takes some creativity and very deep point-of-view for each character.
- · Sex between three people needs careful thought. The reader needs to know where each character is and what they’re doing. No one can be left out, so we need to see reactions from each character as well as actions.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
It's my pleasure today to welcome Michael Mandrake, alter ego of Rawiya and erotic story-teller of the first order. I'll let Micheal tell you about himself while i thank Rawiya for hosting me on her blog today as well. When you complete your time with Michael, pop over and check out my visit to Rawiya.
Buy Link: http://shop.renebooks.com/default.asp
Fellow authors, Em Petrova, Ike Rose, and Daisy Harris
“Only When I Lose Myself” – Michael M
MM: Greetings readers and thank you Tara for allowing me, Michael Mandrake to have the floor today. Rawiya and BL are still hanging around with the people at Wicked Sexy since we had such a great time with them.
However, here I am, with one of the characters from my latest stories, Only When I Lose Myself…
Adrian: Sorry, the MAIN character, the star. (Adrian crosses his legs)
MM: Yes, right, the main character in the book, Adrian Vanderguard, singer, songwriter…
Adrian: Millionaire, and world class lover. (Adrian looks up in the air and grins)
MM: (Michael clears his throat) Right, well thank you for being here today. My first question, give us a little background about you other than what I’ve said.
Adrian: Well, I’m in my late twenties, an entertainer from Britain, who loves to perform and quite obviously, I’m not only good at what I do onstage, I am also good off it.
MM: Yes, indeed, so, please, tell the fans a quick sum up of the book?
Adrian: Well, if I talk too much Michael then we would be giving away some secrets, especially if you intend to get some more words written.
MM: Yes, very true.
Adrian: Well, then, let me give the good people a summation without giving any spoilers, yeah?
MM: Go on then.
Adrian: Great, well, basically in the story I’m on tour in New York, ending my long journey before I go back to London. I have made up my mind that I want a lover before Valentine’s Day and my target ends up being a very sexy environmental engineer…(Adrian rolls his eyes) that works for the venue in which I am performing.
MM: What’s his name?
Adrian: His name is Matthew Gionapolis. He’s very attractive, and when we first meet, he basically gives me a lot of shit but eventually he warms up to me…really warms…up… (Adrian grins, licks his lips)
MM: Right (Michael shakes his head.) Okay then, and so, as far as your character, tell the audience more?
Adrian: I am the most successful entertainer since the late Michael Jackson, as I stated, a millionaire, and a very sexual being that is looking for love. Will I find it in the book? Well, you just have to keep reading to find out. (He smiles, nodding)
MM: Thank you Adrian. Lastly, why don’t you tell the good people about the book, where they could find it, etc.
Adrian: The book will be released by Sizzler Intoxications, from master editor Sascha Illyvich, written by you, brilliant writer, Michael Mandrake, just in time for hearts today.
MM: Wonderful Michael, thank you so much for stopping by today. I know we have more to discuss but we’ve taken enough time on Tara’s blog. Thank you so much Tara for allowing us to come today. Please go buy the book when it becomes available.
Adrian: Thank you Tara, goodbye for now.
And now, lets get to know Michael a little better with a short interview.
1 – You write so much in the short-story form. I think this form is very challenging. Can you tell us a bit about how you go about developing a short story? Well, all the ideas and characters just come together. Now that I have written my first novel, this has become especially hard since all my muses want longer stories. *laughs* In anything I write, I let my characters give the direction. Sometimes, they just feel that the idea may only warrant 5-10 because they may want the action to happen fast. I don't usually interfere with what they want but we do disagree and eventually come to a resolution.
2. How does writing a novel differ from the way you approach the short story form? It doesn't. All of my writing is character driven. My characters in my Series African Sun have all got interesting stories to tell. They have filled my head with enough ideas to make 4 books. Only one is completed, the second one is close to being finished and the other two are waiting their turn
3. How did you get started writing? I actually began writing in my teens about my favorite things, poetry etc. I did not start erotica until my late teens early twenties when I started writing my fantasies down about the men I liked or my favorite characters on TV. I only began writing for publication last year so I am very new.
4. Do you tell your family and friends you write erotic stories? How did you break the news? LOL All my friends know that I write erotica and they were not surprised. *laughs* Since my early twenties, I have become a person that speaks my mind, sometimes albeit, not in the most formal ways. I've always been open minded sexually, telling everyone what I liked and so forth. My friends encouraged me to pick up the pen again and get published. With family, they know, mom and my younger brother are the only ones that have really commented. When I told both they were kind of taken aback but they don't criticize me so it's good. With my immediate family, my spousal equivalent is very supportive allowing me to be a writer while he works full time. My 12 year old knows it too. He knows I writes "adult" stories. I'd rather him know than not know.
5. What is your favorite story you have written so far? Why? Well it changes each time I finish one but right now is the one I just discussed in the interview, "Only When I Lose Myself." The tale is about a musician who wants a committed relationship by Valentine’s Day and ends up finding a man on his current world tour that he wants to take back home with him. The man he is falling for has a form of ADD, but because he finds him very unique, and attractive he looks over his dysfunction but his partner is not sure he is ready for this.
Its my favorite story because it is based on a person I talk to online. He's a younger man with this form of ADD and because he seems like such a sweet person and I had never heard of this form he has, I was able to develop this tale by talking with him through email as well as doing research on my own.
6. what are you working on now? What am I not working on...*laughs* I'm looking to finish "Lose Myself" and another story that is a short turned longer called "Longing for a Normal State of Vertigo." I also have a novella in the works as well as several submissions that are in the cue to be published somewhere in the near future. I have my series African Sun which I already talked about and Deliverance, my M/M paranormal that has to be rewritten, again, I hope to finish that by summer so I can submit it for publication.
I also have my blogs to maintain as well as my hobby writing sites where I assist other "inspired" people to get their work read by others.
7. What is your life motto? Never tell a book by its cover. I'm sure if you look at my picture, I look like an everyday parent but I love eighties pop, heavy metal, still go to rock concerts, watch porn as a hobby, and I love sports. That has always been my thing to not be what people expect me to be.
Thanks Tara! :D
Thank you, Michael. and lets ask our readers, what's your life motto?
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I have a dear friend who is a NYT best-selling author who retired recently, partly due to the need to promote her own books. Back in the glory days, publishers did most all the promotion, and authors just had to show up. Not so today. Even the best are expected to promote themselves.
I’m new to fiction writing, so I don’t know any better. Plus, I differ from many authors in that I have a background in public relations, so I take to the promotion stuff pretty easily. I don’t yet know how my promotional activities will pay off in sales, if at all. After all, I’m brand new. But I have had writer friends ask me to talk about what I do for promotion. So over the next few posts, if people want, I’ll talk about various aspects of book promotion from my very newbie viewpoint.
First, start before you need to. I put up this author blog, back last June before I had even submitted my books to Loose Id. I created the blog to support what I wanted my “brand identity” to be. (Please forgive these over used words. You get the idea.) I wrote about other people’s books in my genre. I did special reports on kissing, on androgyny, and lots of pictures of beautiful men. I developed a small following, and have continued to post to the blog about twice a week. I monitor it daily on Google Analytics to see how it falls off between posts, and which posts are most popular. Most important, the blog helped make some people aware of me. I promote the blog continuously on Twitter and Facebook, and developed more awareness there. (The use of Twitter and FB are subjects for another post.)
After my first book was accepted for publication, I took Christy Lockhart’s suggestion and started posting on craft topics – where the ideas come from, writing your passion, etc I still did racy and funny videos and pictures to keep up the image. These posts built my following further.
Also upon acceptance of the novel,Genetic Attraction, I developed my website. I figured people would now start to check it out, and I needed an authoritative platform to show I was a serious author. Please note, I developed both my blog and my website myself. I have very limited technical skills, and they don’t look very slick or professional, but I know how to change them myself without relying on a webmaster. Updating your site is the key to ongoing traffic building, so, for now, I’m trading the look for the ease-of-use – and the low cost.
Well in advance of publication, I also started blogging at Savvy Authors and collecting friends on Goodreads. Some of LI’s authors were kind enough to invite me to participate in their Yahoo chats. The bottom line is that before my book came out, there were people waiting for it and people who knew my name. Now, whether they bought it, THAT’S another story I won’t know for weeks and months to come. LOL!!
What do you do well in advance of a release to “prime the pump”? : )
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I love that authors who introduce print books may go on a book tour, but we electronic authors get to go on blog tours! Book promotion in front of the computer. As you know, I’m new to fiction writing, but I have a background in PR, so I decided I could arrange my own tour (there are services out there that will do it for you, also). Starting about two months ago, I plunged in. How successful my tour was I won’t really know until I start to see sales figures, but meanwhile I can share some of the steps I went through to set up the tour.
- · Decide if you want your tour to begin before your book releases or on the date. Since I’m new and have no back list for an inspired reader to buy, I didn’t want to create too much demand that couldn’t be filled, so I decided to start on the day. Plus, I knew I wouldn’t have my blurb or copies of my book until right before its release. As it turned out, I started on the weekend before the Tuesday of release .
- · Start contacting authors and reviewers you know. If you have been on tour before, you have lots of contacts. I didn’t, so I started by offering myself as a guest blogger on the author’s loop from my publisher. I got lots of response. Next, I went to some of the author’s communities and Yahoo groups I belong to and offered there. More response. Authors are so kind in helping other writers, especially newbies.
- · Decide if you want more than one blog stop on a day. Sometimes you won’t have a choice, because the blog author will have a specific date they want you to appear. Most don’t mind if you double book as long as you support both posts with social media, etc.
- · Check each site for what type of blog they prefer. Some sites like interviews, others want you to write something in line with their blog’s theme or topic, others may just want an excerpt and blurb. Often, you’ll just have to be creative, so start thinking of fun blog posts that may tie in with your book ,but aren’t all about it.
- · Create a blog library. I don’t know if others do this, but it worked for me. Rather than waiting for the last moment, I started creating blog posts on different topics whenever I had a minute to create one. I still do this, even now that the tour is winding down. I had a last minute request for a post last night, and I had a fun post I’d created recently that I could send.
- · The required time before the post date (some blog owners want posts there a week in advance, others just the day before), prepare a complete document with the necessary materials attached and included. Send: your post, a book cover photo, a photo of you, your short bio, an excerpt from the book, your book blurb, your buy link, all your contact information, and in some cases, a contact at your publisher so the site can notify them. If the site is also going to review your book (Oh, JOY and happiness!! ) I generally send the book under separate cover to be sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I know this is a LOT of stuff, but often if the site has all this they may use more than they’ve asked for, so give them a lot to choose from. Make a copy, and keep it in a file so you know when and to whom you sent it.
- · On the day(s) of your posts, check in frequently to answer questions and comments.
- · Promote every stop on your tour extensively – Facebook, Twitter, multiple Yahoo groups, direct e-mail if you have a contacts list, and not just once, but frequently throughout the day. If you’re lucky enough to be on the host site for more than one day, keep plugging it throughout. (What? You’re not doing all this social media? Time to start. But that’s a topic for another day LOL)
- · Thank your hosts for their hospitality, and return the favor whenever possible.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re correct. I was lucky to have some vacation time saved, plus I work from home, so I could keep up with my tour. But it was still a lot to do, and it definitely cut into my writing time. Still, I figured there’s no point in writing if there’s no one to read it, so for me it was definitely worth the investment of time and energy. Questions? Comments? Have you planned a blog tour? Suggestions on what works for you?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Wow. Genetic Attraction has only been out a week. My first book, and already i have some comments from reviewers and readers to share. So cool.
It's quick, its fun, it makes you a little misty-eyed at all the right points then has you laughing moments later. I'm totally on board with Tara Lain and I can't wait to read the next installment."
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The following short interview with award-winning scientist, Dr. Emmaline Silvay, occurs just before the events of Genetic Attraction now available from Loose Id at
First, a blurb about the book.
At a conservative Long Island University, renowned researcher, Dr. Emmaline Silvay, has two great loves – her life-saving work, and her younger research partner, Jake Martin. The romantic love is impossible. She’s his boss and he lives with his girlfriend. The the “girlfriend” is actually a boyfriend, the beautiful and infamous supermodel, Roan Black.
Resigned to a platonic relationship, Em accepts a weekend invitation to their home, but the men have a menage on their minds. She can’t resist, doesn’t even want to. But their intentions go far beyond passion. They want her to “be a part of them”. Their three-way love defies propriety and the standards of the University that funds their work. The supermodel’s fame makes secrecy impossible. Their ménage threatens to crumble all she’s worked for. What will give way to make room for genetic attraction?
But, in this interview, Em doesn’t yet know what happens when she goes for that weekend visit
Tara: Dr. Silvay, I’m delighted you had time to speak with me.
Em: My pleasure, and please call me Em.
Tara: Thank you, Em. Tell me what you’re working on.
Em: We research genetic sequencing. It provides the basis for tests that can determine the best course of treatment for major illnesses like cancer.
Tara: Sounds life-saving.
Em: It has that potential, yes. And we’re seeing very promising results in our clinical studies.
Tara: You say “we”. Who else is involved?
Em: I have a whole team here at the University. Of course, there’s my associate researcher, Dr. Martin.
Tara: That’s Dr. Jake Martin?
Em: Yes, have you seen him .. I mean, have you met him?
Tara: Yes, we’ve met. He seems to be a very big fan of yours.
Em: (smiling) He does? Uh, yes, I admire him a great deal. He’s brilliant and very good at his, uh, work.
Tara: (grinning) I got the feeling that he might be more than just a colleague of yours.
Em: What? Oh, well, he’s a friend also.
Tara: (smiling) I don’t mean to pry, but isn’t he more than a friend?
Em: (looking down) Oh, no. He’s committed elsewhere. He lives with his girlfriend in Connecticut. (looks up) And, of course, I am his lead researcher so that makes me his boss, sort of, and the University would so not approve, plus he’s much younger than I. What would he want with an old-maid scientist like me? (grins)
Tara: But you sound like you wouldn’t mind a more, shall we say, personal relationship?
Em: (grinning) You sound like my mother. She’s always telling me to have more sex! She’s outrageous, but I love her. (laughs) She says the professor I’m dating right now doesn’t know his dick from a laser pointer.
Tara: And what does she think of Dr. Martin?
Em: She calls him my adorable boy toy. (giggles) That’s very inappropriate.
Tara: So, what do you think will happen between you and Jake?
Em: (signs) It’s an impossible situation. I guess we’ll just stay good friends.
Tara: Despite your genetic attraction?
Em: (laughs) That’s good. I have to remember that.
Watch for much more about the writing of Genetic Attraction and my other novels in the coming days. : )
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Oh my. A lovely excerpt from the new Scarlett Parrish novel, By the Book. To know more about what inspired this scene, scroll down and read Scarlett's blog post. Enjoy most deliciously!
Shall I tell you why you’re so jittery?" Daniel bit his lip, paused as if wondering whether or not he should go on. Then he jumped. "You’re wondering if I’m going to kiss you."
"That wasn’t a denial." He took another step closer. "Well? Am I right or wrong?"
"Just because I…" I couldn’t handle the mocking in his eyes. He knew more than I was willing to acknowledge. "This isn’t… I mean I can’t…"
"Can’t you?" Daniel’s brows quirked. "What can’t you?" he asked with a taunting lift of his chin.
Mute and rooted to the spot, I silently bade him continue. Silently bade him stop. Please stop. Oh, there were a thousand and one reasons why this was a bad idea, and I couldn’t remember any of them.
Daniel moistened his lips with the tip of his tongue, then reached up to my neck.
I shook my head without shaking it, moved it slowly from side to side, fighting to calm the maelstrom of thoughts and guilt and what-ifs in my mind. But each time I turned my head, even one degree, I moved under Daniel’s hand and the halfhearted attempt to say no, I can’tbecame a reminder of how much I wanted to say yes.
If Daniel’s hand hadn’t been on me, if he’d been standing only a foot farther back, if there had been more air between us, maybe I would have been able to breathe, but the slow back and forth of his thumb on my jaw hypnotized me into silent compliance.
"You know something," he murmured, inching closer, ever closer until even daylight wouldn’t get between us. "I’ve been wondering what it would be like to kiss you for a while."
Oh God, this isn’t why I came here, I --
"And you’ve been thinking of the same thing."
Every time you speak, I forget myself.
"We should do something about it." Daniel dipped his head, drew back, furrowed his brow, and I thought, surely he can’t be nervous; he’s Daniel Cross, but he wanted to make sure Iwas sure. Again he inclined his head, his thumb’s rhythmic back and forth slowing still further, and I couldn’t stop myself moistening my lips, whether in readiness for his kiss or simply because being close to Daniel made me nervous.
His hand on my waist made me jump, and the short path to its resting place on the curve of my hip blazed a trail of electricity. When I gasped, Daniel closed the distance between us by pulling me in closer, and in an instant I thought, no, he’ll be able to tell just how --
And despite the fact that we both wore jeans, he couldn’t hide how hard he was.
"I know you want this," he whispered, so close his breath warmed my skin. "Just let me…"
I’ve never kissed a -- Oh God. My resistance, such as it was, melted away when his bottom lip dragged over mine. The gentleness of the kiss was incongruous with his stubble. Though soft rather than prickly, it was a constant reminder that I was kissing -- or being kissed by -- a man. But I didn’t care because that man was Daniel.
He rested his forehead against mine, breathing deeply but slowly, and his mouth curved into a smile. Still cradling my neck with one hand, his fingers flinched, making my skin tingle. "There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?"
Now, aren't you dying to contact my lovely guest:
And if you visit Scarlett's blog, you'll see my excerpt from Genetic Attraction. : )
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
It's my delight to welcome my friend, Scarlett Parrish, to the blog. Scarlett and i met when we realized we were both releasing our first books with Loose Id on the same day, Jan 4.She tweeted me and christened us the "cool kids". Of course, Scarlett is new to LI, but otherwise an established author, while i'm a newbie. Scarlett lives in England, although i still don't know where. I'm posting on her blog today and tomorrow with some thoughts in honor of 12th Night on what i've learned writing my books , and she's visiting me with ... well, look below. Welcome Cool Kid, Scarlett.
It made me giggle to hear Tara talk about celebrating our ‘mutual releases’ from Loose Id – my mind is just as dirty as hers, which is why I’m glad (and grateful) to be taking over her blog for the day!
Tomorrow, i'll be posting a yummy excerpt from Scarlett's novel, By the Book. Be sure to check back. Here's a little teaser:
Two's company; three's allowed.
You can buy it here: http://www.loose-id.com/By-the-Book.aspx
And reach Scarlett here (and, of course, see my blog post) http://scarlettparrish.blogspot.com/
or follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/scarlettparrish
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Genetic Attraction NOW AVAILABLE at Loose Id
Here's a description:
In my case, probably not such a pretty sight, those handsprings, but that's what i'm doing today over the release of my first novel, Genetic Attraction! You have to realize, this is not "five novels in a drawer" first novel. This is the first fiction book i ever wrote. And it was accepted by such a fantastic publisher, Loose Id. The second novel i wrote is called The Scientist and the Supermodel, and it will be coming out later this year.
Saying this makes it sound easy-peasy, but it wasn't. Kind of like the actors who are "overnight sensations" who worked for years at their craft first. For me, i spent a lifetime writing non-fiction, and then layered on top of that a year applying myself to the specific skills of fiction -- deep point-of-view, pacing, characterization. And i had tons of help from my wonderful editor, Heather Hollis, and editor-in-chief, Treva Harte, and authors like Jet Mykles (my muse), Sloan Parker, Rosalie Stanton, Lynn Lorenz. Jianne Carlo, Selena Illyria and so many more.
Now, comes the real challenge. The making of a real fiction writer. Can i sustain the effort, inspiration and hard work needed to keep all of you intrigued and inspired for years to come? I'm going to try. : )
Saturday, January 1, 2011
- I'm participating in this great editing event at Savvy Authors called EditPalooza wherein i work with a crit partner and an editor from my genre to polish my NaNo manuscript, the sequel to Genetic Attraction called Androgynous Dreams. The editor i'm working with is the managing editor of Lyrical Press, Adrien-Luc Sanders. Thrilled (yes, and terrified.) Plus, i have a great crit partner, Sharon Hamilton. With all this support, i resolve to have a manuscript ready to submit by early February.
- I also want to have my WIP, the ballet dancer M/M/M menage called Pas de Trois (Dance of Three), completed in rough draft by early February
- I want to complete between 3 and 5 additional manuscripts in 2011. I can practically hear Lynn Lorenz whispering, "Don't be a wuss. you can do better." I'll go for five.
- I want to learn to write short fiction. I'm signed up for a workshop on Flash Fiction to help with this process. This will give me stories to share with you guys while i'm writing novels.
- I want to do a "good job" of promoting Genetic Attraction and The Scientist and the Supermodel, and any other books i have published in 2011. I'll learn during the upcoming weeks what a "good job" looks like. After my blog tour, i'll know more about what does and doesn't work.
- I plan to attend my first-ever writer's conference this year -- RT in April.That should also be a learning experience for me.
- I want to become a better writer. I think this editing adventure will jump start the process.