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Sunday, March 18, 2007

A New Home

I have moved. If you're not automatically redirected to my blog, you can find me at my new website.

See you there!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cover Love

I'm very excited because I've just seen the mock-up for my cover. And I love it. And as one of the witches said to me 'you've got everything you wanted'. Which is true. So watch this space, because soon I'll be able to post it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pick 'n Mix

This is a bit of everything blog:

I heard from my web designer today and we're aiming to go live with my new site at the end of the week. WOO HOOOOOO I'm so excited. Because in my mind it means my book is nearer to being pubbed. And I'll have a new blog (one that behaves, I hope).

What else.... oh yes we've just booked a weeks holiday in Fiji. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about that too. Running a motel takes up your time 24/7 and by the time we go we won't have had a single day off in 7 months. I hope we miss the rains, but even if we do get some rain it will be hot and sunny... picture me on the golden sands, reading, not having to answer the phone, being able to go to the bathroom without having to stop mid-flow because the phone or door bell rings (tma? Sorry).

Fellow witch Amanda will be arriving in NZ from UK in about a month. Check out her blog for pics of her leaving party.

At the weekend I'm going to Palmerston North (about 2 hours drive away) to have a farewell lunch with writing friend Abby Gaines (she's moving back to Auckland) and my bf Kate (fab writer who hopefully will sell very soon).

Check out the new blog Teen Fiction Cafe. Twelve Young Adult authors (including me) have got together to blog about all things teen related. It's so cool to be with these authors.

Ummmm.... anything else.... I'm writing up a storm on my latest book Dating The Megan Russell Way.... ok, ok before any of my CPs chip in.... I'm writing up a drizzle...

Oh yes, American Idol... omg... we're a couple of weeks behind USA. I just hope the public vote off the right people, because if they do are we in for one helluva contest....

That's it for now. Anyone got any news to share.....

Monday, March 12, 2007

Presenting...... Yvonne Eve Walus

It gives me great pleasure to present New Zealand author Yvonne Eve Walus.

Please will you tell us about your latest book

My latest published books are both murder mysteries: "Murder @ Work" (Echelon Press 2004) and "Murder @ A Little Bead Shop" (Echelon Press 2006).

How long have you been writing and what made you start?
I wrote my first rhyming poem when I was 4, and my first proper short story at 10. It wasn't something I'd set out to do: words would just come to me when I was bored and I'd write them down (ok, when I was 4 my parents wrote them down for me). My biggest problem was and always has always been ideas: whenever a teacher suggested I might like to become a writer when I grow up, I'd panic: "But I have nothing to write about!!!"

Many people spend a long time finding an agent, can you tell us about your agent hunt?
I approached many agents with my first book "The butler did it" (unpublished, and I can now see why). Most of them never bothered to reply, or sent a standard rejection slip. One agent was kind enough to read the book twice before telling me exactly why she couldn't see herself selling it to a publisher. Meanwhile, though, my second book, "Murder @ Work", was doing the rounds and what was then a small press USA publisher picked it out from the slush pile. Of course, Echelon Press had grown heaps since then, but they take submissions directly from their existing authors, so I still don't have an agent.

Everyone loves a good call story, what was yours?
One night, shortly after my son was born, I was looking at the budget to figure out how to cope on a single income. Then the phone rang: a kind person from Australia wanted to tell me in person that I'd won their short story competition. I was ecstatic, particularly as I barely even remembered having entered. So I opened my records to check exactly which story I had sent in... and discovered that the prize was $1000! It may not sound like a lot to J. K. Rowling, but it made a difference to me.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read Mat Coward's hilarious book "Success... and how to avoid it". It tells you exactly why you shouldn't give up your day job.

Can you tell us about what you're working on now and what books are coming out in the future? Look out for "Atlantic Pacific Indian - The Three Oceans" (a collection of contemporary short stories) and "S3X Lies and Here Be Dragons" (a collection of science fiction short stories), both from Pipers' Ash in the UK. They should appear on Amazon within the next few weeks and they are already on the publisher's website (

Bio: I live in New Zealand and am a published author of over 100 short stories, 5 short story anthologies, 2 novels and 2 novellas. Please feel free to visit my website on

Thanks for the interview, Yvonne it's been awesome.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Presenting..... Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My latest interview is with the fabulous Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I can't wait to get my hands on her new book Tattoo, I just know I'm going to love it.

Please will you tell us about your latest book

My latest release is TATTOO, a teen novel that blends supernatural adventure with a contemporary high school setting. When four friends apply the temporary tattoos they bought at the mall, they each receive a psychic power and must use their powers- and their friendship- to stop an ancient evil from attacking their school dance. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

How long have you been writing and what made you start?

I’ve been writing for pretty much as long as I can remember, but until my senior year of high school, I had this habit of writing the first twenty pages of a book and then moving onto a new one the second I got a fresh idea. My senior year, I finished my first book-length work (a middle grade spy novel), which NOBODY will ever be allowed to read. After that, I discovered that finishing a book is even more addicting than starting one, so I just kept writing, and eventually, I wrote Golden (my first published book), the summer I was nineteen.

Many people spend a long time finding an agent, can you tell us about your agent hunt?

I actually didn’t have much of an agent hunt. Golden was the seventh book I wrote and the first I sold, and for the three and a half years prior to selling Golden, I spent most of my time sending queries to publishers. By my fifth and sixth books, I’d managed to get requests from five or six houses- many of them closed- and at that point, when I was handling submissions with a bunch of different editors, a good friend suggested that I really needed an agent so that I could spend less time worrying about the business end of things, and more time writing. Since I was doing pretty well on my own, I wanted to be very careful about submitting to agents, to ensure that I found the perfect fit, and eventually, I decided on submitting to my agent, because she came very highly recommended. I sent her a query, sample chapters, and an index of my works (which started with the fifth book I’d written, since by then, I’d permanently shelved the first four). The agent wrote back and requested three of my books- two of which were already in requested at a variety of houses, and one of which nobody had ever seen. The latter was Golden, and after revising it with my agent, I ended up signing with her. She submitted Golden, and it sold in just under three weeks. My agent has been fabulous, but I’m glad I didn’t try to start out in this business by submitting to agents. If I’d submitted to her any earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready, and she probably wouldn’t have signed me.

Everyone loves a good call story, what was yours?

I was in baby lab (the infant cognition lab at Yale), in a meeting with a graduate student, talking about one of the child cognition experiments we were running, when my cell phone rang. It was one of those things where my heart started pounded the moment I heard the ring tone, and after I checked caller ID and saw the 310 area code, I quickly excused myself from the meeting, walked out of the room, and took the call from my agent that Delacorte had made an offer. There was a ton of shrieking involved before I went back to my meeting.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I have two pieces of advice I usually give people. The first is targeted specifically to teens, but I think it works for everybody, and that’s this: if you want to be a writer, there are three things you need to do: read, write, and do stuff that’s not reading or writing. Sometimes- especially since now is kind of the heyday of young authors- it’s easy for teens to get really wrapped up in pursuing writing as a career, and I think it’s easy for people, especially young people, to forget that if you’re not out there DOING stuff and living your life, pretty soon, you won’t have anything to write about. This is something I have to remind myself about all the time! And the second piece of advice is for writers who are already at the stage in their careers when they’re submitting, and it’s basically the writerly version of don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Write a project, let it sit, revise it, tear it apart, and then some, but at the same time, once you’ve made a piece all it can be, don’t be afraid to move on, and don’t feel like the first book you write HAS to be the first you publish. Sometimes, it takes a few tries (*cough* seven cough cough) to get things right.

Can you tell us about what you're working on now and what books are coming out in the future?

Right now, I’m working on the sequel to TATTOO, which will be out in the Fall of 2008. Between then and now, I have three more YA releases: PLATINUM (which is the sequel to my first book, GOLDEN, told from the POV of the school’s Queen Bee, who just happens to be developing a supernatural power that involves hot ghost boys), and the first two books in a new series about a group of teenage secret agents whose secret is that they’re their school’s varsity cheerleading squad. I like to think of it as “Charlie’s Angels” meets “Bring It On.” PLATINUM will be out this September, and THE SQUAD and THE SQUAD: KILLER SPIRIT will both be out in early 2008.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed. It's been such a pleasure.

BIO: A Native Oklahoman, Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she studied cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought). Jennifer is a 2006-2007 Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom, where she is currently doing autism research at Cambridge University. She wrote her first book, Golden, when she was a teenager and wrote several others - including Tattoo- while still in college. Her next book, Platinum (a sequel to Golden), will be released in September of 2007. You can visit Jen on the web at

Friday, March 02, 2007

Are we there yet????

Yes.... I'm just in the process of finalising the design of my new website with Emily my fab web designer... and I'm so excited. I can't wait to have it up and running. I've written the blurb for each page... and will no doubt want to change it... but that's ok because I can update the site myself.

And my blog will be part of it, so I'm not sure what happens to this one, I guess it gets redirected (too complicated for me to think about).

So... watch this space for a web announcement.....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Presenting..... Nalini Singh

I couldn't believe my luck when award winning, best-selling author Nalini Singh agreed to be interviewed. And checkout her

Please can you tell us about your latest book?

Visions of Heat is my second paranormal, and is set in the same world as Slave to Sensation, a world of Psy who have amazing mental talents but no emotions, humans, and changelings (who can shapeshift into different animal forms). Visions of Heat focuses on an Faith, an F-Psy who can see the future, and Vaughn, a jaguar changeling brought up among leopards.

Faith has been trained to see business visions, but suddenly she's seeing blood and murder. The emotions these visions arouse—emotions which are forbidden to the Psy on threat of having their minds wiped and their personalities destroyed,—have her thinking she's going insane. In desperation, she reaches for help from the only people who haven't bowed down to the Psy Council: the changelings. But what she finds in Vaughn is a changeling whose animal is very close to the skin. He's less civilized than his brethren and less willing to pretend to be civlized.

How long have you been writing, and what made you start?

I've been writing forever, seriously writing toward publication for ten years I'd say. What made me start is probably what makes any writer start – the urge to tell my own stories, to write things I wanted to read about but couldn't find. Or maybe it was the magic of story itself. I love the act of writing, of losing myself in the worlds of my imagination.

Many people spend a long time searching for an agent. Can you tell us about your agent hunt?

I was a little unusual in that I'd already published several bestselling books with Sil Desire by the time I decided to search for an agent. I was also unusual because I had a complete single title manuscript ready to go (Slave to Sensation). I actually signed with the first agency I queried, which was the agency at the top of my list.

Before you all start sending me hate mail *grin* I want to say that before I sent out a single query, I spent a lot of time doing my homework. I knew exactly which agencies were representing which authors. That way, I knew what agent/agency might be a fit for me and vice versa – that homework stacked the odds in my favor and now I'm delighted to be with Nephele Tempest of the Knight Agency.

Everyone loves a good call story. What was yours?

Oh mine's a goodie. To make up for my lack of agent-hunting pain, I'll tell you that I had a whole stack of rejections before I sold. I even had one of those infamous copied-too-many times form letters the size of a compliments slip. With Desert Warrior, my first sale, I'd already racked up more than one rejection. But each rejection was for a slightly different book because I was trying to figure out where it fit.

I loved the Sil Desire line but didn't initially submit to it because at that time, the guidelines said American heroines and my heroine was a New Zealander. But, I had had a couple of very nice rejections (with personal comments!) from an editor (Diane Dietz) at Sil Romance, so I took a chance and sent Desert Warrior to her. I got a two page revision letter back saying something along the lines of, this is definitely not a Romance…but you know, it might be a Desire. I hyperventilated, did the revisions and sent them off.

The call came the day before my 25th birthday. I was sitting at the breakfast table, about to eat cereal when the phone rang. Because of the NY/New Zealand time difference, I knew it was an editor. The rest of that day is a blur of happiness and cake (birthday cake turned celebration cake!).

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write. Just write. Studying other writers, going to classes, all that is good – everyone should try to develop their skills – but in the end, to learn to write, you must write and write consistently.

Can you tell us what you're working on now and what books will be out in the future?

I'm currently working on book 4 of the Psy/Changeling series. In the near future, I have Caressed By Ice coming out in September, which has an icy and incredibly sexy Psy hero. Then in October, I have a novella in an anthology called An Enchanted Season (the fabulous Maggie Shayne is also one of the contributing authors!).

Thank you so much, Nalini. It's been a great pleasure. If anyone has any questions to for Nalini please put them in the comments section.


Born on the island of Fiji and raised in beautiful New Zealand, former lawyer Nalini Singh has traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the plains of Inner Mongolia. Yet, much as she loves traveling to new and exciting places, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She's delighted to be able to share this journey with her readers. You can find out more about Nalini, her books and her travels by visiting her website (

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