Archives for January 2015

Do something that scares you

I’m so happy to have Linda O’Connor on my blog today. She’s done something that I have never personally known anyone to do and leaves us at the end with a few words of wisdom.

***

Erin, thank you very much for having me today.

Two things I had always wanted to do were be an extra in a movie and dance in a flash mob. And last year, I had a chance to do both!

In August, Kingston filmmaker Anthony Mann shot the final scene of the Phantom of the Opera and put out the call for extras. He wanted a big crowd for the masquerade ball scene. We had to wear cocktail party attire and bring a mask. The filming took about three hours and was a lot of fun! We mostly socialized and enjoyed the food and refreshments. We did a bit of acting – gasping and looking with horror toward the sound of a scream – that was fun! For some takes, we had to pretend to talk, but mouth the words silently. I didn’t find that hard to do – I just figured that’s how I usually appear to my kids. If you look it up, I’m the one in the purple mask!

Last fall, The Grand Theatre in Kingston organized a flash mob to advertise a Sing-a-Long Sound of Music production, and I said sign me up! There were about eighty of us altogether. We met twice and the 2-minute routine was posted on YouTube so we could practice at home. I probably had to watch it about ten times – surprisingly complicated moves, but luckily short! The flash mob was held on Sept. 20 during the Princess Street Promenade when they close one of the main streets in Kingston to traffic. The song starts out with Maria’s traditional Do Re Me and then jumps into the energetic Jackson 5 ABC song. It was really fun to see the surprise on the faces in the crowd. And they had a draw for free tickets for the flash mob participants and I won! So I’ll be singing along to the Sound of Music on Saturday night (and maybe doing a little more dancing).

I’ve never acted and haven’t had any formal dance training, but that didn’t stop me from getting involved. There’s a saying: Do one thing every day that scares you. I don’t think it means get out there and be reckless. I think it means that life is a lot more fun when you’re not afraid to try something new!

Link to video of flash mob: I’m at the back right!

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Perfectly Honest by Linda O’Connor

You never know where your words will take you…

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Click here for the video trailer and on the cover for the buy link.

Writing Linda croppedI’ve been writing romance novels for three years and sincerely thank Debby Gilbert at Soul Mate Publishing for the ultimate encouragement to my writing – with the leap to publishing. I have many titles including Doctor, Mom, and proud Canadian, but “Linda O’Connor – hereinafter called the Author” on the SMP contract was one of the sweetest.

Contemporary romantic comedies are my favorite novels to read and write. I balance writing with my work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons (luckily grown and capable of throwing together a decent meal, in a pinch). I also like to keep active and cycle, cross-country ski, skate, walk with my husband, or dance every day.

Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Find Linda here:

Website

Facebook

 Twitter

***

Thank you so much Linda for visiting today. I can’t wait to read your latest release!

Erin Bevan

Finding the time

Have you ever wondered if your system for juggling tasks could ever use a makeover? I do. All the time.

I’m not one of those people that can leave a mess behind. In the mornings, if I get up after 5 am, well then everything is just a rush. I like to have my house clean before I walk out of the door in the mornings. Weird, I know.

With three kids, having a clean house is a major task. I can leave dirty dishes in the sink, but I can not leave them on the table. I can leave dirty clothes in the hamper, but I can not leave them on the floor, and I absolutely can not, and I mean can not leave a bed unmade or a toothbrush out on the counter without having a minor panic attack when I return home to the mess that was left behind.

Am I the only one like this? I hope not.

But, now that I’ve let you in on how crazy I truly am, I will tell you this. When my sons take a nap, I write. The dishes can be on the floor for all I care at that point. In those precious moments of silence, I go to my happy place and do what I truly love. Write.

What do you love and when do you find the time for it?

Erin Bevan

So Much Cooler on Paper

Today, I have guest author Em Kaye. She’s here to talk a little bit about power and how we writers are much cooler on paper than in real life. In case you guys haven’t noticed, all authors have power trips. We have no more super powers than the next person, but we’d like to think we do.

Take it away, Em!

***

I know that some people, when faced with a heated situation, use their words by yelling them. Ever since I was able and wanted to get my point across, I have used written words. When I was younger, I wrote poems, essays, short stories and even started my first novel (it wasn’t really any good) while I was finishing up grade school.

I use written words to express my anger, my hope for the future, to right a wrong I think has been committed. It’s in my novel writing that I explore my feelings as well as my characters’ viewpoints. I’ve learned a lot about myself; I can comeback with all those fantastic retorts that in my real life, I couldn’t think of at the time. You know, those really good replies that let you make the other person realize that it’s not your crying that’s the reason the words won’t come out. No, writing scenes where my characters are on top of their game, where the person they are having an argument/discussion with don’t get to have the last word.

Writers often talk about the fantasy world they create, the world where we are in control, making  terrible things happen to my hero and heroine. My novels have HEA (Happily Ever After) endings. I can make that happen no matter what I have put in my character’s way to this goal. But I know it’s always going to happen, that everything will be okay and there is a kiss or a hug that will make everything turn out right.

So no matter what problems come up in my life, I take comfort in the fact that I can write them in my novels and solve the problem that at the time seems unsurmountable. And if I don’t like the way my character handles the situation, I can have the control to hit the backspace key and start over.

Ah, the power of the written word…

Em Kaye

About Author Em Kaye:

Em Kaye is a good girl, who has always dreamed of being bad. She grew up writing stories to express herself. An avid people watcher, she uses her imagination to make up stories about their lives.

Getting her love of reading from her parents and sister, she just keeps buying more bookcases to hold her many books. Even still, Em has stacks of books everywhere.

Putting her theory that everyone needs to step up, she volunteers for several organizations.

She got her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Empire State College.

Em lives in Upstate New York with her cat and various visiting wildlife that keep her and the cat entertained.

Erin Bevan

True Words

I’m so happy to have author Suzane Clark here with me today. She also has a release coming out this summer!

Yah for summer releases!! 

Okay, now that that is out of my system, here is what Suzanne has to say about her author journey.

***

Once upon a time I decided to write a book. Not a problem. I quickly found myself with over one hundred pages. Wow – I’m amazing. Anyone can do this!

And then I committed the fatal error. I shared my fledgling manuscript with family and friends. Everyone was very polite. And no one asked for more.

Having a moderate amount of intelligence, I realized I had a problem. So, I signed up for classes on character development and plotting. I listened to proposed stories from the other students and felt more and more like a crayon in a box of pens.

I joined a weekly critique group with five other ladies. Listening to them wind their way through a submission was mind-blowing for me. I felt like a sponge desperately soaking up every drop of wisdom. I would return from the meeting and my husband would ask how it went. Usually, I’d tell him – my work stinks! This is impossible!

I was never going to get the hang of this. I couldn’t sleep because my brain was on over-drive. My mind would replay every word and I would struggle with how to integrate their suggestions into my writing.

Quitting was not an option. I’m no quitter. Plus, my husband was so proud of me. He told everyone he met that I was a writer. Geez… If I said anything about quitting, he’d give me his inspirational talk and with a nod and a sigh, I’d reengage.

I reworked and reworked my book. Though the setting never changed, everything else did.

I have a long way to go and a million things to learn. But I can’t help feeling the journey is as important, if not more so, than the finished product.

At the end of the day, writing is easy. Writing something another person wants to read, is not.

Suzanne Clark - author

Award-winning debut author, Suzanne Clark, was born and raised in a small Congo village. The daughter of missionaries, she eventually married another missionary kid. Their two daughters followed in their grandparents’ shoes for a time, serving in both China and Bolivia. Battling against the empty-nest syndrome, Suzanne signed up for a writing class and got hooked.

Now living in Dallas with her husband of over 30 years, she is a member of RWA and has served on the board of her local chapter. Her debut novel won first place in the Romantic Suspense category in the Romancing the Lakes contest.

Her experiences in the Congo are looked back at with great anguish and occasional joy so it was a shock to find her first book reflecting some of those experiences.

***

I can tell you, Suzanne, from experience, you are not the only writer to feel out of place. I love the crayon/pen analogy.

Erin Bevan

Life

I’m determined. Danged and determined that this is going to be my year. I say this every year, and honestly, besides my son being born and two new book contracts, 2014 kinda sucked. But, those are three large wonderful things that happened, so I shouldn’t complain.

However, I feel certain that 2015 holds bigger and better things for me. Why? You ask. Because I’m turning thirty. Yep! The Big 3-O. The funny thing is, I remember when I was 19. The thought of turning thirty didn’t scare me. Even then I didn’t think 30 was “old”. I still don’t, but what I’ve realized is that I no more have life figured out at almost thirty than I did at almost twenty. I just have a husband, three kids, and about thirty extra pounds to carry around plus a mortgage.

If I’m going to accomplish great things, then I’m going to have to make big changes. I’ve already started with my diet, and I must say, I now know why Americans are so over weight. Bad food just taste so much better. I’m going to wake up earlier, spend more time dedicated to my writing and exercising,  and as far as having everything figured out. Well, forty sounds like a better age. Yeah! I’ll have life figured out when I’m forty.

Erin Bevan

Enough is Enough!

Today, I have the privilege of hosting author Denise Gwen. She’s joining us to share her thoughts about our veterans, and her latest release Trailer Park Wives. Welcome Denise!

***

IMG_6388

Enough isn’t being done to take care of our veterans. I won’t quote statistics, but an alarming number of veterans commit suicide every single day. They suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and, judging from the controversy surrounding the VA that came out this summer—delays in getting treatment, not enough doctors to provide treatment—we are years away from ever providing our veterans with the care they need. A broken arm is easy to fix; a broken head, not so easy. When are we ever going to pour the amount of money into the VA program that it needs?

My book, Trailer Park Wives, has nothing to do with veterans, but for whatever it’s worth, here’s the link for the book.

***

trailer

Why, oh why, did Anne Marie Whitehall take her own life, swallowing away her pain and her grief with a handful of Nembutal capsules and a bottle of Merlot?

Does Samantha Jacobs, the red-haired vixen, grinding away on a pole at the Revue, know?

Or perhaps Deena Cook, harried mother of four, and a regular visitor at Children’s Services?

Or does Cierra Maldonado, mother of two children by two different men, not receiving a penny of child support, and working as a cocktail waitress at a chi-chi club in downtown Cincinnati, know why?

Or perhaps Lettie Robinson, a four-hundred pound housewife of three healthy and hungry little boys, who knows the meat display at Wal-Mart better than the inside of her own trailer, know?

Well, someone knows why Anne Marie Whitehall committed suicide, but she isn’t talking.

And everyone wants to know who the raven-haired, glacially thin woman is who’s walking around the trailer park and sending secret notes to certain dear–and dearly departed–friends.

***

Just click on the cover to order your copy today.

 

Erin Bevan

Happy New Year!

Did you eat your greens and peas today? I know I did. In fact, I insisted that my husbands family come over and have their share. Some came kicking and screaming, but much to their surprise they happen to like collard greens and peas! Could be all the bacon I added to the mix of ingredients, but still, I made a believer out of them, and hopefully they will have the best of luck all year long.

As some of you know, I posted a picture on Facebook. This one, actually.

New Years Give Away

 

And the lucky winner is…drum roll please!

Courtney Schmidt

Courtney, you have won your very own copy of The Ranch Hand! 

Congratulations, and Happy New Year to you all!

Erin Bevan