We Need Diverse Books

With 9 days to go until Honor’s Lark is officially released via Amazon, I’m getting excited and sentimental.  I feel like a parent about to release her baby into the real world.  So, before I do that, I want to let the world know how I view my baby and it’s main characters.

There was a hashtag trending on twitter last week: #WeNeedDiverseBooks.  I thought it was wonderful that people were calling attention to the fact that so many books (the good, the bad, and the in-between) are lacking in the diversity department.  When I started writing Honor’s Lark last September (when it was still called simply Lark), I thought a lot about the world I was creating and how I wanted it to be as inclusive as possible.  I am never much of a descriptive writer, though I usually give my characters a few physical traits.  Not in HL.  I wanted readers to be able to envision themselves in the characters, regardless of what they looked like, so I barely described the characters at all.

Having said that, I do have pictures in my head of what I think the characters look like.  I imagine in this world that, due to the larks, people have traveled all over and if races did exist, they’ve been combined over time so that they aren’t really identifiable anymore.  Basically, everyone has some color to their skin.

So, here’s what my main characters look like in my head.  They may not look like this in your head when you read the book.  In fact, I kinda hope they don’t!  Picture them however you want and then let me know what you see 🙂

zoe-saldana honor sandoval

 

 

Honor Sandoval

Sedric Eckland : wentworth miller
Sedric Eckland

Diversity isn’t just about race, though.  I also thought a lot about sexuality when creating these characters.  The initial concept – that everyone is destined for another person – gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase that love is love, no matter a person’s gender.  The terms heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual don’t exist in the world of the larks.  I know it’s not a perfect representation of all members of society, but hopefully readers will appreciate the effort.

 rashida-jones bonnie

Bonnie

Hannah-Simone- caron

Caron

9 days to go.  NINE DAYS!!!

 

Cover Reveal: Honor’s Lark

COVER REVEAL: HONOR’S LARK BY RACHEL L. HAMM


Here it is!  The cover for my next book, Honor’s Lark:

HonorsLarkCover

This beautiful cover was designed by Jaclyn Parks of Twin Dog Designs (she also designed the cover for my debut novel, Twenty-Five).  Her website is currently undergoing re-design, but you can reach her at  twindogdesigns@aol.com.  The birds are symbolic – you’ll see how once you read the book!

Summary:

In a world where everyone is assigned a lifemate at birth by the Gods, thirty year-old Honor is still looking for hers. When her new boss, Sedric, points out that her mate probably died before they met, Honor embarks on a quest for closure. She needs to know who her mate was and what he was like so she can move on with her life.

Sedric is determined to help Honor, because he understands the emptiness she’s feeling. As they search for Honor’s lifemate and get to know each other, they start to wonder if the only kind of love is that which is fated and if there really is only one person for everyone.

 

Excerpt from Chapter One:

I stumbled into work the next day a half-hour late, thanks to the copious amounts of wine at Bonnie and Caron’s house. No one appeared to notice, though, as I slid into my cubicle and powered up my computer.

“What day is it?” I muttered to myself, opening the company-wide calendar. “Ah.” Wednesday, the fifteenth day of the tenth month. A meeting for my division was listed at 10:00, so I printed the agenda and answered the most urgent emails in my inbox before heading to the lounge to grab a cup of coffee.

“Morning, Honor!” my teammate Alyscia said brightly as I added cream and sugar to my mug.

I yawned. “Morning.”

“Did you hear the good news?”

I took a sip and shook my head. “What? Did Felix sit in paint again?”

“No, silly, I found him!”

“Found who?”

“My lifemate, of course! Look!” She pushed aside the collar of her shirt to reveal her lark, now a complete, leafy tree. The last time she’d shown it to me, too many pieces of the puzzle were missing and I hadn’t been able to make out what it would eventually be.

“Oh. Great. Congratulations.” It was a strange thing to offer congratulations on. It’s not like she achieved some major accomplishment. Everyone found his or her lifemate eventually. Well, everyone except me. I walked away without asking for more details, though I could tell she was dying to share exactly how she found him and what he said to her when they met and how perfect they were for each other. My stomach was already queasy from the hangover – I didn’t want to push it over the edge.

Besides, Alyscia was only twenty-one. She started at the consulting firm a few months out of school. What right did she have to be flaunting her lark? She hadn’t been looking for a long time. Most people I knew found their mates at some point between eighteen and twenty-four.

I slumped into a chair at the end of the conference table, as far from the front of the room as possible, and gulped down my coffee, ignoring the bitter sting as it burned my throat. My co-workers filed in, bouncing to their seats like a bunch of toddlers. A few were even discussing Alyscia’s lark at high volume. To listen to them, one would think it was the biggest news to hit Linhill all year. I blocked out the conversation by reading over the agenda for the meeting.

The leader of our division, Felix, walked in with another man I didn’t know.   The new guy was tall, at least a head taller than Felix, and dressed in an expensive-looking grey suit. They took seats at the head of the table and the babble in the room quieted as Felix arranged the agenda and glass of water in front of him.

“To kick things off today I want to introduce our new division manager, Sedric Eckland. He’ll be taking over Maling’s accounts now that she’s been promoted and he’ll also be responsible for evaluating the team over the next couple of months. Sedric, would you like to say anything?”

“I’m happy to be here and look forward to working with each of you.” Sedric surveyed the room, taking a brief second to meet each individual’s eye. When he reached me, I averted my gaze.

Turnover was common in our section. It was kind of a joke within the company: head to Division Four if you’re looking for a life change. I was the longest-term employee at four years. The pool on how long Sedric would last was probably already forming in Divisions One, Two, and Three.

Once Sedric finished all of his eye contact, Felix made a check on his agenda and moved to the next topic. I sank as low as I could in my chair and rested both arms on the table in front of me. Being the senior member of the team at least gave me the advantage of already knowing most, if not all, of Felix’s talking points. I tuned him out as easily as I’d tuned out the gossip regarding Alyscia and found my eyes focused on my own lark.

When I was younger, I loved that my lark was so visible – always right there on my wrist. I could look at it whenever I wanted. I could show it to my friends, my family. It was a source of comfort and hope. I spent hours tracing the pieces over and over with my fingers. Memorizing every line, every curve. Trying to figure out what picture it would form when I found my lifemate and it completed itself.

As Felix droned on, I found myself falling back into the old habit – using my right index finger to continually follow the outline of the lark. I didn’t care what my boss was talking about. It didn’t matter. I focused my energy on tracing and willing the damn thing to just go away already. I did what I was supposed to do – I followed my stupid erratic pull as long as it led me, but it led to nothing. Nothing. If I was going to be alone, I didn’t want the horrible, ugly reminder of it staring at me day after day, week after week, year after year.

What were the Gods playing at, anyways? Giving humans these marks, determining destinies, but leaving me out in the cold wondering what I’d done wrong to deserve such loneliness and the constant reminder of it. And if it wasn’t bad enough that I could see the damn mark every day, everyone else could see it, too. My co-workers, friends, and family saw the unfinished lark and their eyes filled with pity for poor, lonely, lifemate-less Honor.

“Honor?” Felix basically shouted. I straightened up. One glance around the table told me he’d called my name more than once.

“Yes?”

“Welcome back. Were you having a nice daydream?”

“I was. It’s strange how your voice can lull me into fantasy land every time you speak.”

His face reddened, probably with both anger and embarrassment. He’d never gotten used to my sarcasm and I knew he wanted to fire me on several occasions, but since my clients were so pleased with my longevity, the higher ups wouldn’t let him.

“Did you want something from me?” I asked, putting a sweet smile on my face.

“Um, yes, well, since you’ve been here longer than the rest of the team, you’ll be partnering with Sedric for a few weeks. He’ll be going on your calls to shadow you and you’ll be going on his calls to introduce him to Maling’s clients. You know, show him the ropes. Do you think you can manage that?”

“Nothing in the world would give me greater pleasure.” I wiped the smile from my lips and peered at Sedric. I expected eye contact again, but he was staring at my hand. No, not my hand. My wrist – my lark. Great, just great. I yanked my sleeve down and put both hands in my lap.

He looked up and faced Felix. “Sounds good. Anything else on the agenda?”

“No, we’re done for today. Back to work, everyone.”

I jumped from my seat and was the first person out the door. Practically running to my cubicle, I tripped on a loose piece of carpet and face-planted.

“Whoa – careful. Are you okay?” Sedric reached down and helped lift me while the rest of the departing members of my division looked on. I brushed myself off and wriggled out of his grasp.

“I’m fine.” I could feel his stare on me as I stormed away.

I tried not to speak with anyone else for the rest of the day. Embarrassed by the fall, the meeting, and Sedric’s eyes on my wrist, I couldn’t face the normal around me. I didn’t want my new boss to immediately know just how sad I was. It would make the weeks of having to work one-on-one with him unbearable.

 

Honor’s Lark will be available for Kindle and in paperback on May 15, 2014.  In the meantime, if you’re looking for romance, check out my debut novel, Twenty-Five.

book cover jpeg

Summary:

Abigail Bronsen is sure her life is going nowhere when she turns twenty-five and realizes she hasn’t done anything on a list of goals she made for herself as a teenager. Ben Harris is looking to find “the one” after his last girlfriend cheated on him. When they crash into each other, it appears they’ve both found exactly what they wanted. A year of firsts follows: first date, first kiss, first “I love you’s.” The first fight is inevitable, but neither of them saw a breakup coming. When Abigail is offered a job overseas, they’ll discover that no relationship is perfect and even true love sometimes finds itself separated by time and distance.

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Book Review: Blogger Girl, by Meredith Schorr

blogger girlBlogger Girl, by Meredith Schorr

Genre: Chick Lit / Romance

Overall: **** 4 out of 5 stars

Legal secretary and popular Chick Lit blogger Kimberly Long is seriously crushing on a junior associate at the law firm where she works.  She’s also facing the challenge of reading and reviewing the debut novel of the girl who made her high school years miserable.

I did not receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I’ve heard/read some buzz about it on Facebook and Twitter (which the heroine of the book would probably get a kick out of) and I paid my own money for it.  Yesterday, needing something to read, I went to my trusty book box (where I have slips of paper listing all of the books I own but have not read yet) and pulled a title out.  Blogger Girl!  Yay!  I was excited because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while.  I started it last night and finished it about a half hour ago.  It was an easy, breezy read (to take a phrase from the book itself).

*Spoilers below*

The opening of the book introduces us to Kim and her crush on the very likeable, very cute Nicholas Strong.  Up until a night of drinks with office pals, Nicholas has never seemed to know she existed, but once Kim’s boss tells N. about K.’s book review blog, suddenly N. is finding more and more opportunities to talk to her.

K’s best friend, Bridget, is always around for support, especially when N. asks K. to meet him for drinks after her big 10-year high school reunion.  Unfortunately, the reunion also means a run-in with Hannah, who did her best to make high school a nightmare for K & B and who is now breathing down K’s back to get a favorable review of her to-be-released debut novel.

As Kim navigates her feelings/relationship with Nicholas and her jealousy and hatred for Hannah, she begins to realize that the thing she really wants most is to write a novel herself.

Character Development: ***** 5 out of 5 stars.  Kim was insanely relatable and likeable.  Nicholas is a dream, without being cliche.  I love that Schorr made him a short, but still hot guy.  Short guys are so underrated.  His sudden interest in Kim at the beginning felt slightly forced, but once their banter was established, I was all in.  They had the cutest conversations that always seemed realistic for where they were at in their relationship.  The supporting characters were all well-developed as well.  I feel like Schorr spent the most time on Hannah, but Erin (Kim’s sister) had a full personality despite only being used for phone call scenes, and Kim’s two best friends (Bridget and Caroline) were distinct from each other with their own backstories and subplots (Caroline didn’t really have a subplot, but it was shown that she had a life outside of the events of the book, which is not always easy to do).

I do wish that Schorr hadn’t gone the route of two mean girls as Kim’s adversaries.  Hannah was needed and great, but Daneen seemed unnecessary.  I get why she was included – to assist in sparking the fight between K. and N. in the middle of the book, but I feel her role could have just as easily been male.  I don’t like that women always assume that other women are their enemies.

Plot: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  The pacing is good and the character development has a lot to do with that.  Schorr relies on some cliches – the big misunderstanding leading to a breakup, the mean girls mentioned above – but I enjoyed the ebb and flow of the story, so it didn’t bother me too much.  After all, the entire book was a little meta and probably would have felt awkward if those cliches hadn’t been included.

Writing Style/ Voice of the Author: **** 3.5 out of 5 stars.  This was really easy to read, but sometimes the meta-ness worked against the author instead of for her.  The description of Hannah’s book, which Kim is reluctant to admit sounds interesting, did not sound interesting at all.  The repetition of certain phrases and descriptions became distracting – I found myself wanting to tally how many times Kim and her friends giggled.  Were they incapable of laughing?  Did it have to be a giggle?  But – the dialogue was solid and the author never went off on descriptive tangents that take a reader out of the scene, and her characters are so well done, it makes up for any defects.

Favorite Lines:

He put his mouth to the harmonica, played a few notes, and started singing to the tune of the chorus of Penny Lane by The Beatles.  ‘Kimmie Long was in my pants and it felt nice.

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Nicholas rubbed his lips.  “Isn’t it supposed to be first comes date, then comes sex?  We had sex before the date.”

“I think the correct words to that ditty are ‘first comes love then comes marriage.’  But lots of people get that order wrong too.”

*

The last two lines – I’m not going to write them here, because I don’t want to deprive you of the humor when you read them for yourselves.  They are just the perfect conclusion to a running joke throughout the book and you won’t find them funny on their own.

On the Shelf

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about my goal of seeing my own book on the shelf of a bookstore one day.  Well, today, I got really close.

When I self-published Twenty-Five in July of last year, I thought that maybe a few years (or a decade) down the road, I’d have developed a large backlist and possibly draw the attention of an agent or a big publisher.  That would lead to my dream of seeing my work on a bookshelf in a store.

Well, turns out, getting my book on the shelf of a library feels pretty damn good, too, and it only took eight months!

IMG_0926 IMG_0927 IMG_0928

I’m a member of a writer’s critique group that meets at Durham’s South Regional Library.  The leader of the group is one of the librarians, and when I published the book, he put in a request with the library to order a copy.  It took some time for the request to be approved, but he played up the local author angle and my good reviews on Amazon helped to gain the final approval needed and they purchased 2 copies!

After our group was over tonight, the librarian checked the catalog to see if the request had been completed and sure enough!!!  Going to find the actual copy on the shelf was exhilarating.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  The excitement of finding it, pointing to my name on a book sitting on the shelf of the library was probably one of the happiest moments of my life.

Next goal: Actual bookstore.

Cover Reveal: The Promise, by April Baker

My good friend and a great writer, April Baker, has just released the cover of her book: The Promise.  It’s GORGEOUS!  Check it out:

The Promise (2)

About the Book:

Genre: Paranormal YA

Armed with kick-ass shoes, can CJ stop a maniacal coven leader, save the town, and still get Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous while surviving the darkness coming for her?

The smoke from the fire burned her eyes, its heat caressed her skin and the taste of fear choked her. She was going to burn just as her ancestor did all those centuries ago in New Salem Village. How could she have been so wrong about everything?

Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up the only non-believer in town of Coven. When a stranger comes to the sleepy town of New Salem, everything she thought was true unraveled around her. Ethan made her question everything, even her sister’s death. Clues start to pile up and Cassie is determined to find out if the Coven was the real reason her sister died.

What she uncovers terrifies her to the very depths of her soul….

The Promise is a mystery at heart, but it has a romance that will make your toes curl and your heart melt.

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Purchase the book:

Kindle

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About the Author:

So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friend Chazz laughs at me when I scare myself watching them and tells me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama on you. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my family and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

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PS: DO NOT GET IN MY WAY IF THERE IS A SALE ON AT TARGET – my home away from home!

Book Review: Fate War Alliance, by E.M. Havens

book coverFate War: Alliance is the first book in the Fate War series.

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Overall **** 4 out of 5 Stars.  I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

An arranged marriage between Prince Cole and Princess Samantha provides the alliance needed to defeat the Fate Army.

Prince Cole is your basic playboy-not-interested-in-being-King.  Princess Samantha is anything but basic.  When Cole’s brother is killed, Cole is forced to step into his place as next-in-line to the throne, but he doesn’t exactly go willingly.  Sam wants to escape palace life, but before she can, her parents send her to a “finishing” school and wipe out her uniqueness and free will.

After being forced to wed and then consummate the marriage in front of a room full of strangers, Cole and Samantha get off to a bit of a rocky start.  He wants to get to know her, but all she wants to do is please him, and the two wants don’t exactly compute.  Eventually, Cole is able to coax out pieces of the true Samantha: she’s a fast reader who retains everything she’s read, she loves horses, dessert is her favorite part of a meal.  But Samantha is constantly at war with herself, having been “taught” in the finishing school what a true lady is and Cole’s behavior won’t let her follow her what she’s “learned.”

When it is finally revealed that Samantha’s mother repressed her daughter’s genius in order to hide her paternity, Sam finally accepts herself for who she is and allows her true self to come to the surface.  Cole gifts her a tinker shop and she shows aptitude for battle.  When the Fate army begins closing in, she proves herself capable of of much more than building trinkets by leading the Alliance army to victory against the Fate.

This was my first foray into the steampunk genre and I quite liked it!  Because the world is based on something I was already familiar with, Victorian England (with some medieval elements), the world-building didn’t throw me.  It intrigued me.  Havens does an excellent job of dropping in phrases and technologies unique to her world while giving the reader the context clues needed to figure out what those references mean.

The heat between Cole and Samantha was ABSOLUTELY FANFREAKINGTASTIC.  Havens teases the characters and the readers and when things finally happen, it is well-worth the wait.  It’s sweet, it’s sensual, it’s loving.  And then, to top it off, the reader can tell the characters genuinely like and care for each other, beyond lust and love.

Character Development: **** 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Samantha is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever read.  Her constant internal battle is not only well-written and believable, it is also so unique.  She merges the two stereotypical female characters we’ve come to expect in Princess stories: the weak, damsel-in-distress, needing her Prince to be her Savior, with the strong, bad-assed, take-no-crap-from-anyone warrior, and she does it in a way that is not stereotypical at all.  I don’t think I’m explaining this correctly, but read it, and I think you’ll get what I’m saying.  I loved Samantha, because to tell the truth, I’m a little sick of female characters who are strong only because it is un-PC to write a female character who isn’t strong.  Samantha is weak AND strong.  Insecure AND confidant.  Subversive AND dominant.  But she’s not all obnoxious about it.

The other characters were also really well-written.  Cole started out a little cliche, but he grew on me, especially in his good intentions towards Samantha.  Zeb was amazingly well-done, and he was only featured in a few scenes, so I imagine he’ll have a larger role in the next installment.  Then there’s Jasper.  Oh Jasper. For a character who appeared only once and who didn’t technically say anything, he was incredibly interesting.  There’s mystery surrounding him – we don’t know if he’s good or evil, we don’t know why he joined the Fate army, we don’t know if he’s somehow controlling Samantha in her dark periods.  So many questions, but good ones!  I didn’t feel unsatisfied not knowing the answers to them, it just made me ready to read the next book.

Plot: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  A lot happens in this book.  We meet Cole and Samantha, they begin their married life, and Cole begins Samantha’s “re-education.”  Then there is the discovery of Samantha’s true self.  They fall in love.  Samantha finally enables herself to trust Cole and become intimate with him.  The Fate army draws near.  Samantha proves she’s more than just a pretty face by leading their army.  The progression of the plot is steady, the tension between Cole and Samantha perfect.  There were a few scenes of conflict between Sam and Cole that felt a little forced/contrived to me, which caused me to remove one star, but for the most part, it was beautifully plotted.

Writing Style/ Voice of the Author: **** 4 out of 5 stars.  Havens keeps it simple, which I really like.  The story was easy to read, the dialogue flowed well and felt natural.  The book is a breeze.  There were a few awkward scene jumps, but for the most part, I liked the pacing.  The author’s voice never intruded.  I said it in my review of Gone Girl, and I’ll say it again: nothing ruins the flow of a book like the author’s voice intruding.  Havens showed her story beautifully .

Favorite Lines:

“Although he had managed to cooperate as little as possible over the years with his father, King Arnold, his duties as Prince could no longer be ignored.  Duty.  He just couldn’t understand how societies so technologically advanced, and continuing to advance, could hold on to such archaic and simply barbaric traditions.”

“Sprocket Defend!”

“Sam found it wasn’t just warmth that soaked into her body from his touch, strength seeped in, too.”

Purchase Fate War: Alliance

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HeadshotAbout the Author:

Who is E.M. Havens? I’m a lot of things. The word that seems to define me most at the moment is mom. It can be all consuming. Not only am I a mom of three (one of them is a teenager…pity me), but I also home-school (pity me more). I share this awesome responsibility with the love of my life, best friend, and soul-mate husband.

Add to that, the twenty-five chickens, twelve turkeys, ten guineas, nine pigs, three barn cats, two Great Pyrenees guardian dogs, a Chihuahua, a house cat, and a goose, it makes for one crazy, full, and certainly entertaining life.

Somewhere in there I find the time to write.  I started out young writing poems, then moved on to songs. I actually have a Bachelor in Music with a secondary in Science because I can’t stand English. Yes, the writer hates English.  I like to read the story for the experience of reading the story, not to nitpick each letter and comma. But I digress.

I eventually found blogging and really enjoyed sharing my life that way. When an unfortunate turn of events separated me from my music equipment, I decided to use my overactive imagination, my love of reading, and my new found hobby, prose writing, to release some of my creative energy.  I wrote my first novel and loved the experience. Fate War: Alliance is actually the second novel I wrote and the first to be published.  Now I’m working on my third and several sequels to Fate War!

So that’s pretty much me, sitting in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, reading, writing, collecting eggs from the coop, and being a schoolmarm. It’s a pretty great life.

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Author Interview: E.M. Havens

E.M. Havens is the author of the Steampunk Romance series, Fate War.  The first book in the series, Fate War: Alliance is available now, and I spoke with E.M.  about the book, being a writer, and a few other random things.  Come back tomorrow for my review of Fate War: Alliance.

I don’t know much about the Steampunk genre – can you explain some of its characteristics for my readers?

Steampunk generally refers to a story/movie set in Victorian or Wild West era with alternate fantastical, steam powered technology. The ascetic is usually lots of brass, silver, and gold with gears, cogs and of course steam. While the 1800’s London or America is the norm, steampunk can be done in other centuries and in made up places, though hardcore steamers might balk. Fate War is a bit of a hodgepodge. It’s a fantasy world loosely based on Victorian England, but I’ve thrown a little medieval in and there will also be many surprises in the next installment.

You write in a couple of different genres – do you have a favorite genre to write, and why?

I write in different genres because I’m a new writer and I haven’t found my niche yet! LOL! I think my favorite genre is just whatever happens to be fueling my passion at the moment. When a story won’t leave me alone, it doesn’t matter what genre it is, it’s my fave.

Your characters are very well-written.  Do you base them on people you know, or do they spring from your imagination?

My characters are not based on any one person. They do exhibit characteristics of different people I know and interactions I’ve experience with others. Mostly, I just try and see life from that characters perspective and they seem to come alive. There are actually a few chapter after Sam’s big reveal with the Queen that were not in my outline because when the truth came out, Sam just didn’t react how I imagined. It was very disconcerting for me as a new writer. I tried to write the next scene I had planned but Sam just wouldn’t/couldn’t carry on the way I had envisioned. I finally just went with her and eventually we came back to the story line. So, to answer your question, it’s a little of both.

Tell me about the next book in the Fate War Saga.

Wouldn’t YOU like to know! I’m being pretty tight lipped about it, but I’ve left clues on my facebook page every now and then. Without giving too much away, I will say that we continue to follow Sam and Cole as they settle into their new roles…and it’s not going to be easy. As a matter of fact, there is much I’m dreading about writing a few scenes because it’s going to hurt. We will get an answer to “What the heck is going on with her freakin’ eyes!!!???” I promise. We will also get answers about Jasper and the Sovereign. In addition, we will follow some other well loved characters such as Captain Jensen and Hope. There will also be a plethora of new characters and love interests to keep things steamy!

I talk a lot on my blog about becoming a “real” writer.  When did you feel like a real writer?

I think it was just last weekend. LOL!  It was the strangest thing, for the first time in my entire life, when someone asked me, “what do you do?”, I answered, “I’m a writer.” It actually shocked me. I usually just say, “I’m a stay at home mom.” But it just came out. Then when they said, “Ohhhh….well are you published?” I answered yes and they proceeded to check out Amazon and download my books! I felt….real. LOL!

Tell me something completely random about yourself that has nothing to do with Fate War or writing.

I was in show choir in high school. It was really fun, but nothing like Glee…NOTHING like Glee. Okay, a little like Glee. Friday’s were spirit day’s and our director wanted us to wear shirts to support our group. That’s all well and good…and we did…but we were ridiculed relentlessly. Not because we were the show choir geeks, but because some idiot did not have the foresight many, many years ago when they named the group, that it might be a little awkward for a bunch of kids to walk around high school all wearing shirts that said, SWINGERS.

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Thank you, E.M. for stopping by and introducing me to Steampunk.  Now everyone, go and buy her book!

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About the Author:

HeadshotWho is E.M. Havens? I’m a lot of things. The word that seems to define me most at the moment is mom. It can be all consuming. Not only am I a mom of three (one of them is a teenager…pity me), but I also home-school (pity me more). I share this awesome responsibility with the love of my life, best friend, and soul-mate husband.

Add to that, the twenty-five chickens, twelve turkeys, ten guineas, nine pigs, three barn cats, two Great Pyrenees guardian dogs, a Chihuahua, a house cat, and a goose, it makes for one crazy, full, and certainly entertaining life.

Somewhere in there I find the time to write.  I started out young writing poems, then moved on to songs. I actually have a Bachelor in Music with a secondary in Science because I can’t stand English. Yes, the writer hates English.  I like to read the story for the experience of reading the story, not to nitpick each letter and comma. But I digress.

I eventually found blogging and really enjoyed sharing my life that way. When an unfortunate turn of events separated me from my music equipment, I decided to use my overactive imagination, my love of reading, and my new found hobby, prose writing, to release some of my creative energy.  I wrote my first novel and loved the experience. Fate War: Alliance is actually the second novel I wrote and the first to be published.  Now I’m working on my third and several sequels to Fate War!

So that’s pretty much me, sitting in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, reading, writing, collecting eggs from the coop, and being a schoolmarm. It’s a pretty great life.

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Write What You Know

One of my co-workers said to me today that it was hard separating me from Abby in Twenty-Five.  She said reading the book was like reading my journal.  And she’s exactly right.  It took a long time for me to allow anyone I knew in real life to read the book because she hit the nail on the head – I poured my emotions into Abby’s story.  Her feelings are my feelings.  The things that happen to her haven’t happened to me, but the way she feels about them is.

You have probably heard the old caveat, “Write what you know.”  That’s what I did with Twenty-Five.  I wrote about the person I knew best in the world – myself.  It’s embarrassing and liberating at the same time.  The book was written five years ago and I’ve changed even more than Abby does in the course of the story, but it doesn’t change the fact that at one point in my life I was feeling very vulnerable, frightened that I would never amount to anything, a hundred percent sure no one would ever love me.  I’ve moved past some of those things, and some of them I’m still working on; knowing that I’ve exposed myself to the world, though, is freeing.  I don’t have to hide my fears.  I don’t have to hide my morals.  They are who I am.  And that’s what I wrote.