Author Interview: Milli Gilbert

Today I’m doing another author interview with Milli Gilbert.  I met Milli on Scribophile.com a little while ago.  She impressed me with her insights, talent, and knowledge.  A little about Milli-

Milli Gilbert is a stay-at-home mom who loves to play with words almost as much as she loves to play with her kids. All of her stories involve romance, and maybe a little bit of mystery. Milli loves to write about cowboys and shifters. And smut. Don’t forget the smut. And can usually be found trying to find interesting ways to combine them. She has several short stories published and hopes to have her first full-length novel out in late Summer 2017. She just took off after one of her couples to follow them around for a few months – but don’t worry, she’ll be back. Or, you can find her on her blog, Hairballs of Genius, and follow her on Twitter. Her books are available on Amazon.

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What advice would you give to your younger self?

The things you’ll regret the most are the things you didn’t do. Just remember that you’ll only regret them for a little while because something will come along that wouldn’t have happened if not for those regrets. And happiness is no guarantee, no matter what you do. Just remember to stay positive through all of it.

How often do you write, and do you have time set aside to write?

I write most days. Some days, I make it look like I’m writing, but I’m really not. The trick is to still be thinking about writing stuff, even when you’re not. Once it’s all said and done, though, I’ve usually still written something. I tend to write best either right away in the morning or after everyone else has gone to bed or the night. And Tuesday nights are write-in night.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a few places I love to write – out on my back deck while the kids play in the backyard is one, but I also love writing at the game shop my weekly write in is at, and at my desk. That is the most comfy chair I’ve ever sat in. And my husband keeps messing with all my precise adjustments (fortunately, that’s all the way down and not locked into a stationary position.)

Have you written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so: why did you decide to collaborate, and did it affect your sales?

Aside from a team challenge prompt a couple months ago for fun (it’s posted on my blog page, and when hers is ready, it will be posted there as well). I have not done any collaborations. I would absolutely write with Misty Carlisle again on a larger project – and we do have something planned for next summer – though it’s more like two stories that happen to interweave in the same world with the same characters while telling two different stories. It’s been fun discussing our plots and hashing out a timeline of events so that things work out and we don’t have one of our characters in two places at the same time.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I don’t know that I really “decided” to become a writer, it’s just something that’s always been in me, something I’ve always needed – and wanted – to do. I’ve always enjoyed it, and wanted to go to Iowa for a degree in writing, but parents convinced me to go to a different school that didn’t have a good writing program at all.

Author help with Marketing

I’m horrible at marketing.  I don’t feel comfortable spamming Facebook or my blog.  I’m hoping that reviews or word of mouth will do better.  It doesn’t, so I need to condense and spend less time marketing on ‘0’ returns and more on actual sales.

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Contemporary Native American Romance is a small niche.  Very small.  I have to find my readers and that’s not easy.

Often, I’m scrambling to find out which websites drags traffic to Amazon.  The easiest way to see who’s buying or at least clicking on your links?

Bitly.com

And it’s free.

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After you set up a Free Account, create different links for the same product.

For instance: Facebook links on certain channels for my novel Little Sparrow.  http://amzn.to/2sSQRiO

Now, my blog link to Little Sparrow. http://amzn.to/2sSVRE6

When I do an author interview or takeover, I’ll use a different one.

Each day, I check Bitly to see which ‘channel’ had the most clicks.  This should, in theory, tell me where my traffic is coming from.  If it is 75-100% from Facebook, I know it’s time to do some Facebook ads. If it is from my blog, maybe an Amazon ad would be better. If one site is giving me top sales, well, it’s time to promote there!

The number of links you create will depend on what feedback you’re looking for.  You can even create links per ‘page’ that you’ve promoted on.  I will, once things settle down.  I have a lot going on right now.

I haven’t given this a lot of effort yet, I’m not great at marketing.  I dabble occasionally.  I’d rather be writing or …. freaking edit-freaking-ing my latest piece.  Which is what I should be doing now.

Join me and win! Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

images We’re giving away 25.00 Amazon Gift Cards!  Come join me Friday at noon, EST for the kickoff of VerySherryTerry’s Summer Fun, Mixed Genre Takeover event!  I’ll be there until 4pm.  I’d love to meet some new friends and give away some gift cards and ebooks!

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That’s a lot of authors!  Pick your genre and join us!  Go to the Takeover Event!  click going, then on Friday at noon, click on the discussion tab.  Hope to see you there!

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Author Interview: Francisco Cordoba

 

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I met Fransisco a while ago on Scribophile.com.  He ‘wowed’ me with his writing.  Delving deep into the erotic center of a woman is easy for this man.  And he does it so well.  I had the privilege of reading his debut novels, The Horsemen of Golegã,  and I’m hooked.  Keep a look out for Fransisco.  He’s going places.

A passionate romantic and obsessive equestrian, Francisco Cordoba has been writing for as long as he can remember. However, it’s only in the last few years, since completing his Master’s Degree in Linguistics, and suffering regular chastisement from his wife, that he has dared to fully unleash his muse. He loves writing about romance, relationships, adventures, and sex.

 

Francisco lives a largely reclusive life tucked away in an old farmhouse, somewhere, with his wife, teenage son, four cats, two dogs, horse, ducks, and chickens. He freely admits to loving them all, although he refuses to allow more than three bodies to occupy his bed at any one time. His six-book slightly erotic, paranormally romantic, mysteriously suspenseful, thrillingly adventurous, and possibly fictional debut series, The Horsemen of Golegã, will be self-published soon.

Email: contact@franciscocordoba.com

Website and Blog: http://franciscocordoba.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/franciscocordobaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CordobaContact

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How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, or both)

I’m going Indie for The Horsemen of Golegã. While there’s a certain amount of kudos attached to being picked up by a traditional publisher, I’m pretty much over needing the confirmation I’d get from that. I’ll admit I’m also terrified of submitting and being turned down, and I don’t have time to wait around while someone else makes a decision about whether my work is good enough or not. I want to sell my books, and I want the readers to tell me if they like them. I also want the lion’s share of any sales, and you don’t get that with a traditional publisher.

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Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

It was something about an alligator that was green. I was three. I dictated, my mother wrote. Then she gave me a lollipop and told me not to run with the stick in my mouth. I ran, promptly fell over, and learned why I shouldn’t run with a stick in my mouth.

 

Sorry, see what happens when you activate old memories?

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How do your friends and family feel about your writing?

My immediate family, my wife and son, are wonderfully supportive. The Horsemen of Golegã often have dinner with us. My wife and I share the outlining of the stories. My fourteen-year-old son tells me his favorite activity is to hang out and read or watch TV, or play video games, knowing that we are plotting in the next room. Apparently, this is his concept of home. That’s kind of cool.

 

I don’t have a wide circle of friends. The few that do know are ambivalent. I don’t talk about it much now.

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Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it?

Occasionally, mostly as a result of real life stresses though, not because I can’t think of what to write. Sometimes I just have to walk away from the writing for a bit because of real life, although that in itself is stressful. Best for me is to chat to my wife or a writing friend, or disappear and be completely alone for a while.

 

I would think for a lot of people, active discussion with someone who is interested would be a huge help.

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How much research do you do?

It depends on what I’m writing. For The Horsemen of Golegã, I draw on my own knowledge of horses, people, Portugal, Canada, various other countries, and ESL teaching. Otherwise, I wait until I have a specific need and then go do specific research.

 

For example, in Loving North, Candice has a massive nightmare. I did some online research into night terrors and nightmares, discussed the issue with a few people who had experienced these things, and got on with writing. I try hard not to get swept up in google searches because that directly and negatively impacts my writing time. It’s a question of finding the right info, finding it fast, and moving on.

Keep on the lookout for this wonderful author.  I know I will!

Author Interview. Bigga Day.

Anna W. Aden, aka Bigga Day, is curious about other people and always reads their about page. Although she primarily writes short stories, she is branching out into the world of novel writing. Her hobbies are reading, writing, and eating good food.  She’s really a great person, too!

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What is your writing Kryptonite?

The internet. I should turn it off because I get so distracted and end up not writing a single word. Normally I would be like mid-scene and think – ah let me check out a fact or a picture or something – then three hours later I’m still surfing the net or hanging out on social media talking about writing with other writers.

Ugh, that’s mine, too!

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Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

What a fascinating question! I have but not absolute reader’s block. At some point in my late teens, I stopped reading prose for some reason and turned to graphic novels. I guess I just got reader’s fatigue if there is such a thing. So I had about a two-year break and just read comics. All sorts of comics and graphic novels- manga, horror, comedy, romance, superheroes etc. Then in my early twenties, I started reading prose again.

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How long have you been writing?

If you mean seriously with the intention of seeing my work in print or ebook probably about four years. Before that writing was just something I did for pleasure. I would finish a draft and then start on another story – enjoying the creative process.

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What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Plotting. I’m not a natural plotter nor am I a pantser writing ‘by the seat of my pants’. I’m nowhere that fast. I tend to be an organic writer taking the scenic route, and if I hit a dead end which happens at times, I just turn back and take another route until I get to an ending. This was okay when I was writing for fun but now I’m serious, I need to get a handle on plotting.

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Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?

Yes, handwritten rough drafts. There is no point in having them around once I’ve typed them into the computer, so they tend to go into the recycling bin. I also do a tidy up of my computer and delete obsolete drafts.

I honestly don’t know how you do that!  I have a million copies of everything!  You’re so organized!

 

Author Interview – Barbara Elsborg

Another great interview by Sherry Terry.

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I met Barbara in an online writing community over ten years ago. After studying English Language and Literature at the University at Birmingham, she has published over 40 books in her writing career with more coming every year. Her genre of choice is Romantica,  MF, MMF, and MM with a great mix of comedy. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, Scifi, thrillers and more. I love her stories. Not only does she self-publish, she was well known at Ellora’s Cave and Samhain. Forever, she will be popular at Loose Id, and Decadent Publishing.

Please allow me to introduce one of my favorite romance/erotica writers. Barbara Elsborg.

Hey, Barbara! I’m so excited to be interviewing you. I’m dying to know, what drew you to write romance?

Barbara: Thanks for having me! Well, I didn’t start off writing romance. My first stories were fan fiction written in my teens based on TV shows…

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It takes a Village of Writers by Roxanna Haley

Don’t forget the big shout out to Demi for putting us together and everything she’s done for us! Her stories are great! Besides helping us, she’s also mentors romance writers on Scribophile and heads a couple of groups over there. And…she had baby birds to feed! Real baby birds! She has to be exhausted!

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I’ve had the pleasure recently of working with a great group of authors and publishing the fifth anthology in the Bowman’s Inn series. Five times, we have met deadlines, sweated through the editing and rewriting, and done our best to get these great stories noticed by readers. The task was fun, but not easy.

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Historical accuracy in novel writing. How important is it?

Very important!  Get your facts straight and stick to them.  But is there wiggle room?

Sometimes.

Oh, no!  Someone just hissed at me!  Seriously.

When can you fudge the facts?  When they aren’t known of course.

I write about Native American’s.  My newest piece is about 9,000 years ago in the desert Southwest, near the Four Corners. A time-travel novel in the Bowman’s Inn Anthology, (book 5).

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Originally, to show the time-shift, I put in Passenger Pigeons, which went extinct in the early 20th century.  At one time, millions lived in the Americans and their flight was something to see. Some accounts say that they darkened the sky during their migrations. Along with Bison and wild turkeys, they were abundant animals in the millions.

But, no one got the reference when I described their beautiful teal plumage.

So, I had to find an animal that everyone knew was extinct a long time ago.

My choices for the extinction of known animals was a ‘minor’ one that occurred around 10,000 BC.  Mastodon, mammoth, short-faced bear, American cheetah, ground sloth, giant beaver, camel, (yes, we had camels), horse (yes, horses too before the Spaniards) and the saber-toothed Tiger among others.

If I used a giant beaver people would think I made it up.  If I used a camel or a horse, they would be confused.  Short-faced bear?  Who would know the difference?

Sloth? Cheetah?  Naw.

I knew if I used mastodons or mammoths, people would say… ‘you’re in a desert! Those are ‘cold climate animals'”  But, info from the Wikipedia (and other sites) that “…the northern part of North America during the last ice age. It was similar to the grassy steppes of modern Russia, but the flora was more diverse, abundant, and grew faster. Grasses, sedges, shrubs, and herbaceous plants were present, and scattered trees were mainly found in southern regions. This habitat was not dominated by ice and snow, as is popularly believed since these regions are thought to have been high-pressure areas at the time. The habitat of the woolly mammoth also supported other grazing herbivores such as the woolly rhinoceros, wild horses and bison.”

I didn’t want to explain all of that! I had a word-count max!

So, I decided on the saber-toothed tiger!

Now, is when things get a little ‘iffy’.  Supposedly, the people who lived when the saber-toothed tigers roamed built structures (almost like tipis) and lived on the land but stored food in ledges.

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Great, but wouldn’t they go to the ledges when trouble was around?  I would. Can you imagine a better place?

According to the archeological evidence… (Wiki again) “In the summer, campsites were made at high elevations: on the top of mesas or ridges. They also had temporary campsites in the mountains, low mesas and ponds formed by spring runoff. Structures, built in the later part of this period, were built at lower elevations. The shallow-basined lodgings are considered a precursor to the Basketmaker pit-houses.[15]

A light primer… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaco_Culture_National_Historical_Park

Yes, they did live on the ridges… in the summer. But, not in the type of structures as the later more famous cliff dwellers.

So, I put my characters in the ledges.  With saber-toothed tigers around and a herd of bison barreling down on you, plus a warring tribe… the ledges were the best place for defense.

Basketmakers.  My characters are basketmakers and the Pueblo Indians were one of the best!  Problem is, there is no evidence that they made baskets until about 7000 B.C, about 3000 years after the last trace of a saber-toothed tiger.

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This is where I fudged the facts. The Archaic–Early Basketmaker Era (7000 – 1500 BC).  A few thousand years off from the saber-tooths.  Yikes.  But, they had to carry food somehow!  Where’s the nuts?  In utters?  Wouldn’t they spoil quickly?  Carved wood?  Uh, how do you carry all of that?

From Wikipedia… “Less is known about the Paleo Indians than future civilizations because fewer of their artifacts have been uncovered.”

So, maybe they had baskets and we just haven’t found any yet.

So, I took a wee bit of a time jump with my facts.  Ekks, I admited it.  To make it factual, the basketmakers and cliff dwelling people wouldn’t have known the tigers.  Unless a couple survived… somehow. Or archeologist just haven’t found any. I’ll go with that one.

Yep, and Sasquatch is still out there, hiding.  Are they actually Neanderthals that have been hiding for thousands of years?  Oh… yeah, not going there.

One of my favorite facts?  Paleo Indians had dogs AND turkeys as pets!  There is no evidence as yet that they ate the cuties.

NEVER fudge the facts when they are laid in stone… don’t do it.  Research and back it up. Don’t even try unless you post a disclaimer! But, be prepared for the backlash!

 

Launch Party! Amazon Gift Card Giveaways!

Join us tomorrow, 5/11/2017, for the Launch of the Bowman’s Inn Anthology, Spring/Summer Book 5.  No, you don’t have to read books 1-4 to be up to date!  Starting at 4:00 P.M., EST, we’ll be giving away gift cards!  Come join us for some fun and talk to all of the authors!

https://www.facebook.com/events/145400972662463/

Our schedule. Have your questions ready!

Bel Cosi 4:00 to 4:30
RA Winter 4:30 to 5:00
ED Vaughn 5:00 to 5:30
Elizabeth Giambrone 5:30 to 6:00
Roxanna Haley 6:00 to 6:30
Renee Grace Thompson 6:30 to 7:00
D.L. Hungerford 7:00 to 7:30
Roxanna Haley 7:30 to 8:00

Behind the scenes: Always with You

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The Bowman’s Inn is a unique project. Love surrounds all of the characters and each writer brings in their own steam levels. There are a few rules everyone has to follow. Cupid works ‘undercover’ at a bar and has a quota of true love matches he must procure. Enter Mandy, Cupid’s love interest. She has her own special ‘love’ ability. A tattoo glows on her wrist when she touches two people with true love buried just below the surface. Cupid prepares a drink for one, to open their heart to the possibility.

But, not every love is within easy reach.

I’ve always wanted to write a time travel romance. I love Native American history and personally, I don’t think we learn enough about it in the school systems. I learned more about the English wars, the French Revolution and the Crusades than I ever did about the history of the ground I was standing on.

And everything is written from a European perceptive.

Maybe it’s because most Americans are from Europe…but shouldn’t we know more?

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My story is set around the Canyon de Chelley ruins. The Old Ones as they are called. Ancient Palo-Indians. Little is known about these people who ate mastodons, ran from siber-toothed tigers and made dogs and turkeys their pets . Ingenious, they developed woven baskets and used the environment in harmony with their needs.

My piece, ‘Always with You’, is my take on an old Southwestern Native American creation story. Hanyetu-wi is the darkness, Anpao is the dawn and Wi is the sun. ‘Han’ is cursed to spend eternity running from the oppressive Wi and bask in the glory and coolness of Anpao. Han and Anpao only have a few moments alone each day before Wi, as the sun, chases the lovers apart.

So, I made a love story. A cursed Han, who spends many life-times at his loves side as a dog. He took her for granted, so now he must follow her through many lives as a constant companion. Always faithful, always there, but never able to communicate his love or take her in his arms. Finally, he meets Cupid, the only one with ‘connections’ that can rewrite history.

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And this time, he promises it will end better.

Can they break the curse and live happily ever after?

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Back in time we travel, to when Han was a young warrior. Ann is a spunky young 21st century woman thrown into a dangerous world. War is on the horizon, Wi’s men are taking prisoners. Can Han redeem himself and earn the privilege of being human?

Find out in the Spring/Summer edition of the Bowman’s Inn Anthology.

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