CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Interview with Kat Jorgensen - Your Eight O'Clock is Dead



We're excited to have the chance to chat with a wonderful author - Kat Jorgensen. I hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. Ebooks and online ordering have made it really easy for her to keep her To Be Read pile from ever going down. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Kat is married with children and has a cranky tuxedo cat named Ben.


http://katjorgensen.com







WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My mom would read stories to me when I was too young to read myself, and I thought that whoever made those stories up had a great job. Then once I learned to read and write, I knew for sure that I wanted to be a writer. It is the best job.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book?

I’d been writing suspense. Really dark books. Heck, I’d even scare myself sometimes. In 2006, my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and went through six surgeries. In 2008, I had endometrial cancer. I thought I was in the clear. But in 2009, I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Phew! It was some scary, stressful times. Times I wouldn’t want to revisit ever.

Somewhere during all of that I decided I needed to laugh and have fun with my writing. My main character Becca came almost fully formed into my mind. Then I added in other characters to amuse me. Pretty soon, I had lots of notes and had to decide what to do with them. Romance? No. I love happy endings, but I’m not a straight romance writer. Suspense again? No, I’d had enough sad, bad, scary times in my own mind - and a writer lives in their mind when they’re writing. Murder? Hmmm...that was appealing. I’m always happy killing off people on paper.

And that’s how the opening scene of Your Eight O’Clock Is Dead came about. What would Becca do if she came to work and found a patient, er, client murdered in the waiting room? And I took off from there and just played. Well, it was hard work. But I let my imagination play and let the characters have free rein to do what they wanted to do. And kept writing and making notes for future books.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story?

Other than health issues, I really didn’t have any road blocks while I wrote this book. I always joke and say it practically wrote itself. It didn’t, of course. But of all of the books I’ve written, this one was the easiest. I think in part that’s because I did have previous books behind me - even if they’ll never see the light of day. I’d studied story structure. Things that I had to consciously think about in other books came very naturally to me in this story. The mechanics of writing didn’t get in my way, and I could concentrate on the story.

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would?

I used to fight it. Seriously. I’d try to make it go in the direction I had planned. It was horrible. And it resulted in many rewrites. But then I learned to trust my instincts and that of my characters. When a story doesn’t flow how I have planned, I let the characters and/or the story take over. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what happens when you just give in to the process.


WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story?

Oh, I thought I was so prepared for the marketing aspect of publishing. I’d done book signings before with a non-fiction anthology and knew I could do that. I was comfortable speaking about my writing. But I was not prepared for how much the industry itself has changed with the advent of the e-readers and indie publishing. It takes a lot more effort on the writer’s part than it did before. You have to be willing to try different things to see what works and what doesn’t. I had a much larger learning curve than I was prepared for.

Also, I think humor is highly subjective. What I think is funny might not be funny to someone else. My goal is to entertain people, to take them away from their problems for just a bit and give them something to laugh over. If I do that, then I have succeeded. So I’ve had an interesting time marketing what I call “funny death.”

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing?

To have a clear cut marketing plan before you are published. I wish I’d known to do that. My approach has been more of a “let’s try that and that” approach. I won’t make that mistake again. I’m already planning my marketing for the next release.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today?

I’ve gotten great advice over the years. But I think the best piece of advice was to get the words down on the paper. You can edit anything, but you can’t edit a blank sheet of paper. That’s a very freeing concept. Many of us struggle with varying degrees of perfection. You have to lose that as a writer and be willing to write crap. Just get it down. Then you can fix it and make it pretty later. That’s the best advice I’ve ever received - and I can’t even attribute it to any one person since I’ve heard it from many people. Great advice.

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks?

I used to be a night writer. I’d wait until everyone was in bed and then it was my time to sit and write. I’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Physically, I just can’t do that anymore. I’m freshest in the morning. So I get up and after I have my breakfast, I sit down and write. I set a page goal for myself each day and try hard to get that goal. Once I do, I’m free to do other things like catch up on Facebook and Twitter, answer reader mail, stay connected to other writers and keep up with industry news and happenings. I also love to take classes. My personal belief is that we can always learn something new to help us and add another tool to our writer’s toolkit. Once I’ve done all of this, I’m free to do whatever I want. Mostly that would be knitting. I’m an avid knitter and very active in knitting groups both locally and online. In fact, knitters have been a huge source of support for me both in my writing and personal life.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

I want to write 6-9 books in the River City Mystery series. I hope my writing will get stronger with each book I do and that I’ll build a solid readership. A lot of time writers operate in a vacuum. It’s nice to get feedback from readers. I enjoy that part quite a bit. I also have a women’s fiction novel in progress and another mystery series that I’d like to develop. I have no shortage of ideas, which is a good thing.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects?

Currently, I’m writing the second book in the series, Your Time Is Up. After I get done with that, I have the third book all plotted out and will start on that one. In the meantime, I have ideas for books 4 and 5, and I’ll brainstorm them. I’m writing notes on the characters, the storylines and anything to do with the series. That all keeps me pretty busy.

WI: Do you have any upcoming events or special news you would like to share with our readers? 

I was thrilled when a local book club picked Your Eight O’Clock Is Dead as their January read. They’ve asked me to participate in their meeting, and I’m thrilled to do it. It’ll be a first for me. I’m doing a virtual book tour right now and would love to have readers stop by. I’m giving a free book away at every stop. I’ve started a dedicated page on Facebook for anything related to my writing or to the series. And I’m looking forward to the publication of Your Time Is Up in the spring or early summer.

WI: Where can readers find you?

and Twitter @katjorgensen

I’d love to connect with folks through any of these places.


WI: Where can your book be purchased?

It’s on Amazon

Barnes & Noble

and Smashwords

Becca Reynolds is having a bad day. Her grandfather’s lecture (#405: Eat a Healthy Diet or Die Not Trying) makes her late for her job at Daley and Palmer, the psychiatrists' office where she works as the office manager—her title, not theirs. Then her sausage and egg breakfast biscuit creates an oil slick that takes out half her desk, along with that day’s patient files. But she knows the day has taken a really bad turn when she discovers the firm’s eight o’clock patient dead with Dr. Dick Daley’s letter opener opening the patient instead of the mail.

With the fledgling firm in danger of an early demise, Becca appoints herself the unofficial investigator since the police seem to be looking in all the wrong places and doing a half-assed job of solving the crime. She begins a journey to find the killer, keep the practice afloat and with it, her job. In the course of her interfere—er, investigation—she finds a virtual cast of characters who could have done it, including the fancy side piece of the murder victim, his wife, his business partner, and even his psychiatrist.

The case takes Becca from the sordid depths of the Russian mob, to the upscale West End of Richmond, Virginia (known locally as River City), and even to her own backyard. In the course of the story she finds herself in hot water, hot danger, and with dreams of hot men.

We want to thank you for taking time to chat with us today and offering your writing & marketing experiences. We wish you much success in the future.


VBT PIt Stop & Interview with Children's Picture Book Author Kiki Howell



Welcome to Writing Innovations Kiki. We are so excited to chat about your new Children's Picture Book, What Are You Afraid Of? I think it's wonderful that you have taken that dive into a new genre, and to actually make a difference with what you chose to write about.

Kiki is on virtual book tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe', and you can view her entire schedule HERE. For every comment you leave for Kiki during her tour, you will be entered to win her Grand Prize Giveaway for a tote bag donned with her main characters, Drake & Zoe, filled with goodies.


Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.












WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

Not sure really, but when I was very young I would find myself re-writing stories that I didn’t like the way they went. I started almost immediately dreaming of seeing my name on a cover of a book someday.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book? 
A lot of things actually. One, I was a child with a lot of fears, and I wanted a fun way to help children that are like I was. This became a more important goal once I read some research my husband was doing for his dissertation about how compassion lies largely on creativity, being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes. My mind started going because I also knew that many easy fixes parents use for helping children overcome fears stifles that much needed creativity. So, I went to work researching better ways to deal with fears.

WI: How different is it writing a children’s book vs. your regular genre norm? 
Incredibly different, watching every word, more like writing a poem than a story.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story? 
Many!!! First I wanted a cute little monster, something pink and fuzzy, to make kids laugh to be the main character, but I ended up with a few illustrator issues. Then, being reminded of my one hundred pound dogs fear of children in costumes, I re-wrote the story to have my dogs as the main characters, but the photo shoot to illustrate the book photo realism was no easy task. I had fun, but the dogs may never forgive me *giggles*

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would? 
I have to step away from it for a while. How long really depends upon the story, how insistent it is in my head that I get back to it, and how soon a solution comes to me. I actually re-wrote “What Are You Afraid Of?” several times over the course of a couple of years.

WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story? 
I think it is the fact that the setting is Halloween. It makes it seem like a seasonal story. Yes, it does take place during Halloween since that was the time of the fear, but what is taught in it is really timeless and applies to any fears.

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing? 
Actually, how great these virtual book tour companies are to work with. I hosted them for a long time before winning a tour for a novel I wrote. I was simply blown away by the response I got to that novel.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today? 
To stop the critical voices in my head that worry if the story is marketable, what an editor will think, etc. The story needs to be mine to be good, as I want, or need I should say, it to be written.

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks? 
I need to know I have a big chunk of time to write before I can get started. Gratefully I do have that time when my kids are at school. Also, I can’t start another story until one is done.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future? 
Hmmm, not sure. I have tried a lot of different genres, and many call me back to them for different reasons. So for the near future, I will remain a pretty diverse writer judging from the stories I have ideas for now.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects? 
I am currently in the editing stage of my first mainstream novel called “Hidden Salem” coming out in April this year from Mitchell-Morrison Publishing.

WI: Do you have any upcoming events or special news you would like to share with our readers? 
There are still a lot of stops left on this tour, and a tour-wide giveaway. You can always check my events page, which is updated regularly with where I will be. http://www.kikihowell.com/2011/08/events.html

WI: Where can readers find you? 
You can visit my website at http://www.kikihowell.com to see all my available titles! I am on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kikihowell and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KikiHowell

WI: Where can your book be purchased?
You can Purchase at Amazon or from the Publisher, Dancing With Bear

“Why does the night have to be so dark?” the big dog named Drake gave a low bark. Not everyone likes Halloween. In fact, the big dog named Drake is afraid of the costumes, the decorations, and the dark. He really only likes the candy his boy drops. Lucky for Drake, the old dog named Zoe is there to help him forget his fears with a fun game. Drake and Zoe can’t wait for you to play along.







We want to thank you for taking time to chat with us today and offering your writing & marketing experiences. We wish you much success in the future.


Building A Solid Reader Base


The biggest concern authors have, no matter what publishing house they go through is "Will people like my book?". So how can you begin to build a reader base that will last through the times and have people anxiously waiting for the next great release?

Let's start from the beginning.  When you start writing your book, what should you be doing? Talking. The more you talk about it, your plot, your characters, certain scenes, the more hype you will create.

Who do you talk to? Your facebook followers, twitter followers and the people in your author groups. Let them know you are writing, give them an idea of what you are writing about. As you get farther in your writing, you can introduce your characters. Give ideas of what they are like - sassy, badass, shy, sad, struggling with life, etc.

What should you say? Give one line quotes from your characters…
“You are a warrior, you just don’t know it yet.” (Immortyl Kisses: Warrior Rising)
“No wonder my brother is so taken with you. You are truly mouth watering.” (Night Secrets)
“The enemy of an enemy is my friend…right?” (Immortalis Hunters & Prey)
Where are you in your writing? Did you write 1000 words today? Are you on chapter 21? Are you almost finished?
Readers love to know how close you are to a release date. When you build up the excitement, they want to know when they can get their hands on the entire story. Let them know where you’re at.
These are just a couple of examples on what to post. The point is, use social networking to your benefit.
The more you let your future readers into your head, the bigger your reader base will become. If you write it, they will follow. The more you tease, the more word of mouth gets out and people will want to follow you to keep updated on when that awesome book is going to be released so they can get their hands on it.


What else can you do? Join author groups and find critique partners to help you with your writing to get it to its best possible shape. Find yourself some beta readers, let them read it and give you their feedback before it's released. The more you can get your book into readers hands, the better off you will be .


After you release your book...offer a giveaway to those that you have been chatting with about your book since you first started writing it. Word of mouth is a phenomenal thing.


So what else can you do to build your author platform? You can take your book on virtual tour. Readers always love to learn more about authors, and a virtual tour is a great way to do this through interviews and guest posts. Let your readers know you will be touring and where you will be appearing. They will be more than happy to give their support after all your hard work. Your beta readers can also help create hype by offering their thoughts on the book. It helps create excitement.


You can also try out this new service:




My good friend Rachel Thompson, author of A Walk in the Snark and Mancode:Exposed, has started this consulting business to help you get on a path to building that fantastic author platform. Give her an email and find out what she can do for you.


This is only a small part on what you can do to build that reader base. Just remember, the more people you can get your book in front of, the more your readers will become solid fans you can count on.



VBT Pit Stop & Interview with Guy Magar - Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot




BIO: With over 100 credits from shorts to TV shows to features, director Guy Magar’s behind-the-scenes filmmaking stories range from his first producer turning out to be a Mafia assassin, to shooting in Egypt for the original series Battlestar Galactica, to directing a grunting Mr. T on The A-Team, to almost decapitating a young Drew Barrymore, and to almost derailing James Cameron’s career (or at least slowing it down as he proved way too talented for anyone to alter his storied destiny.) 


“Kiss me quick before I shoot has always been my welcoming catchphrase to my wife Jacqui whenever she visited on-set which was seemingly always just before I rolled cameras. This unconventional memoir is also about a deeper magic, the magic of finding a life partner and the magic of healing. Join me on a thrilling rollercoaster ride of realizing the dream of a Hollywood filmmaking career, of the intoxicating highs of finding true love, and of the sweet triumph of healing and survival.” Guy Magar Director/Writer/Producer, Founder of Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminars & Short Film Competition, RETRIBUTION, LOOKIN’ ITALIAN, STEPFATHER 3, CHILDREN OF THE CORN: REVELATION 


TV: La Femme Nikita, Blue Thunder, Dark Avenger, Fortune Hunter, The A-Team, Young Riders.


WI: Please tell us a little about your book...
GM: Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot is a memoir about magic…the magic of living the great American dream, an immigrant’s dream to make movies in Hollywood, and also it’s about the magic of finding true love. This is an unconventional memoir as it deals with diverse topics of a wild and crazy filmmaking career, and of the joys of sharing great love. My goal was to write a reader-friendly memoir which includes hilarious stories with over a hundred photos. Since people love the movies and great love stories, my goal was to invite readers to a fun and informal read, to join me for a cappuccino while I engage them in this unique tale of my life journey. From the feedback and reviews to date, I’m delighted that it has worked: mission accomplished. 


WI: What inspired you to share this story?
GM: After 25 years of a blissful marriage, out of the blue, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. Cancer is a pretty daunting illness whenever it hits any family and it changed my life as I completely stopped all my film work and focused on educating myself on blood cancers. The medical journey to heal her was so amazing because it involved a cutting-edge clinical trial treatment for which I was so thankful that I wanted to share it with the world. When I started writing, it became a natural process to share my memoir and begin in Egypt from where my family immigrated to the USA and share the filmmaking dream that brought me to Hollywood. Sharing the film world and the love for my wife and her healing felt like a wonderful story of a rich journey I could share through a memoir.


WI: What is it you love about filmmaking?
GM: First and foremost, there is no other more magical form to tell a story than film. To be able to visually unfold a story complete with a soundtrack and great music? It doesn’t get better than that. Making film for me is like making magic and if you know how to use all the tools from cameras to editorial, then you have a magician’s toolbox to work with. The second reason is the thrill of guiding actors to great performances. What actors do as the characters inside those stories is a very special process. After thirty years working and directing actors, I still get goose-bumps when I watch a superb performance. The most recent work I admire is Michele Williams in My Week with Marilyn which should win her the Oscar in 2012.


WI: What do you consider a magic moment?
GM: It is a moment that transcends all cultural differences into a profound understanding of our humanity. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, at the very end of the movie when the Indian is inspired to go beyond any possible physical strength and picks up that gigantic marble water unit and throw it against a barred window to finally escape out of the mental institution: this is a magical moment everyone gets of an innate human thirst for freedom. In Chariots of Fire, when the priest runs the longer race he’s never run before because his usual shorter distance race is on a Sabbath, and in slow motion he throws his head back, the music swells, and his narration is, “Where does the power come from? God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” And of course he wins his Olympic race and it’s goose-bumps time. This is the power of a magical film moment of divine presence which transcends all faiths.


WI: How difficult is it to capture the right moment?
GM: Since I’m mentioning films that are quite old to recall examples which come to mind, that should tell you how infrequent and unique such magical moments are to capture. Great moments transcend all cultures and nationalities and divisions among us. They unite us in comprehension of our humanity. Such magical moments are difficult to capture…that’s why they’re magical.


WI: What feelings do you experience when shooting film scenes?
GM: Most of the time, you’re doing the best you can to visually interpret every scene the best possible creative way within a timeframe of a budget and schedule. You must have a real good understanding of editing because when you’re shooting, you’re providing the “shots” or the building blocks you will need in the editing room to put it all together and complete the scenes necessary to tell the story. If you don’t have all the shots you need, you have a major problem and you may have to go out and do some additional shooting which is expensive, or figure out some way around that scene including possibly deleting it from the movie if it doesn’t leave a large ugly hole in your narrative. So when you’re shooting, you have a focused purpose to get every shot you planned to make the scenes work and there is a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day if you feel you got everything you need “in the can.” This is the responsibility of every director.


WI: What is your most favorite moment as a director?
GM: Like all directors, I have many favorite moments of my work. To have the privilege of being a professional director and go from show to show, from movie to movie, telling wonderful and amazing stories using the magic of film…well, it doesn’t get much better than that. Sometimes it’s during the first reading of a script when you discover the story for the first time and you start visualizing it. Sometimes the shooting itself is the best moment of a film if it is filled with unique and special magical moments you manage to capture on camera. And sometimes, the best is in the editing room where you put it all together. But I can tell you that on every single movie, one of the best moments is when you hear the music score come together and it elevates your film to new heights you never even imagined it could reach. There is nothing more magical in the arts than the marriage of film and music.  


WI: Where was your most favorite place to "shoot"?
GM: For every scene, you hope to find the best possible location. When you are preparing a movie or TV show, you are spending most of your time searching for the best locations whether it is a restaurant, or school, or airport, or an apartment, or a forest, etc. Sometimes you never find the right place and you choose the best of what’s available. For me, the place that has such an abundance of great looking locations is Hawaii which I consider the paradise of the USA. You have difficulty choosing your shooting spots there because every angle looks fantastic. I’ve shot many shows on the islands and it was always a feast for the eyes, and the only place where I ever directed while I was barefoot and in swim trunks. I remember we shot in this incredibly lush valley just a week after Spielberg had shot there for Jurassic Park. Magic was in the air.


WI: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
GM: If you love the movies and you have a romantic soul, this book is for you. The book is a celebration of the world of movies and TV shows, and takes the reader on this incredible journey of what it’s like to have a career as a director in Hollywood. It is also about finding and sharing true love and how special and precious it is when you’re lucky enough to get to experience it…and fight hard to keep it when a major illness strikes. It’s a book that celebrates life and hopefully will find its wide readership which is a challenging road for a self-published book.


WI: You speak about the love you have with your wife, and her fight with cancer. How is your wife today?
GM: I am delighted to report she is doing great and on April of 2012 we will celebrate her third year in complete remission. She’s in great health and doing all the things she did before her leukemia illness. 


WI: What do you consider to be true love?
GM: When you find your soul mate...your life partner. Luck and destiny in finding that person plays a huge part like in everything else in life and I didn’t find mine till I was 34 which is considered late in the game. I believe true love begins when you meet a kind heart, a kind soul, that treats you with great nurturing tenderness, without being judgmental, and it blossoms into caring for that person more than you care for yourself. More than anything else, I believe when you meet your true love, you meet your best friend and partner for life.


WI: What does your wife think of your career?
GM: Jacqui has an artist’s heart and brings great style to the fashion world that she works in. So, it’s important for her that her life partner is also in the arts and she’s my best fan when it comes to my film career. She relates to my work ethic as a director - how I handle my productions and deal with my work in the film industry - and she loves the way I tell my stories. I believe very much in bringing my audiences into the world of my movies and TV work and provide them with the best entertainment experience I can accomplish as a filmmaker. She loves the movies so she’s quite partial to my films. When the lights go down, she’s always the most excited member of my audiences. 


WI: Anything else you would like to share with our readers today?
GM: Though this is not a political book, the epilogue includes a call for all Americans to take responsibility and demand that our leaders are the brightest we can find. We do not want the decline of America to be about poor leadership. We want the best doctors to operate on us and the best pilots to fly our airplanes…so why not the brightest to lead us? Why is the bar so low when it comes to leadership? So, I call for an IQ test that all politicians must take and if they do not pass they cannot run no matter how wealthy they are or how big their egos are. We deserve great leaders and we should demand to have them. We should immediately get rid of senators who say their only goal is to make sure our president is not re-elected. If that hatred is the only focus of their legislative work instead of passing laws that are good for this country, then that senator needs to retire or be fired asap.


WI: Where may readers connect with you?
GM: Best way is through the book’s website at www.kissmequickbeforeishoot.com where they can also sign up for my entertainment blog which is all about movies, politics, and the book’s most fun excerpts.


WI: Where may readers purchase your book?
GM: In Los Angeles, it’s available at one of the best bookstores in the country which is Book Soup on Sunset Blvd. Both the paperback and the ebook is available at Amazon and also at Barnes & Noble online and the iStore and Sony stores. Readers should know that we are donating portions of our book revenues to the City of Hope Cancer Research where Jacqui was healed.


Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot is a memoir about magic...the magic of making movies and the magic of finding true love. 

Movie lovers will discover what it would be like to work in the dream factory, to be a film director, to have an inside peek at Hollywood s inner workings making movies and TV shows. This memoir brings to life the many personalities and stars encountered, and tells the hilarious stories on the rocky road to Hollywood success. 

With production work spanning over 100 credits from shorts to TV shows to feature films, Guy Magar s behind-the-scenes stories range from his first producer turning out to be a Mafia assassin, to shooting in Egypt for the original series Battlestar Galactica, to almost decapitating a young Drew Barrymore after ET, and to almost derailing James Cameron s career (or slowing it down as he proved way too talented for anyone to alter his storied destiny.) This memoir is about living the great American dream, an immigrant s dream to make movies in Hollywood. 

” Kiss me quick before I shoot has been my welcoming catchphrase to my wife Jacqui whenever she visited on-set, seemingly always just before I rolled cameras.” And so this book is also about a deeper magic, the magic of finding a life partner. 

Jacqui and I were married in a beautifully costumed Renaissance-themed wedding. I got to duel in a sword fight to win her hand against hooligans (stuntmen friends) who kidnapped her after she arrived by horse and buggy in front of 300 surprised guests. It was a magical wedding and my Errol Flynn life moment! Now, 28 years later, I am still head-over-heels in love with Jacqui. 

But then, suddenly, Jacqui was diagnosed with leukemia. I immediately moved into the role of caregiver, and my entire 24-hour life focus became Jacqui s healing. We discovered the medical mecca of the City of Hope where we met a world-class gifted doctor who welcomed Jacqui to join their national stem cells trial. We locked up our house, boarded the dog, and moved in to start Jacqui s curative journey back to health. 

DARE TO DREAM! As an immigrant I had Hollywood dreams to become a director and I did...I dreamed of finding true love and I did at 34...and when Jacqui got ill, I dreamed we would find a way to heal her, and we did. People love stories about making dreams come true. I dared to dream! 

This passionate, life-celebrating memoir embraces both love and work within entertaining stories of what it s like to live this dream. Join me on a wild and thrilling rollercoaster ride of a Hollywood film career, of the intoxicating highs of finding and sharing true love, and of the sweet triumph of survival and healing…all rolled into one magical journey!



Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Guy. It's been a most pleasant experience talking with a real, live director of film. Guy is currently on tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe'. You can view his schedule HERE and follow along to learn more about him. You can also see BK Walker's review of Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot, HERE.


VBT Pit Stop & Interview with Cesar - Book of Prophecies




Cesar has a very experienced background in the spiritual world. He was brought up in a Christian family, but branched out from that base as he got older, seeking answers about the world around him, and the spiritual world around him.  In his mid-twenties dramatic events occurred in his life which challenged his very existence, but he learned from these experienced and most of learned that how that life is not just in our own hands.  Now Cesar is a firm believer that everyone has their own path to walk in life, and part of that walk is all about the choices that you make. Some people choose a good life and some a wicked life, but most of us live the life in the middle, influenced by the world around us and our own upbringing, Cesar understands that life is simply not black and white. 



WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I was quite young when I realized that I enjoyed to write, however I became one of those people who always wanted to write a book but never seemed to put the time in to do it, well until now that is. Once I got into it, I found the actual writing experience quite relaxing in the same way that other people might listen to music or play their guitar.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book?
Well I think that the area of prophecy has always interested me to some extent mainly because it is one of those phenomenons that very little is known about how they are conceived, and you often find that most people have opinions about the topic too. However I feel like I was led to write this book by a higher source.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story?
My biggest issue was time, whilst working on this book I felt like I needed to get it completed as soon as I could, during the whole process I was working in a part-time job which freed up the time needed to get the book finished.

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would?
Well I find that when writing stories that you simply need to re-write plots or maybe adjust the personality of a character to make it so that the reader will be left on the edge of the seat, which is a hard task but not impossible.

WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story?
The hardest thing was the simple fact that is does not contain any story, and some people may not even call it an easy read, but the book has a huge depth, in the cryptic words and images and codes that are throughout the book, which means that I have to aim it at readers who like to solve a mystery.

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing?
Well I won't say that I am a marketing expert, but what I have found is that time is the biggest key to get attention for your book, things don't happen overnight but slow steady progress on social networks and blogs can get you places.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today?
There is one piece of advice, although I do forget who said it and where it was said, but it was that when you finish a book that you should put it down for a while and not go near it, and then a month or so later, re-read it, then its like seeing it from a new perspective, kind of like what painters do with oil paintings.

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks?
Well the time I spend writing is never the same, I may write in the afternoon or the middle of the night, and I may sit at my desktop and concentrate or sit with my laptop with the TV on in the background. But for this book music played a big role to my writing because I done a huge amount of meditation and I always have some sort of music in the background when I meditate.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
Well I am not quite sure where it will take me, I have many ideas floating around in my head, for example, at some point I would love to write a book about the full history of prophets throughout time. But I do like to dabble into different genres with my writing and I don't feel that any writer should only stick to one genre.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects?
I have two other manuscripts that are very near completion, one is YA paranormal fiction, the other is a collection of spiritual poetry and prayer, and I have another further manuscript which is about half-way written and its a psychological thriller. But I do hope to return to writing another book of prophecies maybe later in the year.

WI: Do you have any upcoming events or special news you would like to share with our readers? 
Well I am starting my Blog Tour which will be running for a month, but there will always be giveaways and other offers ongoing, I will keep my website updated with all special events.

WI: Where can readers find you?
Best place would be my website www.cesarprophecies.com , but people can also find me on social networks Facebook Twitter and Goodreads, I also have a blog where I examine prophets prophecies and ancient documents at www.cesarprophecies2012.blogspot.com

WI: Where can your book be purchased?
At all online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, either as paperback or ebook, and there is also a special edition available.





A collection of brand new Prophecies about the world, about the world's economy, about disasters and wars, about terrorist attacks and about survival itself

 In this book Cesar takes prophecies to the next level.  In the year where everyone will be hearing once again all about Nostradamus, a year in which the Galactic alignment will occur on the 21st of December, comes a Fantastic book which is sure to broaden the imagination of those who believe in prophecies






Today is the official release of Book of Prophecies. If you would like to purchase a copy and receive a 5% discount off your order visit https://www.createspace.com/3719608
 
and the discount code is :
7KMB3GSM


We want to thank you for taking time to chat with us today and offering your writing & marketing experiences. We wish you much success in the future.

Follow Cesar's tour HERE.


VBT Pit Stop & Interview with Karen Bell - Walking With Elephants


Today we are pleased to welcome Karen Bell, with her novel Walking With Elephants. It is said that this title can be compared to Bridget Jones meets Emma Bombeck, but it's much more and I am very excited to have Karen with us today. Welcome Karen.


Walking with Elephants is Karen Bell’s first novel, although she is not new to writing. After earning a graduate degree in mass communication she spent 15 years as an editor and writer of business materials. She says, “Inspiration for this novel came from my direct contact with the joys of Corporate America and the balancing act that comes with being a working mother.” Currently, Ms. Bell resides in Ponte Vedra, Fl with her husband and photos of her children, granddaughters, and grandson who live everywhere BUT Ponte Vedra, Fl





WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As a young woman. Writing always came easy to me and poetry writing as well. I started a novel when I was in my twenties but my children were young and I could not focus. But I always had the urge inside me. Felt a need to do it.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book?
One day at work, I walked into the ladies room and there was a woman pumping her breast. Somewhere, right now, I thought to myself, there is a baby crying. It didn’t seem right to give up mothering to sit in a cubicle all day. I also experienced first hand how awful women are to each other in the workplace. There definitely needs to be changes in how we incorporate the blending of raising families and work and creating a camaraderie among women who work together.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story?
Carpooling, cleaning house, grocery shopping and cooking dinner were the most interruptive. I started this story several different times and it was when I wrote in the first person that I found my voice and it got easier. But it took ten years to finish this book.

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would?
Nothing. I wait and it comes to me. In fact, my characters take on a life of their own and sometimes lead the story and tell me what’s next. Also when I am in the midst of writing, I am thinking about it all the time and the story comes to me in bits and pieces away from the computer. It’s a weird unstructured process of which I am just carried along and telling a story that seems to want to be told. That’s the fun of it for me. The hook.

WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story?
Knowing where to market, the right place to spend time, energy, and cash. I’m always looking for some website that I can mention my book. I found a book club online and I kept suggesting my book as one of their monthly selections and low and behold it became this December’s selection. Being a pest sometimes works, LOL.

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing?
That I wish I had a publisher who had a budget for advertising and to get newspapers to write reviews. I sent every newspaper a query for a review and none responded except my paper here in Jacksonville. She gave me quite a good review.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today?
Just start writing anything and it will morph into a story. I took a class where the instructor told us to think about a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling and then…go. My story morphed into a tale about two friends who flew small planes in the Alaska wilderness. I really did…go.

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks?
My biggest obstacle to writing is…writing. Once I start I’m good. My third novel has a learning curve about Greek mythology and I am stuck because I think I should become an expert. It is a departure from my other two novels so it’s a little scary. I have to get inside the story, have it be a part of me so I am thinking about it all the time. Have a thought just pop into my head. I’m not there yet with my third novel. It is more of a chore right now. And I’ve been very distracted because my publisher closed and I had to learn how to be a publisher. I am also shopping my second novel, so my creative juices are on hold. But I don’t listen to music or anything. The story grabs me while I’m away from the computer and then I have to write down what came to me and that gets me to the computer and to write. I also rewrite all the time. Comb back through before I move on. Sometimes it’s necessary because if I stay away too long from the writing, I forget what I wrote and repeat myself.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I hope I get traction with my second novel. I feel it is very, very good, but the process to get it published is painful. I don’t like it at all. I also am afraid of a success because right now writing is a calling but I have no deadlines except the aging process, LOL. It is my life’s dream to be taken seriously, to be considered talented. But I also have other interests and I do not want to be consumed by commercial success and having no personal life. Be careful what you wish for is the old adage.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects?
Yes, I mentioned my third novel that will weave the goddess realm into our reality. And my second novel, Sunspots, is a paranormal romance of sorts. I think of myself as writer of magical realism with themes that circle around the empowerment of women.

WI: Do you have any upcoming events or special news you would like to share with our readers? 
Well, on January 9, I will be a guest at a book club in Pompano Beach, to discuss my novel and sign some books. I hope to give away books on this tour at every stop.

WI: Where can readers find you?


WI: Where can your book be purchased?
Amazon, B&N.com, Smashwords, and just google it—it’s everywhere online both print and all eformats

Suze Hall is at a crossroads. Her nemesis at work, Wanda, has been promoted and now will be her boss. Her husband, Bob, is leaving her and the three kids for a six-month sabbatical down under. To top it off, her best friend, Marcia, is missing in action--playing footsie with some new boyfriend!

Adding to this disaster stew, David, the gorgeous hunk who broke her young-girl's heart has coincidentally popped back into her life and has something she desperately needs to keep her job.

Walking with Elephants, a lighthearted slice-of-life story, brings to the table the serious work/family issues facing women today. It explores the modern dichotomy of a workplace that is filled with homemakers who still must cook, clean, carpool on nights and weekends, shop for prom dresses, and "create" the holidays—such as Suze. But it also is filled with women who have the same drive as men, have no family responsibilities, and will do what ever it takes to get ahead.  

So step into the shoes of Suze Hall and commiserate over workplace politics, titillate your sexual fantasies, ride the wave of a working mother, and fall-down laughing. 

The cover is a symbol of the message of empowerment of women. The protagonist, Suze, writes and essay at the end of the novel suggesting a paradigm shift from the patriarchal societies that have been in place for centuries to a matriarchy, such as is found in nature. Like elephants, hence the title.

 Reviewer said it's like Bridget Jones meets Erma Bombeck.



We want to thank you for taking time to chat with us today and offering your writing & marketing experiences. You can follow Karen's tour HERE for chances to win a copy of Walking With Elephants and let her know you stopped in today by leaving a comment.

We wish you much success in the future.