Interview with Tess Oliver

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One on one with:
Tess Oliver * Scottie Barrett * C.J. Evans
(Whichever name you know her by)



As someone who is a fan and follows your career, first I have to say that you are one busy author.  You write under 3 different pen names and just under your Tess Oliver author name you have four Goodreads pages worth of novels you’ve written.

-What would you say the biggest struggle of being the mind behind 3 different pen names and balancing the work you do for each, is? 
  • Well, the Scottie Barrett name is a coauthor team with my sister. We recently got the rights back to several of our books, historical erotica, and we’re republishing them again.  It’s been about seven years but now we are working on a contemporary erotic romance under our old pen name.  It’s fun to be working with my sister again. I recently retired early from my long time career as a teacher to become a full time writer. And I love being able to spend my whole day creating stories. It gives me a lot more time to develop characters and plots.  The Scottie Barrett stuff has a different flavor than my Tess Oliver books because my sister and me combine our styles in the creation of those books.

That’s really interesting and it must be great to be able to share an experience like this with someone you are so close with!

-Now that we’ve established how busy you already are, what new books do you have in the works for us and can you tell on anything about them? 

  • I’m working on a project that I’m really in love with. It’s a standalone contemporary new adult romance titled That Time with Sugar. It’s something I’ve been working on between the Barringer Brothers books. It’s coming out in March and we’ll have some sample chapters up on my web site soon.  I hope readers enjoy it as much as I’m enjoying writing it.

I will definitely be checking out the new work, as I am sure most others will be. I can’t wait for the sneak peaks!

-Who or what inspires your stories: other authors, people in your life, things that have happened to you in your life, etc.? 

  • Tidbits of my life end up in a lot of my stories. People, conversations, events, places, they show up in my writing– sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident.
-If you had the ability to live in one of the book you have created, which one would you choose and why? 
  • Good question! Blackpool Cove takes place in a small 19th century American town on the coast with a lighthouse and a hot vampire. I would definitely live there.
Goodreads link to Blackpool Cove: 
-What does it feel like when you are drawn back to different characters, what is the feeling that tells you their story isn’t done or is it mostly to make your fans happy? 
  • When I wrote the sequel to Camille, it was so much fun bringing all those characters back to my computer that the story just wrote itself. Same with The Wedding. Diving back into the Custom Culture world felt like coming home. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed the guys until they popped back onto my keyboard. With romances, I like to leave off when the characters have overcome the obstacles and reached their happily ever after moment.
These past questions have covered your career but I would also like to learn more about Tess, the person; so these questions will be a little more personal in nature:
-Can you tell us five things your fans would not have previously known about you before reading this interview? 
 
  1. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was nineteen and I raised my kids without meat. 
  2. I’m scared to death of ventriloquist dummies. 
  3. Before I was a teacher, I was a microbiologist. 
  4. I’m a hardcore romantic. 
  5. I’m an unabashed flirt. 
-Tell us something strange or quirky about yourself (a bad habit, guilty pleasure, a love of a strange food combination, something like that)? 
  • Chocolate , chocolate and more chocolate.
-Why did you choose to write under Pen names instead of your legal name? 
 
  • I actually have a published science book under my real name. It’s a kid’s science book . But mostly I used a pen name because I was an elementary school teacher for many years. Just seemed better not to use my real name on sexy romances. 

-What are the benefits and disadvantages for you by using a Pen name? 

  • The only disadvantage that I’ve found is confusion with royalties, taxes and financial stuff.
-We will end this interview with a little, “either or,” I’ll give you the choices and you give me your decision:

Salty or sweet? 
  • Sweet, always sweet.
Beach or mountains? 
  • Beach– I’m a California native!
Hot or cold? 
  • Hot – again the California thing. I’ve only seen snow a handful of times.
Bad boy or boy next store? 
  • I married a bad boy who lived in the next town. Does that work?
Tattoos or no tattoos? 
  • I like them but I don’t have any. 
Casual or dressy? 
  • Definitely casual.
True love or hot sex? 
  • I don’t think you can have one without the other. I was lucky enough to find both in the same man!
Alright, that’s it! Who enjoyed that?! I know I did. Thank you so much Tess, for taking the time to answer these questions and giving the readers, your fans a glimpse into your life. I hope you all loved what we have found out! Thanks for reading!
 
Tess Oliver’s information:
 
Scottie Barrett’s information:

Interview With Alla Kar

Author Interview…
 
With Alla Kar!
 
I have scored you guys another fascinating read… Alla Kar agreed to answer some questions in an interview so I could share some of her and her points of view with all of you. To start off I would like to Thank Alla for taking the time to do this! Now let’s dig in and give the fans a little information they may not have previously known…
 
Alla,
– Can you tell us 5 things your fans and readers wouldn’t have previously known about you before this interview.
1.    I’m 24-years-old!
2.    I work in the publishing world.
3.    I’m a dog lover.
4.    My favorite color is pink.
5.    And I talk to myself—like ALL the time! :p
Wow, 24-years-old and you’re a published author of quite a few books and you have a career in the publishing world. Those are some big accomplishments for a woman under 25. Congratulations on your hard work! 
– So, You work behind the scenes and up front; in both the publishing world and as an author… do you think this is helpful to your writing career and what is both the best and most difficult thing about wearing both hats?
  • Yes, it is helpful. I know what editors are looking for. I get the inside scoop on what’s selling and what isn’t. On the other hand, it’s very difficult to do both because I also have a part-time job. Plus, I was recently married. So my life is chaos most of the time!

Sounds hectic, you do a great job from the reader’s point of view.

– Who are some of your favorite authors and do you feel they have influenced your writing?

  • John Green is my number one favorite. I don’t necessarily think our writing is in anyway similar. But I adore how witty he is and how much he made us fall in love with Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters! He inspires me to write male roles that take your breathe away. 🙂
– What has been your favorite or most personal project of yours thus far?
  • My most personal project was HERE WITH ME. I was bullied my senior year in high-school. Jaden’s feelings were basically my own. Writing HERE WITH ME showed me so much about myself that I didn’t know before.

I bet it was therapeutic too; writing your thoughts and feelings into a story from another point of view.

– What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming year?
  • Well, Redemption is coming NOVEMBER 30th. I plan to write another boxing book but with a female boxer. And I also plan to write a paranormal romance at the beginning of the year! 🙂

Sounds like you are keeping busy. I look forward to reading future work from you!

– If you could only pick one, which character of yours would you choose to live a day in their life, male or female, and why?
  • Oh, that’s an easy one. Layla James from The Forever Series. Because I would die to meet Taylor Jacks in person! ;p 
I was a fan of Taylor Jacks myself so I understand your decision!
– Now, if you could pick one character from any novel of any genre you have read to live a day in their life, male or female, who would you choose and why?
  • That’s even easier. I would like to be Brooke Dumas from REAL. Because you just don’t get any better than Remington Tate.
That is a wonderful choice too; Katy Evans definitely did everything right with Remington Tate and I am sure readers everywhere agree.
– What has been the toughest criticism, given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
 
  • Any negative review I take to heart. I want to improve my writing and gain fans. A lot of authors tell me not to look on Goodreads or Amazon at my reviews but I do. I can’t say what’s been the hardest. My work isn’t for everyone and I’m one hundred percent okay with that. The best compliment I’ve ever gotten would be any good review. I think they’re all special. To have one person say they like my work makes me feel great. 
I have seen authors say not to look at reviews. If I was an author I don’t think I would be able to resist temptation either. Plus, I think it could be beneficial to see what the readers connected or didn’t connect to. Reviews are hard to take sometimes. Even us bloggers can get negative or critical feedback sometimes, so I feel you on that. But when you connect with an author you admire or you and a fellow reader see eye-to-eye it make it all worth it for me. 
 
Again I would like to thank Alla so much for doing this interview and I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about her. Her novel, Here With Me released earlier this month and my review of it is available on this blog. I look forward to more work from her in the future and you should all check out Redemption coming out November 30th!

My review of Here With Me by Alla Kar

Interview with Hilary Wynne

Recently, I reviewed Stay and Hold on by Hilary Wynne. Through doing these reviews I made contact with the brilliant and creative Hilary. She agreed to do an interview with me and I am so psyched to share it with all of you!! She gives us a look inside the mind that created the Alexa Reed Series. Enjoy guys!

Can you tell us 5 things your fans and readers wouldn’t have previously known about you before this interview?

 
  1. I come from a large family – three sisters and three brothers.
  2. I am really uncomfortable being the center of attention.
  3. If I could wear flip flops all year around I would.
  4. I just got my first tattoo a few weeks ago and I love it.
  5. I love to travel.
What were you like in high school?
  • I would like to think that I am pretty much the same now as I was in high school.  I’m a social person with a lot of friends from different backgrounds/parts of my life and I was then too. I was a multi-sport athlete then and still love to play sports and be competitive. I loved high school!
Who are some of your favorite authors and do you feel they have influenced your writing?

  • My list of favorite authors is long and varied. Off the top of my head I would say John Steinbeck, Alan Brennert, Khaled Hosseini and Chris Bohjalian and Jojo Moyes rank highly with me. They have influenced my writing by showing me through their words how important detail and description are when telling a story. Each of those amazing authors has the ability to just take you away and make you feel like you are in the book. 
Where did your love of books/reading/writing come from?
  • I have always loved to read and I would have to give my parents credit for that. They are both big readers and encouraged me to be one as well. They would allow me to vanish to my room and not come out until I was done with whatever book I was reading.  As far as writing goes, I have always just loved to write and tell stories.
When writing, do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
  • I had an outline and plot when I started this series (The Alexa Reed Series) and I have basically stayed true to it, but there is so much in these books that I didn’t plan. Sometimes when I am writing the characters take over and start telling the story. 🙂
What is the hardest part about writing?
  • Writing isn’t hard for me. It’s the easy part. When I sit down at the computer to write it’s because I’m feeling it and the words flow. All the stuff that comes after (editing, promoting, etc) is the hard parts for me!
How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
  • Not well! It is hard to hear negative things about my work and about characters that feel like family to me. I have to remember that I don’t like all books so I can’t expect everyone to like mine. I don’t mind when the review offers something in the way of constructive criticism but take issue with people who are ugly about it or leave a review when they haven’t even finished the book.  I am lucky to not have had many bad ones but the ones I have had have been upsetting. 
What do you enjoy most about being an author?
  • I love interacting with readers and fans. I really do. I’ve met some great people on this journey that I never would have met otherwise. 
If you had to go back before you were ever published, is there any aspect of your novels or getting published that you would change?
  • I worked with a self-publishing company on Stay and in hindsight it was a bad decision on my part. It wasn’t a good fit for me but I learned a lot. I found another company to work with who I connected with and we have had a great working relationship. It’s important to have a good rapport with people who are helping get your book out. As far as my novels go, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Can you give us anything about book 3 in the Alexa Reed Series… Teasers/your frame of mind writing it/title/etc… anything?
  • The plan for BOOK THREE is that it will be out in late November. I’m not ready to share the title quite yet but I will tell you it is based on a song that Julian would sing to Lexie. I’m having a difficult time getting through some parts because it is very emotional and Julian and Lexie are dealing with the aftermath of some serious stuff in Hold On. Lexie has grown up a lot and you will see a very different side of her in this book. I don’t want it to all end so I have been dragging my feet a little but think people will be happy with where the story goes.

Are you currently working on anything other than the Alexa Reed Series and what’s next from you?
  • I am not working on anything else at the moment except book three. I have an idea for a new series when I’m all done with the Alexa Reed series. I can’t give too much away but I will tell you that it will be a little naughtier and a little raunchier :
Thanks for having me on!!

I hope you all enjoyed a glimpse into the fabulous mind of Hilary Wynne! I know I loved hearing more about her and what’s next for The Alexa Reed Series. If you are anything like me you can never get enough of the sexy Julian Bauer! I would like to thank Hilary for taking the time to answer my questions so that I could share with all of you!
Thanks Hilary!
Hilary Wynne on facebook:
Stay – on Amazon / Hold on – on Amazon

Interview with Isabelle Peterson

I have been reading and reviewing the Dream Series by Isabelle Peterson lately and through this I have connected with her. She kindly agreed to do an interview with me and I’d like to share it with all of you!!! Get to know Isabelle a little better and enjoy!
 
 
•      The name Isabelle Peterson is a pen name, where does it come from?
 
o    My name in high-school French Class was “Isabelle”…  I always loved that name because there are fun nicknames. Like “Izzy” “Iz” and “Bella”. My real name doesn’t really have a nickname. Peterson… I literally just closed my eyes, opened the phonebook, and pointed. When I searched the name Isabelle Peterson, I didn’t see any other Isabelle Peterson authors, and no other famous Isabelle’s to get confused with. Done.
        
       Can you explain the reasons behind your anonymity and pen name to your readers and is there one thing about this topic you want your fans to really understand?
 
o    I am the mother of teen-agers in high school. I don’t really want some “idiot” boy thinking “Hey, her mom writes naughty books. She’s probably into that stuff, too.”  I truly believe my daughter can ‘fend off’ one of these idiots, but she shouldn’t have to. Being a teen is hard enough. My job is to protect her, not give her extra issues to deal with.
       Do you have a core group of close friends who know who Isabelle Peterson really is or is your anonymity for every one outside your household?
 
o    There are a small, well trusted handful of locals who know about Isabelle. They kind of enjoy being “in” on the secret. They’ve always been super supportive.
        Have you had any weird or scary moments when someone was trying to figure out who you really were?
 
o    Knock on wood, no. But I do have a friend who does not use a pen name. Someone actually came to her house… It was a very frightening story. Made me all the more happy that I write under a pen name.
       What were you like in high school?
 
o    Outgoing to be sure.  I was in the drama club, and friends with all sorts of kids from the cheerleaders and football players to the chess club kids to the skateboarders (for a while I had a really cool skater haircut, too). I dated, off-and-on, a soccer player.
       Which writers inspire you?
 
o    EL James, for jump starting this genre… Judy Blume for her stories of self discovery Mark Twain for his wit, insight, and pragmatic views.
       What draws you to this genre?
 
o    Hmmm – the genre – well, the sex, for sure however if I read a book that has characters I cannot connect with, I wont finish it. There are a couple dozen titles I havent finished on my Kindle.
       Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
 
o    I do outline, often with scenessome pages long. then go back and build bridges. Yes, sometimes I have to re-organize the scenes, or when I had characters on the highway breezing down, while writing, they decide to take a detour and see the scenic route, or, I had them on the scenic route, and they decide to jump on the highway and a scene just doesnt happen, or the dang highway construction has put up an obstacle causing all sorts of chaos.
       If you had to go back before you were ever published, is there any aspect of your novels or getting published that you would change?
 
o    Id write them longer and take longer to publish. The fans sometimes get crazy and I think Not in My Wildest Dreams and Chasing the Dream (books 2 & 3) were a bit premature Ditching the Dream (book 1) took me a year to write. And there might be one or two quick scenes I would add to DTD, but for the most part, Im happy with it.  But for 2 & 3, Ive had the characters kinda screaming at me saying I forgot to tell you what happened when…”
The solution? Bonus scenes. Sometimes given to bloggers and I have a couple more that are outlined, and will be going on my website soon, but for now I have been too focused on writing Book 4 (Unexpected Dreams)
       What has been the toughest criticism, given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
 
 
o    Toughest: Far fetched. However, to that, I say, Its fiction. Not a biography or a how-to book.
o    Best: Your book changed my life.  Ive had three fans that I can name right off the top of my head who have said, I want you to know that your first book changed my life.  I really identified with Beth.  And after reading her book and understanding where she was coming from, I changed a lot in my life.  So don’t think we all just get entertainment from your books. (thats a copy & paste from my inbox.) 

       What book/s are you reading at present?
 
o    Im usually reading a number of books at one time, just depends on my mood. All within the same genre, but very different sub-genres.  The books Im currently reading:
       Priceless by Raine Miller
       A Southern Thing series by Sara York (was up until 2am finishing the 2nd book)
       Club Destiny Series by Nicole Edwards (half through book 4)
       One Night Promised by Jodi Ellen Malpas
       Reasonable Doubt series by Whitney Gracia Williams
 
Any other writing projects?
 
o    Well, my other “job” is a screenwriter. I have been contracted by the author of a NYT Best Selling series to adapt her books for screen. Because of the genre, I’ll be using Isabelle Peterson for that work.
o    I’m also reverse adapting (from script to book) one of my favorite screenplays that I’ve written and that has done well in contests… It’s a YA book & I will be releasing that under my real/screenwriting name.
Thank you Izzy for taking the time to do this interview and letting your fans learn a little more about you. Readers I hope you enjoyed and if you haven’t already read the Dream series, go check it out now!!