Guest: Lux Zakari

Hello and welcome Lux Zakari to my site. She has so graciously agreed to be interviewed.  
So let’s begin… 
1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are.
I’m Lux Zakari, author of the erotic novels Coercion and Finale. Some say my work is pretty dark, controversial and kinky, but if one were to meet me in person, he or she would ask, “That little goof is writing erotica?” That being said, I enjoy keeping people on their toes. 
2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or an annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told? 
For me, there was never any decision. Writing was just always something I did. I liked telling stories and preserving ideas, and for me, even though I do dabble in visual arts, writing is the best way for me to effectively express what’s going on in my head. It’s so hard for me not to write; it’s like I can’t help myself. I’m perpetually jotting down fragmented ideas and pieces of conversation that I intend on immortalizing in some way at some point in time.
3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance.   
Dorky, but true: When I learned my first novel, Coercion, had been accepted for publication, I danced around to Lionel Ritchie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling.” I’m pretty sure there were a few kicks and spins, and the lyrical supplements of “Fame! I’m gonna live foreva!”
4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from?  
When music legend Jonathan Levant dies in a motorcycle accident, no one is more stunned than his former lover Olivia Gray, a hedonistic ex-celebrity who learns she’s been inexplicably named the guardian of his children. Olivia’s reluctant acceptance of the new parental role obliterates her hope of resurrecting her songwriting career as she faces sarcastic teenagers, suicide attempts and séances. The upset to her self-indulgent life forces Olivia to finally face the truth about the cruel decisions of her wild past, her now uncertain future and her secret, turbulent relationship with a man who, even in death, continues to upend her world.
5) What are you currently writing?  
The story I’m working on now is about an ex-teen idol who married young, is in the midst of a divorce and now has to use fan fiction written about him to glean insight on how to date. It’s an idea that began as a joke, but one I became very passionate about. It’s slow-going though; the magnitude of the project and its importance to me keeps psyching me out of actually writing it, but it’s coming along!
6) What inspires you most when you write?  
Usually everything, but lately, I’ve found inside jokes and other people’s quirks very inspiring, as could be derived from the aforementioned fan fic story. I’m notorious for doing things such as turning a simple gag into a full-blown, year-long project.
7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s? 
Like everything else in life, it’s been a mixed bag. Right now I’m enjoying my experience with Etopia Press, the publisher releasing my next novel, Secretly More. My editor and I seem to be on the same wavelength, and the publisher is very good about answering any questions that crop up on my end.
8) What are you reading now?  
Right now I’m trying to work my way through Game of Thrones, which is a daunting-sized book as it is. However, I’m not used to reading books where things actually happen! Usually, my tastes lean toward books about relationships, and Game of Thrones is a bit too exciting for me. I keep getting overwhelmed and having to walk away from it!
9) What are your guilty pleasures?  
Everything I enjoy is a guilty pleasure, to the point where they stop being guilty pleasures and start being just stuff I like! Some of that stuff includes singing Justin Bieber’s “Baby” (but for a cover band, so it helps soften it—I hope) and still watching my favorite childhood movies over and over.
10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors?  
I mentioned this on Lucy Morgan’s blog, but I believe it whole-heartedly: Always write the story you want to tell exactly the way you want to tell it. There will be at least one person in the world who will be incredibly grateful that you did.
This is for you to talk more about yourself, leave your blogging details, site details and generally promote yourself. 
To learn more about Lux Zakari, visit www.luxzakari.com.

Guest: Maxim Jakubowski

Hello and welcome Maxim Jakubowski to my site. He has so graciously agreed to be interviewed. 
So lets begin…
1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are?
MJ: Just an English writer who was brought up in France and worked for many years in publishing and alternates crime thrillers (with a strong erotic content) and erotic books. I write and edit full-time and seem to publish much too much, even though I still feel I am twiddling my thumbs most of the time, so it’s deceptive.
2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told?  
MJ: I’ve always wanted to write but was encouraged when I was still only 12 by a teacher who allowed me to let my imagination roam free when I was given an essay to write about what I had done on my holidays. My reaction was that, in truth, nothing had, so he said I could invent things. Which I did, fantastically, with a story of being kidnapped by eagles. His positive reaction and that of my classmates to my saga proved a poisonous encouragement and overnight I wanted to be a writer. I published my first stories at 16 and my first book at 18 and have never looked back. Now I have almost 130 titles/volumes to my credit, although the great majority are of course anthologies I’ve edited in a variety of genres. Fiction-wise I am still a long way from being in the Simenon or Balzac prolific mould.
3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance. 
MJ:I submitted a terrible science fiction piece of juvenalia to SATELLITE, the lowest paying French SF magazine at the time and to my utter surprise they ran it . From that moment onwards I was shackled to my little typewriter and a slave to writing fiction. It quickly became a compulsion and an integral part of my life. Though I have also since done non fiction in the form of a travel book and several reference titles, as well as huge amounts of newspaper colums and reviews.
4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from? 
MJ: It’s an erotic novel titled EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT and was published in late September by Xcite Books, who have also published my previous novel I WAS WAITING FOR YOU and my four SEX IN THE CITY collections. It’s available from every good bookshop and online retailer, both as a paperback and, indispensably these days, an ebook.
5) What are you currently writing? 
MJ: I’ve spent the summer translating a couple of French novels, one erotic and one crime for two big mainstream publishers and will getting back to fiction in a few weeks, after a training run, so to speak, with a couple of new short stories. The novel will be called DEFINED BY ABSENCE and that’s all I can reveal. It’s not superstition but I’ve always been of the belief one should never talk about work in progress for fear of never actually writing it.
6) What inspires you most when you write? 
MJ: The beauty of women and their bodies. Life. Art.
7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?
MJ: I worked for several decades in book publishing as Editorial Director or, in two instances, running the companies in question, so I know both sides of the business. I have therefore never had a problem with any of the publishers with whom I have been involved.
8) What are you reading now? 
MJ: I read widely, and having finished Brian Selznick’s WONDERSTRUCK yesterday, I am about to open up Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS. I read 2 or 3 books a week. My essential diet.
9) What are your guilty pleasures? 
MJ: Rock n’roll music, movies and book, magazine and CD collecting with a terrible vengeance. And writing too, naturally.
10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors? 
MJ: Just write and don’t talk about it.
*****
Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from ‘the King of the erotic thriller’
When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops.
She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society’s acceptance.
When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered.
A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together.
A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.
Paperback:
E-book:
*****
MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich, etc…) and launched the Murder One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.
*****
COMMENT TO WIN!
Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome)
Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule.
PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.

Guest: Heaven Liegh Eldeen

Hello and welcome Heaven Liegh Eldeen to my site. She has so graciously agreed to be interviewed.
So lets begin…
1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are? 
Thank you for having me, Sam. I currently live in California, where I grew up, with my husband and prince of darkness and Legos, a.k.a my son. I enjoy moonlit walks on the beach…oh, wait, wrong questionnaire. As you can see, I am a serious goofball. Yeah, figure that oxymoron out. Aside from writing, I spend my days doing dishes, kissing owies, obsessing over my Facebook page, and pretending I’m listening when my husband talk about his work.
SC: It is a pleasure having you here. 
2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told?  
My writing career began with a rivalry between my sister in law Echo and myself. For years we would go fist to cuffs until finally we took a survey of the collateral damages our feuds caused. In an effort to put an end to the squabbling, she gave me a vampire book for my birthday. It was far from the genre I enjoyed reading, but I had to give it a chance, in an effort for peace. A few months and fifteen vampire books later, I expressed to her I wanted something new. She responded with a snippy “Oh, you think you can do better?” Her reply was intended to be a shot at me but I took it as a challenge. Four months later, my first novel was complete and the love for writing had made its home deep within me.
SC: Everyone who knows me knows how much I love and adore vampires lol
3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance. 
Before I received my first acceptance letter, I was really questioning my abilities as a writer. Rejection letter, after rejection letter filled my inbox. No company I sent my pitch to would even read my manuscript due to my lack of credentials and education. I couldn’t really blame them to be honest. I knew being a high school drop out with no writing experience would be a tough sale. And though the rejection letters took a toll on me every now and then, I wasn’t going to give up so easily. 
 Then the big day finally came. No joke, when I read The Demon Side’s acceptance letter from Decadent Publishing I cried like a baby for a good hour. I called my husband at work, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe, which totally scared him. Fearing an emergency my husband came zooming home. He didn’t even clear his motorcycle in the garage when I flung myself into his arms balling my eyes out. He squeezes me and says “Okay baby, tell me why I’m about to go to prison for killing someone.” The man still hadn’t figured out I was crying because I was happy. 
Finally gathering my composure I told him that my novel was going to be published. Before I could let go of him he began jumping up and down, still holding onto me. We stood there hugging for a good thirty minutes. It is one of my most precious moments ever!  
SC: I know exactly what you mean, the rejections suck but when the acceptances appear it is still the most amazing thing in the world. 
4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from? 
The Demon Side centers around Rahovart, a Demon banished to Earth over five hundred years ago. For centuries, he spends his free time feeding himself on the fear he creates by scaring Quantico, Virginia locals. A master of his craft, Rahovart doesn’t think twice when a new family, the Divad’s, move into the Victorian home he dwells in. 
With a workaholic father, an alcoholic step-mother and a schizophrenic eighteen year old girl, the dysfunctional family unknowingly offers the perfect arsenal for Rahovart to plan his tricks. That is until he learns their daughter; Etta can not only see Demons but is already being tormented by Alastor, an incubus. What starts as a turf war between him, Alastor and the Arch Angels, soon becomes a battle deep within Rahovart of good versus evil and more importantly love versus hate. 
The Demon Side will be available through decadentpublishing.com October 21st, 2011.
SC: Sounds fantastic and good luck with many wonderful sales. 
5) What are you currently writing?
I am currently putting the finishing touches on The Human Side, sequel to The Demon Side as well as four other novels. I have written another novel, Vineyard House, which is currently in the revision process, so hopefully here soon it will be in editing!
SC: It is one long list and honey it will only get longer lol. 
6) What inspires you most when you write?
Apart from personal life experiences, my family definitely inspires me, without a doubt, to move up and forward. Of course, I must give credit to music as well. A ton of songs on my IPod have given me the courage to push myself farther than I ever imagined I could.
7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?
Everyone at Decadent Publishing has been fabulous from day one. Not once have I felt out of my league. They have been great, walking me through every process step by step and answering my million and one questions about the process as a whole. A special thanks has to go to my editor, Terry MacFarland, since she caught the brunt of most of my newbie questions.
SC: Being new everything is daunting and that feeling still hasn’t changed for me. 
8) What are you reading now?
I am currently reading What Tangled Webs by Dan Dillard. Filled with incredibly scary and yet hilarious short stories, I can’t put it down. Next on my “to read” list is ‘Steamside Chronicles’ by Ciar Cullen. I absolutely love her work.
9) What are your guilty pleasures?
Besides hiding the bacon from my husband? I enjoy so much in the world, but none you could say is a guilty pleasure. I do have pleasures that may end up in me having to plead guilty, such as taste testing grapes at the super market. Yes I am that lady!
10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors?
It sounds corny and I am sure you have all heard it all too often, but no advices rings truer than never…ever…never give up. Every rejection letter is one step closer to an acceptance letter. And remember, your success can only be measured by what you put in the scales.
Thank you for being on my blog today. 
This is for you to talk more about yourself, leave your blogging details, site details and generally promote yourself.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of working with twelve other outstanding authors on a short horror story, which you can read at http://www.scareitforward.com. Also, you can always find me posting excerpts, character interviews and bios, along with a few other snippets, on my blog at http://heavenliegheldeen.blogspot.com. Want to know more? Check out The Demon Side on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter!
BLURB:
When worlds collide…
Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out!
Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic.
One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down…

Excerpt:

Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervour and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.
“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.
“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”
“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.
“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.
“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”
“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.
“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt. Heaven Liegh Eldeen will be giving away one free e-copy of the Demon Side so please don’t forget to leave a comment. 

Guest: Sara York

What Inspires You

I’m Sara York and in my writing life I’ve been through periods where I write 12,000 words a day and periods where I only write 500 words a day. Right now I’m kind of in a good patch, but I know to take it day by day.
Some of the things that help me write are pictures of lovely places, inspiring visits and peace. In a family with two very active teens who I home school there isn’t much peace. There’s always a sporting event, 11 average per week when you throw in practices, and then there’s music lessons and practice. We’re busy.
I recharge by looking at beach photos. I love everything about the beach. The sand between my toes, the sun, the water and the salt I love it all.

This is one of my favorite areas in the USA. I love the water and dolphins that inhabit the intracoastal waterways. This is at the light house on Hilton Head.

This is Vero Beach in Florida. Vero was hit hard by a few hurricanes in the late 2000’s and the beach and dunes are recovering. It’s a very beautiful area and I love spending time at Vero.
San Francisco isn’t as warm as the East Coast beaches, but I still love the area. It’s so beautiful with the bridge and all the ships. I could spend hours sitting on the beaches watching the boats sail by.
I love beaches in the Bahamas. The water is crystal clear. I think I could probably live on a boat full time. The only downside is frequent showers with fresh water. There just isn’t enough space on a sailboat to supply enough fresh water for showers. Otherwise I would sell the house, buy a sailboat and live right off shore of this island.
But my favorite beach spot in the entire world is on Hilton Head. The trees on the island, the quaint atmosphere and the beautiful water make it my top spot to recharge and find the writing muse again.
Finding what recharges your soul is mega important for writers. We put so much into our books and it takes its toll. After writing Working It Out I needed to recharge. Lucky for me I was able to travel to my sisters and go Atlantic Beach in North Carolina. We spent three hours on a cold and windy Sunday morning with our toes in the sand. It was wonderful.
I hope you enjoyed these pictures. These are just some of the photos that help me recharge and make my mind right so I can create more compelling, erotic and adventurous stories.
For more information on Sara York books visit http://sarayork.com