Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Taking a Break...

We're finally moving to Winnipeg, where I'll be so happy to join fellow author Toni Anderson! I'll be gone for a week, so will return when I'm online again.

Meanwhile, I've added two links at the right: TITLE WAVE and LONE STAR MEANDERINGS. These are great new blogs I discovered and they're well worth a look.

Have a great week, everybody, and I look forward to being back online asap! :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome to my special guest...JUDITH ROCHELLE

LW: Judith, please introduce yourself to our readers. How did you start writing in this genre and what drew you to it?

JR: I live in the Texas Hill country with my husband and our three little kittens. All of our children are out on their own so our time is pretty much as we choose it. Writing had always been my secret passion but although I worked as a journalist and wrote for several magazines I had to wait to begin writing fiction until I retired. My wonderful husband is my Number One fan, and very supportive. I always thought I’d write mysteries, because that’s what I always read. But after three months when I was still looking at the same three dumb chapters, I figured out I was doing wrong,. My introduction to the romance genre came when I read Cry No More by Linda Howard and after that everything changed for me. I finished my first manuscript in two weeks – of course it was so gawdawful I had to rewrite it about twenty times to submit it, but I felt so accomplished!

LW: You have an exciting new romantic suspense coming out - REDEMPTION. Can you give us a blurb about it? When is it coming out?

JR: REDEMPTION is built around a man named Ethan Caine, a mysterious, burnt-out warrior who has a murky background. Ethan is based on the friend of my son’s and the book was exciting to write. My heroine is a woman who has suffered unbelievably through a destructive marriage, the murder of her husband, and now the kidnapping of her son. Three months after the ransom’s paid, Jamie has still not been returned. When everyone else fails to find him, her only recourse is through Ethan Caine. As they search for Jamie together in the lush Quintana Roo jungle, barriers begin to fall and they wonder, with a successful rescue, can they each put their lives back together and move on together? As I wrote it, it was interesting to me to watch Lisa, my heroine, driven out of her shell by anger, become this very strong, very determined woman. And to see Ethan barely hope that this is the woman who can pull him back from hell.

LW: What was the "idea" behind the book?

JR: I’ve become really fascinated with Special Ops and covert operations. My model for Ethan Caine is someone I’ve known for ten years and one day just had the itch to put him in a book. When I started I had just his profile and one line. See if you can guess which line when you reads the book. I’ll send a pen and maybe some other goodies to everyone who sends in the right answer.

LW: You told me there are two more books in this series - what characters are you featuring in each book?

JR: In book Number 2 a woman from Ethan’s past arrives on his doorstep afraid for her life. With her is a child, who turns out to be Ethan’s. Killers are after them, and Ethan keeps the child at his home but gives the woman for safekeeping to Dina Brancuzzi, from REDEMPTION, a supposedly retired covert operation running fishing charters but doing black ops contract work for the government. This is his story.

LW: How did you present this series to your publisher?

JR: I sent the manuscript for REDEMPTION and when they bought it and it was released, I told my editor I had ideas for sequels,. She asked me to send them to her, which I did, and she wants me to write the next two books. So that’s very exciting!

LW: You also have a brand new book out in September. Tell us about this book and the series that's sprung from it!

JR: This is an exciting new genre for me – psychic romantic intrigue. The book is called ALWAYS ON MY MIND. I was asked to write it by the managing director of The Lotus circle, sister imprint to Ellora’s Cave. It’s an area I’ve always been interested in but never explored. The hero and heroine discovered in their teens they could communicate telepathically. They are very tight as friends, but suddenly that friendship turns into something much deeper. But Mark is in Delta Force and unwilling to make a long-term commitment while in the service, so Faith works very hard at writing successful political thrillers. Then Mark’s mission is leaked and almost all the men on his team are killed. He’s captured by the terrorists he was there to eliminate and his only contact with the outside world is through Faith. The story is about how she finds a way to rescue him. In the course of that, she meets the men of Phoenix, a covert agency doing contract work for the government and corporations. Now each of those four men will have their own book, and the women they find will have some type of psychic ability. The second book is called VISIONS OF DARKNESS, and my heroine, Mia Fleming, has precognition. I am very, very excited about this. The books are being released by The Lotus Circle, sister imprint to Ellora’s Cave.

LW: How did you get the idea for this series?

JR: The idea for the first book came from a song by the late Townes Van Zandt called, IF I NEEDED YOU – “If I needed you, would you come to me, would you come to me, for to ease my pain.” Lying in bed one night, with that song playing in my head, the story line just popped into my mind. Then as I wrote the book, the men of Phoenix became very personal to me and I thought they should each have their own story. The director agreed so we’re on to the next one.

LW: How do you like to write - are you a plotter or a pantser?

JR: A little bit of both. I start with an idea and much of the time will write some sort of synopsis, just so I don’t forget where I’m going. But otherwise I’m really a pantser, letting my characters take me where the need to go.

LW: Do you have a strict routine? How long does it take you to write one book?

JR: That depends. I can actually do it in one month if pushed and I put everything else aside – like eating and sleeping, LOL! - but two months is more realistic.

LW: What advice can you give unpublished writers? (beyond, never give up!)

JR: Definitely that. The other thing is figure out what kind of books you like to read-those are what you should write. I was so in love with the hero in Linda Howard’s CRY NO MORE that I wrote RUN FOR YOUR LIFE to create my own hero. Don’t be discouraged. Check the web for romance writers Yahoo groups. There are always helpful discussions going on. Find a critique group. You really need other input into what you right. And don’t let rejection letters get you down. We all have tons of them. Just keep on writing.

LW: What kinds of things do you like to do when you're not writing?

JR: That’s easy – read, read, read. Play golf. And from August through December I watch every football game eon television. I am the original football maniac. I take my laptop and sit on the couch, writing and watching two games at a time.

On the 23rd I’ll be blogging at the Killer Passion Blog and on the 24th I’ll be doing an author stint on ebooklove. I’m also running a contest through August 31 to celebrate the release in print of LOVE WITH A PROPER RANCHER, the first in a trilogy, and two weeks later, CUTTER’S LAW in ebook. Jump on over to my web site at www.judithrochelle/com and get the details and enter the contest. Lots of great prizes. Rancher, like REDEMPTION, is available at amazon.com and barnes&noble.com

I have also started a Yahoo group, just for announcements and for my readers to discuss my books. You can register at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/authorjudithrochelle/ And I’m running a contest there for signed books just for members of ther group. All you have to do is join.

Below is an article I wrote on Where Do Ideas Come From:

So many people ask me the question “Where do writers get their ideas? How do they come up with plot lines? With characters?” I used to ask the same question myself before the writing bug bit me, and I took all the suggestions I’d been given and figured out how to use them.

For one thing, always carry a notebook with you – big, small, tiny enough for a purse, it doesn’t matter. Just something to keep notes in. Say you’re in a restaurant having Shrimp Louie and a chilled glass of Chablis and the people at the next table begin arguing about wine. Okay, what if they are co-owners in a winery. One wants to sell, the other doesn’t. And if it’s a family winery all the more intense. So you jot down the gist of their conversation and maybe a word or two about the people themselves so you have character references.

Another good place to people watch is a mall. Every kind of humanity will pass before your eyes in the space of an hour. You can look at each one and play the “What If: game. What if that guy covered with tattoos is really part of a biker gang running drugs? What if the couple looking so romantic are actually married – to other people? What if the old woman sitting across from you is really a millionaire looking for someone to give money to, but her family is fighting it, trying to have her declared incompetent? Well, you get the idea.

Newspapers are a great source, too. Even letters to the editor. I read one in our local paper from a woman who had just moved to town and was renting a house, gone jogging and was caught in a downpour and a very nice man in a truck – with a dog – gave her a ride home. From that I came up with the idea for a romantic suspense about a woman who returns to her hometown after leaving it twenty-five years before. No one knows her after all this time. She’s changed her name, she’s a true crime writer and she’s back to solve the mystery of her sister’s murder.

You can even steal a little bit from television. I watched an episode of CSI in which a couple left their dead baby for the police to find and faked a kidnapping. The baby was actually killed by their five-year-old child. It was an accident but they didn’t know what to do. Okay, here’s where the “What If” came in for me. What If a family had a child that was really a bad seed, had would they find a way to remedy the situation? Watch for ECHOES OF THE PAST, out in May from Triskelion Publishing, to find out how far I took the “What If” game with this one.
When something triggers an idea in your mind, pull out that little notebook and jot it down. You never know how you can flesh it out at a later date. Describe people you see who fascinate you, places that might make good settings for stories. Anything that you find interesting, someone else will like, too.

But the most important thing to remember is that ideas come from YOUR MIND. So give your imagination free reign. Nothing is too absurd or off the wall. New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart said, “If you write a page a day, at the end of the year you’ll have a book.”

So start watching what goes on around you and putting those ideas down. Maybe at the end of the year you’ll have finished your book.

LW: Judith, thank you for spending the time with us today! Good luck with your new series. Again, anyone who wants to check out Judith's website for book or contest information, visit

Friday, August 17, 2007

Make Sure You're Here!

On Monday August 10th, JUDITH ROCHELLE will be my guest blogger. She writes erotic romantic suspense under her pen name Desiree Holt, and inspirationals as Emily Brevard. Her sexy romances are published throughThe Wild Rose Press, and we're going to talk about her new book due out in September, as well as the two series she's got on the go!

I'll be giving a prize randomly from any comments or questions put on my Blog.

Make sure you check in Monday to learn about Judith's approach to writing, and her essay on "Where Do Ideas Come From".

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I've put a link through to my friend Pollyanna Lundy's site under LINKS at the right hand side. She's a fantastic web designer and offers full services to authors. You can see samples of her work at her site. She's very reasonable, which is helpful to budding unpubs or debut authors.

I recommend her highly! Check out The Authors Assistant if you're new, or are looking to change up your website.


1) You decide you'll never be a size 10 or 12 again (never mind a "medium"), so you clean out your closet ruthlessly. You end up with two garbage bags for Sally Ann.

2) You have renewed angst over the fact that out of you and your two sisters, you received the ugliest silver ware and silver tea set to be had in the family.

3) You discover bags and bags of school memorabilia for both kids - dating back to 1998. Oh yeah, you planned on sorting all that out when you moved here a year and a half ago - stuff everything back in the bags!

4) Your dh refuses to give up his MBA textbooks, which are taking up a whole shelf of your "writing" bookcase. This means you'll finally have to pick up the piles of writing books on the floor of your office and stick them ????

5) You find a whole file of notes for your fourth novel, which you thought was "lost". Great rejoicing ensues!

6) Your movers inform you that contrary to your LAST move, you now have to take apart your entire patio set (make sure you keep your bolts yourself), and ALL your Canadian Tire metal shelving in the basement.

7) Your movers inform you that now they no longer transport photo albums, scrapbooks, or photos of any kind, in case they lose them. Piles of these will have to go in your own vehicles - since when are movers supposed to "lose" anything???

8) You have to count every DVD, video, CD, and Playstation game in the house and list them on a new form: the "highly valuable" form. When you're done that, you can list all your signed, limited edition prints, and collector books too.

9) Your mother chooses this time to have a major "crisis" - and you're 3000 miles away so it stands to reason you're the one who has to talk her through it.

10) You discover your file of contest certificates. You realize that in spite of it all, you'll still be a writer no matter where you live - it's all just a matter of getting from Point A to Point B. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007


I know I've been MIA for a few weeks, but it's been crazy here trying to coordinate everything before we move, *and* trying to keep up on my revisions. Moving creates "Lists of Things To Do", and I keep crossing things off, and finding even more things to put on another List. Thankfully, dh is great on helping organize and take things off my plate, such as booking reconnections for utilities, the "Net", etc. at the other end.

I can't believe how much stuff we still have to "purge" - things we don't need/use anymore, that I don't want to drag with us this time. It's definitely true that we're a consumer society and have too many material things piled up. I didn't think I could ever accuse myself of that, but as I make lists for the movers of DVD's, videos, our Folio collector books, my writing books....it's clear we've fallen into the entertainment trap just like everyone else we know.

We went to a formal Mess Dinner last Friday p.m. for the graduation of three of my dh's classmates who're going on fighter jets. It was wonderful to take part in all the Air Force traditions, even the "stranger" ones such as the men/women in uniform getting up on their chairs and putting their right foot on the table (white linen, no less) while the Air Force Anthem was played, and then yelling "AIR FORCE!" before pouring a shot down their throats. I was wishing I'd known about it before hand and gotten a quick picture of it.

At Mess Dinner's there's an empty table set, with a chair leaning up against the table as though it's "saved" for someone. The glasses are all turned upside down, to symbolize that no one will sit there, there's a wedge of lemon on a plate to symbolize the bitterness of the loss of our comrades in arms, a bowl with salt in it to symbolize the tears shed by the families of lost loved ones, a single red rose to symbolize the blood shed for our country, and a red ribbon around it's vase to symbolize the current member's pledge to shed their blood for their country. The description of this table setting is read at the start of every Mess Dinner, and it's very touching.

I'll try and pop in and keep up with other's blogs and news before we move. Sorry it's sporadic, but those closets are calling my name right now! Hope everyone's having a great August, and getting every last squeeze out of your summer. :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why Criminals?

Someone asked me why I talk about criminals and crime so much on my Blog. Well, I'm a crime/suspense/romantic suspense writer, and I find news stories to be inspirational. I also scope out research on how the criminal mind works.

Most importantly, I used to be a police officer, and I also worked as Program Director for a Young Offenders correctional facility. In 1991, I opened the first street youth crisis shelter in my home city, and received a Governor-Generals' medal for the honour.

I've had significant experience with crime, criminals, and what makes them tick. Of course, I have personal opinions on these issues, which most cops/ex-cops do. For example, I have a sister-in-law who's a clinical psychologist and specializes in treating sex offenders. She believes they can be rehabilitated - from my experience, in my opinon, they cannot be. She's much more liberal in her thinking than I am, but we all have our different perspectives!

So, I hope I can percolate your thinking with some of these posts, as to what happens in true crime situations. I hope this is useful to suspense/romantic suspense writers. Like everything else, there's the victims story, the suspects story, and the police who deal with both of them. Their stories; how police officers cope, and their unique views on the world, are what I try to recreate in my books.