Tag Archives: Samhain Publishing

Guest Interview with Trevann Rogers

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Interesting question. I’ve never thought about my process before, but as I reflect on my writing process (such as it is), I start with characters. They show up in my head for a variety of reasons and hang with me a while. My writing partner and I talk about them over chips and diet coke, sometimes steak and a margarita, and their stories just sort of unfold. And I’m not nearly as crazy as that sounds.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

A little of both. I always have an outline and major scenes planned before I sit down to write.  That doesn’t mean that I never change the plan.  Sometimes as I’m writing, something will occur to me and I’ll go off to explore the tangent.  I try to be aware when a plot line or scene isn’t working so that I don’t try to force something that feels wrong.  I often write the rough draft of  by hand.  I seem to be able to think better that way.  But after the first very rough draft everything is done on the computer.

If you use music while you’re writing, name your favorite types.

I do use music when I write but I listen to many different types, depending on the scene and what mood I want to impart.  Most of the time it’s a CD or my iPod, but I also use movies (on DVD) that I think have good soundtracks/scores.  My tastes range from the heavy metal band Disturbed to New Age Kitaro.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

There isn’t just one thing I do when I get stuck. Taking a break from the story usually helps.  Sometimes I work on a different idea that I want to explore.  I listen to music or walk the dogs.  I have used tarot cards to explore ideas.

In what genres do you read?

The primary genres I read are Urban Fantasy and Fantasy in general, but I’m as eclectic in my reading tastes as I am in my musical tastes. I also read mysteries, humor, books on the writing craft and other non-fiction.

Are you a pet person and what do you have?

I currently have two rescued mix breeds, Chloe and Molly.  I love cats but have asthma and am severely allergic to them. I am very interested in Animal Welfare programs and support them whenever I can. I would love to be able to do bat rescue. Those little guys are so cute!

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope readers find a connection with the characters, and that their hearts are touched in some way. I also hope that they feel the triumph and vindication the characters feels, and cheer for them when they achieve the life of their dreams. But mostly, I hope they have a good time!

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Sex. Rebellion. Rock and roll.

Living After Midnight, Book 1

Cheyenne is a half-human incubus whose star is on the rise in the Unakite City rock scene. His father, the leader of the supernatural races, would prefer he keep a “low profile”, but screw that. Cheyenne has as much music in his veins as royal incubi blood.

Alexander’s future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who’d be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He’s barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.

As Cheyenne’s musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can’t let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who’s not sure if he’s falling for the incubus or the rocker.

Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Samhain

EXCERPT

He spotted Alexander settling his tab and headed over to the bar. He hopped onto a bar stool next to him and winked at Eddie. “Give me whatever he’s drinking.”

Eddie swiped down the space in front of Cheyenne and set down a short glass. “Bourbon rocks, with a twist. The good stuff. Quite a change from your usual rotgut. It’s coming out of your check.”

“No. Let me.” Alexander took a bill out of his wallet and pushed it toward Eddie.

“Cheyenne, you gonna introduce me to this gorgeous side of beefcake?”

“Sure. First name Nunya. Last name Bidness.” He turned to Alexander. “This nosy old woman is my boss, Edwina, as in…” Cheyenne held his arms out and spun around gesturing towards the stage, the dance floor and the bar.

“Edwina is…Eddie?” Alexander wiped his hand on his pant leg before extending it. “Pleased to meet you, ma’am. Name’s Alexander. You have a great place here.”

Eddie took his hand with a firm grip and shook it. “Here, there, I get around.” She turned to Cheyenne and pointed her thumb in Alexander’s direction. “Now that’s what I’m talking about. You hear him, you tiny twit? He’s a gentleman. Be nice to this one.” Eddie leaned her impressive girth across the bar to scan the tall man from head to toe. “Remember, the store room is pretty small.”

“Oh, that’s subtle.” Cheyenne drummed his index fingers on the edge of the bar with a quick staccato beat. “No worries, old woman. He’s not my type.”

Eddie’s laughter echoed throughout the emptying bar. When it began to fade, she looked from Cheyenne to Alexander, shook her head and started laughing again. Cheyenne fed on her amusement and returned it to her. She giggled as she resumed cleaning the bar.

“What was that about?” Alexander’s confusion brought Cheyenne’s attention back to him.

“C.O.W.S.”

“Cows?”

Cheyenne didn’t have to look at Alexander to know the man was growing tense. He tasted it. “Crazy Old Woman Syndrome. Don’t worry about it.” Cheyenne doodled in the moisture that had pooled at the base of the glass of bourbon and then stuck his tongue into the dark amber liquid. “Ugh! Yuck!” He coughed. “You drink this stuff or strip furniture with it?”

Alexander shrugged. He swirled the ice in his glass and took a drink. “Take a little and give it a minute.”

“What the hell. I’ll try anything twice.” Cheyenne brought the glass to his lips, hesitating before taking a sip. He closed his eyes as the liquid’s warmth traveled down his throat and settled in his stomach. “I see what you mean.” He leaned around Alexander to check out the empty seat next to him. “So where’s the babe you were with earlier? Ditch you for a better prospect?”

“What?” Alexander shook the ice in his glass, and swirled it again.

Cheyenne found Alexander’s fidgeting interesting. “You were with a girl earlier. Where’d she go? She ditch you, or did you dump her?”

“Oh, that was a friend. Prudence. She didn’t… I mean, she wasn’t feeling well, so I took her home.” Alexander gulped his bourbon, grimaced and cleared his throat.

“Huh.” Judging from the delicious new jolt of cayenne he’d just ingested, he knew even talking about the woman was making Alexander agitated and angry. Why didn’t he admit that he’d been angry at her? Cheyenne filed the information away. He’d dig a little further into this curiosity some other time. “I don’t remember seeing her here before. Well, maybe you’ll bring her back sometime when she’s feeling better.”

The spicy taste of Alexander’s discomfort kicked up a notch. It was delicious. Cheyenne imagined making him furious would be mouth-watering.

“Listen, I better be going. Early morning and all that.” Alexander stood up and dropped a twenty into the tip jar. “See you around,” he said, walking away.

“Conflicted much?” Cheyenne retrieved the twenty from the jar and stuffed it into his pocket. Maybe big, sexually confused guys with money were his type after all.

Snippet from a 5-star review

“Once I opened House of the Rising Son, I fell in love with the characters, all of whom are strange in their own individual ways. They are also witty and funny and appealing. Oh, and incidentally, Incubi are also very sexy…”

BIO

Trevann Rogers writes urban fantasy and LGBT paranormal romances. Her stories incorporate an unquenchable addition to music and her love for vampires, Weres, incubi and rock stars. Like these elusive creatures, Trevann learned long ago that sometimes being yourself means Living After Midnight.

WEB CONTACT LINKS

www.trevannrogers.com

www.facebook.com/trevannr

www.pinterest.com/trevannr

Author Interview–R.L. Ugolini

Today I have a friend, R.L. Ugolini, from the San Antonio Romance Authors as my interview guest.

Tell us a bit about you and your background

I lived in California off and on for ten years, studying geology, reading books, and writing stories. I loved it there even though the ground never seemed to stop shaking. I think I lived through some of the largest earthquakes to rock Southern California in recent decades.

The Landers Quake (magnitude 7.3) hit while I was sleeping, dreaming that someone was trying to wake me up, violently shaking me from my bed.

Only three hours later, the Big Bear Quake (magnitude 6.5) struck. This time, a neighbor did get me out of bed, worried for my safety.

I was, unfortunately, wide awake for the Northridge Quake (6.7 magnitude). This one came early in the morning after I’d pulled an all-nighter working on a math problem set. Sleep deprivation made the shaking seem catastrophic – I was sure the floor was going to collapse under me. I think I may have received an extension on the math.

After that, I spent some time in calmer tectonic regions, working at the U.S. Geological Survey. But Southern Californian finally called me back, and within days of my return, the Hector Mine Earthquake (7.1) rumbled through, as if welcoming me home.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I love to be outside. I spend a lot of time gardening, hiking, biking, and stargazing. This winter, I am shopping for rock to edge a small seating area I have created in my back yard. I love going to landscape supply lots, walking down the long aisles, past pallets and pallets of rock, and trying to decide between Monterrey and Pueblo Sunset sandstones.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I have tackled projects both ways. However, I am learning I work much faster and with more confidence when I take the time to plot. Quakes was heavily plotted, right down to the phase of the moon.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I like to listen to music only if it can blend into the background. Sometimes, that means playing something I’ve heard a bazillion times. One of my favorites is an old Dwight Yoakam CD. By the time he gets to the chorus of This Drinkin’ll Kill Me, I’ve found my writing flow.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I’ve taken quite a few trips through the lonesome corners of Baja Mexico. I’ve scaled sandstone sea cliffs, unearthed ammonite fossils, run from rifle-waving landowners, and spent some of the most glorious days I’ve ever lived under the warm Mexican sun.

So much about my time in Baja inspired me to write Quakes, but one particular episode stands out.

We’d been driving all day and into the night when we pulled over to make camp. The ground was soft and sandy, the Pacific ebbing and flowing heavily somewhere close by. Moisture filled the air with a fine mist. There was no moon. Too dark to see anything and too tired to put up tents, we simply crawled inside our sleeping bags and surrendered to dreamless sleep.

When dawn broke, it brought clear skies, warm sun, and mooing. Sometime in the early morning, a herd of cattle had moved in to graze. We were surrounded on all sides by rheumy-eyed, cud-chewing beasts.

Thankfully, the cows were more interested in the grass we’d bedded down on than our persons. As we hastily rolled up our bags and made our way back to our vehicles, we took our bearings. Our makeshift campsite was on pastureland atop a bluff. Far below, the ocean glittered in the morning light, a sea breeze coming off the water. We gathered round a strong pot of coffee and watched fishermen wrestle with their nets. When a friendly goat wandered over, we shared our breakfast.

Everything felt so elemental and so vivid– the wind on our faces, the aroma of black coffee, the mews of cattle. I was there to study the geology of the region, but just then, I knew I would come away with so much more.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I have written short stories for literary journals and for the horror market. One of my recent favorites, The Change, in Demonic Visions 50 Horror Tales Book 4, is a love story gone wrong, zombie-style.

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Dr. Malcolm Reid goes out on his seismology expeditions alone, and he likes it that way. The fewer warm bodies he’s responsible for bringing home alive, the better.

When the mentorship of  a geology grad student is thrust upon him just as he’s leaving for Mexico’s Baja peninsula, he resigns himself to eight weeks of keeping her safe—from ATV-riding cattle rustlers, from a weather-worn mountain lion roaming the hills, and most of all from her accident-prone self.

Jenna Polaski has needed the canyon-sized chip on her shoulder to get ahead in the old boys’ education hierarchy. Now, needing samples to finish her thesis, she has no choice but to serve as the professor’s pack mule. And wonder if his limp is connected to rumors surrounding a long-ago incident that killed one of her predecessors.

Malcolm keeps a sharp eye out as they penetrate deep into the wilderness. But the one danger he forgets to watch for is the one that captures them both—an undeniable attraction that shatters all the rules.

EXCERPT

Mal dropped both packs and walked close, leaning a hip against the vertical rock face. Holding her in his gaze, he tugged at his leather gloves, finally pulling them free and tucking them in his waistband.

“Do you recognize the stratigraphy?”

Her face fell. “Don’t you ever quit? I don’t want another geology lesson, Mal.”

He knew what she wanted, but pretended not to have heard the frustration in her voice. Mal traced a thin band of rust with his finger. “Notice the layering—”

“For God’s sake. Look around,” she said and waved her arms wide. “This place is amazing. Why does everything have to be about science?”

“That’s what we’re here for—”

“Why can’t we just relax and enjoy the rest of the day?”

“Just pal around? Be friends? Is that what you want, Jenna?” He took a half step closer, crowding her. “Or maybe you’d like me to whisper some more in your ear?”

He watched a slow crimson spread across her cheeks, and he regretted his words. So he hadn’t imagined her reaction back in the scrub. Exhaling, he focused his thoughts on his one comfort. Science.

“These are Cambrian units. This formation occurs in small pockets up and down Baja, but nothing quite like here.” He chanced a glance in her direction.

Her brown eyes had never seemed so large. Or so angry.

His chest tightened. “Do you recall the geologic timescale?”

With a shake of her head, she sighed. “The Cambrian is the oldest period of the Paleozoic era, and is generally agreed to have covered the time span between 570 and 500million years before present.”

Her rote answer grated. “Jenna.” Caution sharpened his voice.

In the quiet, he could hear her breathe. Shallow, rapid. He watched her chest rise and fall. The generous curve…

No. He swallowed hard. Think science.

But he couldn’t resist tweaking his lesson plan—just for her. “Imagine the swell of warm tides,” he said, “tumbling into shoals.”

A playful smile twitching her lips, she turned her gaze on him. “The swell of warm tides?”

He nodded. “Interwoven in the sandstone are some distinctive units like this one.” His forefinger picked at a thin maroon layer. Warmth flowed from the cliff wall into his palm. “Beautiful. So smooth—alive.”

“Alive?” Jenna reached out to touch the peach-colored sandstone, her skin blending with the rock. “These units are older than the dinosaurs.”

Mal hid a grin. “You’re correct, of course. But before creatures populated the land, the lush, tropical seas frothed with life.” He pointed to a sequence in the stratigraphy. “Relentless currents of nutrient-rich water ebbed and flowed over soft, fertile beds.”

She leaned against the cliff. “The sea floor must have teemed with plants.” Fire lit her eyes and she continued, “To withstand the powerful force of the tides, they must have had to sink their roots deep, driving them hard until they hit impenetrable rock…”

His heart thudded. “Exactly, Jenna. Colonies of flora and fauna lived, reproduced and died, always straining toward the hot Cambrian sun. For the first time in Earth’s history, predators appeared. They knew what they wanted and they went after it.”

BUY LINKS for Quakes

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

BUY LINK For Demonic Visions #4

Amazon

RLUgoliniR.L. Ugolini studied geology at the California Institute of Technology and has made maps for the US Geological Survey. She’s been in more earthquakes than she cares to remember, has hauled mountains of gear in Baja California and speaks very, very poor Spanish. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband.

Web Contacts

To learn more about R.L. Ugolini, please follow her on Twitter (@RLUgolini) and Goodreads

Giveaway

1 e-book copy of Quakes, selected at random from commenters posting questions to this blog post through midnight, Saturday, February 7th.