Welcome Saranna DeWylde and THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MOUNT OLYMPUS

September 5, 2011

Hello All,

I’m super excited to have this writer here today. I was lucky enough to find and befriend Saranna DeWylde during the Next Best Celler contest at Textnovel, and I’m extremely lucky we’ve stayed pals since. I could list her qualities (one of which happens to be a ridiculously fast and super efficient crit partner who puts me to SHAME) but I’ll let you get to know her through her writing, which is what drew me to her in the first place.

Saranna recently released her uber sexy THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MOUNT OLYMPUS and she’ll be giving away one PDF copy to one lucky comment EVERY TEN COMMENTS! Sweet!

I loved this book in its earliest draft and now – awesome.

Love the cover!

Welcome Saranna!

Let’s start out easy! What do you write and is there one genre you wish you could write but don’t?

I write paranormal romance, urban fantasy, contemporary and erotica. I also write a bit of true crime. I used to be a horror author but after my employment as a corrections officer, it sort of changed what I wanted out of my career and what I wanted to put out into the world. I’ve even got a romantic suspense that’s been poking at me to give it some attention.

The second part of the question is harder to answer. I don’t really write in genre, (contrary to labels I slapped on myself in the previous paragraph. *laughs*) I write the story that wants to be told. The one living in my head. So, if I have a hard-boiled cop story in my head, that’s what I write. If I have a historical in my head, I’ll write it. I think anyone can do the same as long as you’re true to the characters and the story that needs/wants to be told.

Um, the correction’s officer part is true and Saranna just sold her memoir about that time in her life. WOOT! Okay, back on subject. Are you a plotter or pantser?

Mostly a pantser. I usually have a general idea of what I want to happen, major plot points in my head when I start. I don’t write it down though, or make a story arc or an *shudders* outline. I do, every so often, write down some GMC statements where I can see them. Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Just to remind myself what drives my characters and that really helps me keep them in character so I don’t have to go back and delete 20K of material because it’s not working.

Can you tell us what made you decide to self-publish Housewives?

It was a tough decision, but everyone who read it as far as agents and editors were concerned told me they thought it was too snarky. But my critique partner and other beta readers loved it. More importantly, *I* loved it. I believe in it. There is so much more to it than the snark and it’s using the gods as they were meant to be used. As an allegory for ourselves and what I like best about romance–in that it shows us redemption and happily ever afters are possible for all of us.

Further, publishing is changing so fast now. It’s shifting with new technology, new ways to get stories to readers and new ways to connect with each other. Platforms, markets, and even product are all in a spin. I wanted to dip my toe in the water and check it out. So far, it’s been great. I got exactly what I wanted for this book as far as character, content, even my cover is exactly what I imagined.

Regardless of whether I’m with a traditional publisher, an epublisher, and indie publisher or publishing myself building a backlist is important.

I had requests for something after I did some promo for my Kensington books that won’t be out until 2012.

So, you add all of that together in a big blender and get the self-publish smoothie.

Smoothies, yum. Okay, even a publishing smoothie is yummy considering so many of my fav authors are putting out titles on their own. So is there one pro and one con you’ve found from your experience self-pubbing?

They’re the same thing. Being responsible for everything myself. It was cool because like I mentioned earlier, I got to produce this product exactly to my specifications and my visions.

But wow, the pressure. There were some things I had trouble with and luckily I have awesome friends who were right there to jump in the fire with me and help me out.

Any advice for those considering the self-pub path?

I’ve only done it with one book so far, but I’ve learned that people do expect more from a self-pub book because of the stigma of being self-pubbed. It’s not as bad as it used to be, there are a lot of good books out there self-pubbed. But don’t let it get to you. Accept it and prove them wrong. Put out the best product you can. Engage an editor, take time with your cover and remember a book isn’t just your creative expression, it’s a product. If you want people to buy it, you have to treat it like a product and you are the brand.

Okay, now some fun stuff:

Who’s your favorite character in Housewives and why?

Thanatos. He’s so modern, kind of cyberpunk. He’s like Death living in The Matrix. He’s one of the most powerful gods, but he wears it so casually. He accepts what he is, a little dark and brooding, (I mean, come on. He’s Death.) but he still has a sense of humor, he’s witty. Hades was the one I thought I’d fall for, but I ended up being stuck on him just a little bit.

Where did the idea for HOUSEWIVES come from?

I was talking shop in chat with a few friends of mine and we were talking about cool titles. I threw that one out there and one of my friends demanded I log off and write it. So I did.

HA! I know that friend. She’s a slave driver. Thank goodness! Tell us a secret about Housewives. Were there any deleted scenes you’d put in the extras category if this were a dvd?

There were not any deleted scenes. Usually, there is something I delete but the words flew hot and fast with this one. I would just sit down in the morning and crank out sometimes three chapters a day and it was surprisingly very clean. Although, I had trouble with Demeter’s chapters. I didn’t like her much and living in her head was hard for me until she learns her lesson.

As I’m a card carrying metal head, it may surprise those of you who know me that this book had its own CD. Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster. Each couple has a song. I don’t write to music anymore, I used to, but I weaned myself away from it. Although, I could hear these songs in my head when I wrote them.

Hera/Hades-Dancing in the Dark

Demeter/Eros- Bad Romance

Nyx/Apollo-Alejandro

Abstinence/Zeus-Monster

Persephone/Thanatos-Teeth

And if this were a DVD, I’d have an interactive section where you could dress them up like live-action Barbie dolls.

This is always hard, but can you tell us a secret about you?

I, the all powerful Amazon Goddess of Doom, am afraid of cows. I hate them. The neighbor’s bull broke through the electric fence to chase me a 1/2 mile UP-friggin-HILL home. And ever since then, the cows across the street watch me with their big soulful eyes, but inside, I know they’re laughing.

Or they could just be looking for my mini Amazons. They like to feed them Hershey’s kisses. (When my youngest was smaller, she thought if she gave them Hershey’s, she’d get chocolate milk so she’d sneak over and give them some.)

LOL! COWS?!? Hey I can’t say much since I freeze up like Medusa glared at me whenever a spider makes an appearance. Thanks for being a good sport.

Here’s an excerpt of HOUSEWIVES:

NYX

     “Thanatos!” she cried when she saw her oldest son lounging on her temple steps.

     “Hey, Ma.” He stood and endured her hug.

     “I thought you were working all week. Wasn’t there a natural disaster in South America?”

     “Wouldn’t you know it, it’s so cool. Red Cross showed up and the volunteers saved a bunch of people.”

     Nyx hadn’t seen him in what felt like a century. In fact, she almost started counting on her fingers to see if it had been that long. “I suppose you’re hungry. Fig cakes with cream cheese frosting?”

     Thanatos patted his flat stomach. “You know me so well.”

     “Why are you outside? You could have gone in, you know.” Nyx pushed the door open.

     “I didn’t want to startle you. Might fall and break a hip and I’d feel bad.” He shrugged.

     “You little shit,” she laughed. He was always teasing her about her age. She was a Titan after all and older than all of the gods. She was one of the last of the old guard; one Zeus was sure wouldn’t try to overthrow his power. He was mistaken about that one, only she didn’t want the power herself. She wanted him to stop treating Hera like crap. Or divorce her. That at least, would be honest.

     He smirked back at her. Of her two sons, Thanatos was most like her. She loved her children the same, but she had a special kinship with Thanatos.

     “So uh, what’s the deal with Persephone and Hades?” he asked as he followed her inside.

     Tartarus on cracker! What was with that girl that these dark types were so stuck on her? Was it because she was blond? Nyx just didn’t get it. Not that she had anything against the girl, but it wasn’t like she was as pretty as Hera. Or as smart as Athena.

     “You have been out of the gossip loop for awhile, yeah? They broke up, so to speak.”

     “He let her go? Dumbass.” Thanatos shook his head.

     “What would you have him do? Sacrifice the world for her?”

     “Well, yeah,” Thanatos answered as if that were the only reasonable response.

     Nyx couldn’t argue with that, but she tried anyway. “Hades released her from the curse too. He didn’t want her to be unhappy.”

     At that, her son was silent for a moment. “So how hard do you think Demeter would smite me if I asked Persephone out?”

     “She better not smite you, or I’ll kick her ass up over her shoulders. She has winter, but I’ll drench the world in eternal night if she tries.” Nyx was thoughtful for a moment. “Unless of course you were unreasonably handsy or demanding. Or acted like Zeus. Or—,”

     “I get the picture, Ma. By the way, you look great.”

     “You’re just saying that because my hair looks like yours now.” She scowled.

    “Moonlight and stardust. No one can resist.” He smirked as if it was just his trial to bear, being that attractive.

   “Nice deflection. I mean what I said. If you want Persephone, do what you will, but don’t be a dick. Got it?”

     “Yeah, Ma. Don’t be a dick. Got it,” he recited dutifully.

     “So I have to ask. What’s with you dark and tortured types and this girl?”

     “I dunno. She’s hot. It’s not like I want to marry her or anything. It would just be a date. Maybe a kiss.” He considered for a moment. “Maybe something else.”

     “That girl is a virgin, Thanatos.” Yes, he was her son and she loved him dearly, but he was one-hundred percent male—thinking with his parts. She had to struggle not to sigh.

     “She’s probably got a family of bats living in there after all this time. Don’t you think it would be okay if she—,”

            “You know, we so don’t need to have this conversation.” She threw her hands up in defeat. Nyx loved that her boys talked to her, confided in her, but there were some things a mother just didn’t need to know.

Thanks so much for coming by hon. Okay everyone, Saranna’s an open book so if you have questions, ask away. And make sure you leave a comment to get a chance at a free copy!
And here’s where you can find THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MOUNT OLYMPUS:
Amazon
B&N
ARe

I’m Branding today…

November 9, 2009

Hello All,

I’m guest blogging at Texting Between The Sheets today.

What is Author Branding?

I’ve got my Brand in the works.

Come on over.


STAY almost at 400 votes!!!!

September 26, 2009

In celebration of ‘STAY’ at #1 (for now) and it’s continued climb to the top, I’m posting the first ‘chapter’ TextNovel style, in the hopes that you’ll be hooked enough to stop by TextNovel and read on. Of course voting would be great as well >grin< but certainly not required.

I love comments as well. The good, the bad, and the ugly!

So here it is, the first ‘bite sized’ chapter of my contemporary romance, ‘STAY’:

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Sitka, Alaska 2007

“You know protocol, Burke. Stay in the damn boat.”

“That man’s going to drown, Captain. To hell with protocol!” Coast Guard Lieutenant Abby Burke screamed to be heard over the helicopter hovering above their small rescue boat. “Requesting permission to dive, Captain?”

“Denied.” Rain coursed over Sam Jordan’s hardened features. He held tight to the safety handle as the swells smashed into the raft with relentless force. “Stay on.”

Abby turned back. She squinted through the stinging spray of icy water at the man less than thirty feet away. His panicked face, pale and wide-eyed, dropped below the surface of the turbulent water. Lightening illuminated the sky, framing his desperate features in sharp contrast. Each violent wave took him further out of reach, longer to resurface. Hypothermia would sap his strength. It wouldn’t be long.

“How long till the other rescue boat is clear?”

Sam signaled the helicopter to back down. “Soon.”

Christ. Soon wasn’t going to be good enough. The other boat was far enough off to negate the need to wait another minute. Unnecessary caution would end the fisherman’s life.

She threw a life ring into the water.

The man’s arms pushed through the violent torrents of rain and sea, reaching for the source of solace with desperate exhaustion. Impotence crushed her chest.

“You’re almost there,” she yelled. Then he went under.

She stood, scanning the water’s mercurial surface with her flashlight, the strain against her shoulders from the tight survival suit more pronounced, mimicking her tension. “He’s not coming up, sir.”

“Damn it, Burke. Don’t -” Wind whipped violently against the boat, whisking his command away.

“I need permission, sir.” The man in the water still hadn’t resurfaced.

Sam shook his head, the set of his sharp eyes held no tolerance. “Denied.”

His answer followed her over the side of the boat. An icy crush of water enveloped her, freezing the breath in her lungs. Deep black replaced the meager light from above and she closed her eyes to center herself, the shock of the frigid water sharpening her senses. She knew this ocean, knew its bitter temperatures. She’d ridden the variegated currents whipped up by numerous storms and trained for every improbable scenario.

She’d jumped in – against orders. Now it was time to prove she’d made the right decision.

Her eyes opened and she streaked toward the surface, willing her limbs to follow orders. Breaking the surface, she followed the line of the life ring. The man drifted along the swells, a lifeless blob, tossed and turned at the storm’s bidding. Her heart drummed and she fought the strength of the water to reach his side.

The life ring clutched in the crook of his arm did little to keep his face above the water and she struggled to roll him over to his back. She glanced back at her boat. Sam yelled, his eyes wide as he pointed in her direction.

She nodded and looped the life ring around the sailor. “You’ll be okay now.”

Lethargy slowed the man’s response, his nod almost imperceptible. Giving Sam the thumbs up to haul the man in, she allowed a quick smile. One more life saved. Nothing could compare.

Salty spray crossed her lips, stinging her eyes as she glanced around. Like an ominous warning, a wall of water built before her. The sheer height of the swell blocked the lights from the low flying helicopter. From behind, loud enough to muffle the roar of the wind, a chilling groan rumbled through the water. She gave the sailor a hard push toward the rescue boat and turned.

The damaged fishing vessel had given its last grasp at remaining afloat. Its bow swung up into the air, bobbing on the waves as scattered lights from the lower deck slowly disappeared beneath the water. Splintering fiberglass accompanied mesmeric arcs of electrical units as they cracked and sizzled to eerie silence. Huge plumes of air billowed up in a cauldron like foam from the ship’s abdomen, spewing debris yards out in every direction. The long metal arms of the fishing vessel, used to haul in the days catch, swung wide in a broad sweep, like wings unfurling from a morphed butterfly to crash down into the ocean.

Mesmerized by the deadly dance, Abby jerked back too late, crying out when one of the metal arms crashed down on her legs. A sharp pain ripped through her right leg. The agony increased until the sickening sensation of bone being snapped churned through her stomach. Pain and disbelief engulfed her conscious in a dizzy miasma. Immune to her lethargic struggle, the ocean sucked her beneath its turbulent depths.

She tumbled in meaningless motion. The massive weight of the metal beam dragging her lower. Lights from the boats above sparkled in faint patches over the water. Agonizing pain coursed from her leg into her thigh and for once, she was happy with the numbing cold of the ocean’s embrace.

Strange, the peaceful silence just below the disaster above.

A life saved – water filled her lungs in a deep prickling ache – a life lost.

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Want more? Want to vote, comment, maybe read more stories?

Go to:  www.textnovel.com

Thanks to everyone who’s voted so far.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow to find out who our visiting agent will be!

Have a great day!


BLOG TOUR – STOP 2

September 21, 2009

Sex without romance…
is like a cookie without milk…
that Ahh…Sensation is Missing

Monica Burns’ brilliant tagline. And a huge shout out for Monica’s EPPIE win with MIRAGE!

Join me there today at:

Monica & Her Muse

for my second stop on the Textnovel blog tour.

‘Got IMPACT?’ …in your writing that is?

Stop by an find out.

I’ve got a fun little challenge for you.

 

Candi Wall


No ‘Agent Shop’ this month

August 27, 2009

Bitch Track:
So everyone seems to be busy. Big surprise. End of summer, school and fall sports are gearing up. I’ll tell you this…animal control is out of control.

Bliss Track: I sent my daughter off to her first day as a freshman in highschool. Anyone else done this? It’s both a bliss and a bitch. I’m so very proud of the young woman she’s becoming. She’s got a great head on her shoulders…but…I remember highschool. God, where did my little girl go????

 

Sorry folks.

Due to agent lack of availablity, there won’t be an ‘Agent Shop’ this month. However – October looks great!

I’ll be busy doing a blog tour in Sept & Oct anyway, so it works out okay for me that this month’s – meaning Sept’s – date won’t happen. Please feel free to stop by and find out where I’m blogging. I have several dates set that I’ll list below, but I’ll also post links to these great blogs on the day I post elsewhere.

 

Here’s a start:
Sept. 14th – Booking It
Sept. 21st – Monica & Her Muse
Oct. 2nd – The Chatelaines
Oct. 12th – Ciaraliara
Oct. 19th – Romance Writers on The Journey

 

There will be more added as other blogs confirm dates.

 

I’ll be talking about everything from what a text novel is, the beneifits of joining textnovel, the pitfalls, and of course contest wows and woes.

 

And remember – stop by Textnovel.com. Not only can you read my novel ‘STAY’ (and vote if you like what you read), it’s a great way to network, showcase your work, and refine your writing. Please let me know if you join. I’d love to read your work!

 

Best~

Candi Wall


TEXTNOVEL

August 7, 2009

I’ve loaded a new chapter at :

http://www.textnovel.com/profile_view.php?user_id=3159

Stop by and register to read/post/vote!

This is a great new way to network, practice, improve your writing and get your name out there.

If you like what you read of my story ‘STAY’ please give me a thumbs up! You can also follow me and you’ll get an e-mail when I post new chapters.

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Firefighter
Fire & Rescue Captain Bracken Elliot’s life has just turned upside down. Not only has his sixteen year old, deaf son been kicked out of school, but the newest member of his F&R team is an ex-coast guard diver, whose one passion seems to be ignoring any order she receives. While his own guilt over the deaths of his wife and younger son keep Brack from truly living, her bright smile and lust for life bring a light back into his son’s eyes, even as she touches a place in Brack’s heart – he’d thought long dead. But putting his life back together – is scary as hell.
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Thanks ~
Candi