Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interview with Author Rhonda James #CoffeeWithClaire

Sometimes in life people cross your path that you know without a doubt were fated to be there. Rhonda is absolutely that person to me. When my first book, When Faults Collide, was still in it's infancy (like, not even completed yet!) I read Rhonda's book Across the Miles. I like to think of my work as wholly original, but her book was the first time I felt like I connected to the writer on the same writing level. Our books are very different, but they are also very similar. So, I reached out to Rhonda on Goodreads, which later carried over to Facebook, and we have become kindred spirits of sorts. She has genuinely been my biggest supporter on my horribly bad days when I just wanted to chuck my work against the wall and say "FORGET IT!" she was there to pick up the pieces and remind me why I'm doing this. Genuinely, she is the absolute BEST person EVER! So much so, that my second book, Kenna's Reverie, was dedicated to her!

So for my first #CoffeeWithClaire link up, I wanted to interview this amazing author who is also an amazing friend. :)

Interview:
1. First things first. What books have you written?

I have a series that I started called The Not So Bad Boys of Rock. That series is slated to include 4 stories that will cover the life and love of each member of the rock band, Paradox. The first two have already been published and I am working on the third as we speak. 

Across the Miles (Book One) This is the love story of Sebastian Miles and Brooke Caldwell

Miles Apart (Book Two) Sebastian and Brooke's story continues in this book.

All Hands Off Dek (Book Three) This is the love story of James 'Dek' Dekker and Jade Parker - this book is slated to be released October 2016

Under the Gunn (Book Four) Will be the love story of Chris Gunn and a mystery girl that I don't want to give away right now - this book is slated to be released January 2016

I am also writing another rockstar romance, the Twisted Fate series, that will include at least 3 books.

My Only Regret (just released) - This one centers around rocker Jesse Montgomery and a frustrated Rhyann Michaels. They have one night of intense passion and go their separate ways, but two years later they are once again thrown together and have an unconventional arrangement that puts both of them to the test. Will they be able to resist the inevitable?

2. What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the near and distant future?

I am working on No Regrets - Jesse's POV (a companion guide to My Only Regret) slated to be released in October 2015

I am concurrently writing All Hands Off Dek and hope to release that in October as well.

I also have many projects in the works that haven't been mentioned already:

Shelter from the Storm - a story about a Texas cowboy who's finance was murdered. He leaves town because he can't face the pain of living in the town where the murder took place. Two years later he comes back home and meets a woman that came to town after he left. Like him, she was running away from something she could no longer face. Their separate worlds collide and soon they fall in love, only to find that the previous lives they had been living hadn't really been separate after all.

"Unnamed Novel" - I've been working on a story about eight friends that reunite for their 10 year reunion at the lake house that they spent an entire summer at after leaving high school. They've all stayed in touch except for one, and she had her reasons for staying away. Now, has ten years been long enough for her to finally go back and face the man that still holds her heart, and can she tell him her reason for keeping her distance in spite of the love she still carries for him? And will he forgive her?

3. Your new book, My Only Regret, is different in content and style than your first book, Across the Miles. Why did you go so tame in your first book, and then significantly more graphic in this one?

Well, My Only Regret was actually my first complete work. I had written this book with every intention of publishing last January but due to a complication I was asked by my previous employer not to publish because of the explicit content. I was devastated, of course, I had worked so hard on that book. That story is very personal to me not only because I wrote it, but also because it is loosely based on part of my life. But, I needed my job so I did what I could to keep my job and went home and cried for two days. After those two days I literally went to bed and dreamed up Across the Miles. I woke up and started writing. I kept it tame to appease my employer, but I also found it refreshing to write in that light-hearted style. I love the story of Brooke and Sebastian, but just because there aren't graphic scenes doesn't mean they weren't rolling around. I just left it to the readers imagination.

My Only Regret tells a story of two broken people who find each other and share a night of unforgettable passion. Their love story is told over a span of time and they have their ups and downs but ultimately find a way to make it work. This story has a happily ever after, no cliffhanger here. I actually find it easier to write more sexually explicit scenes. I also prefer to write from the male POV which is why I am writing a companion guide to My Only Regret, entitled No Regrets, as told by  Jesse. I can't wait for you all to read this one!

4. Looking back now, what do you wish you could tell yourself a year ago?

To not let anything, or anyone, hold me back from reaching for my dreams. I've wanted to be an author for 30 years. I've wasted a lot of time, and lost a crap ton of great stories, by waiting for the right time. If you want something bad enough don't let anyone hold you down, or make you feel ashamed for what you are doing. My writing didn't sit well with some and I was forced to make some major changes in my life these past few months. While it hasn't been easy, I can honestly say that the changes should have come long ago. I am much happy for making them and I am now free to write and say what I damn well please!

5. What are you reading right now?

Just finished three amazing books within the last four days. Cocky Bastard, by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland. Kyland and Stinger both by Mia Sheridan. I can't recommend either of them enough. They were all amazing, but Cocky Bastard is by far and away the most amazing book I've read in forever!

6. What's the best advice you have for a new or rising indie author?

Don't give up. It took me 30 years to finally stick my neck out there and publish my first book. If I had the chance to do it all over again I would have pursued the dream a long time ago. With the huge success of Indie Authors and self-publishing the possibilities are endless for someone who is trying to test the waters. I've also learned the importance of networking on social media. Getting out there and meeting fellow authors and readers has proven to be invaluable to me. My upcoming release will happen because of the encouragement and support I've received from new friends that I've met through social media. I would also tell them to ask questions. Don't be afraid to contact authors and ask for help. They were once in the same position and needed a helping hand. I am still learning but I always welcome questions from fellow authors and readers. I love helping people! I encourage readers to check out my Facebook page or my Goodreads/Amazon accounts to submit questions. 

7. Any shout outs to other indie authors?

Being an indie author is both exciting and terrifying. You are free to write as you please, but then you are also responsible for all of the promotion. That isn't easy work. It truly does take a village to make this happen, just having an awesome story doesn't make the cut. I give major props to my fellow indie's because they are working hard to make it happen, and they are also kind enough to make themselves available to us newbie indie authors. Here are just a few of my personal favorite indie authors:

Claire Granger - because you are truly one of my very best friends and I know that I can always count on you to push me to be better and to not be afraid to put myself out there.

Lauren Stewart - She is an amazing author and friend. Whenever I ned advice, or just a should to vent on, she is always there for me and I am in awe of her kindness and willingness to be there for me.

Brittainy C. Cherry - Truly talented author that puts all of her heart and soul into her writing and the connections that she makes with her readers and fellow indie authors.

Caisey Quinn - She is a charming southern gal and amazing author that carries herself in a way that makes you proud. She is also very kind to new authors begging for advice!

There are many more that I have met through the wonders of FB but these four have made my life much richer over the past six months!

8. Now, the most serious question of all... Do you prefer your cupcakes vanilla or chocolate?


Chocolate, of course!! 

Stalk Follow Rhonda online:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Goodreads


Go buy her books!

Across the Miles

My Only Regret

Check out the fan made trailer for her new book:

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Today's post was part of the new #CoffeeWithClaire link up! 

Link up your bookish posts below! :)
{And be sure to include a link back here in your post!}
As always, leave me some comment love! <3


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