Guest Blogger: Stacy Claflin

Seen It, Done It, Reviewed It: The Blog is participating in the Indie Lights Book Parade throughout the month of February. A parade of talented authors will share excerpts from their stories, provide writing and marketing tips, and answer questions about their work. Today’s guest blogger is novelist Stacy Claflin, author of the suspense novel, Gone, in which a 15-year-old girl runs away from home to meet a boy she met online, only to discover her young suitor is actually a very dangerous older man who kidnaps her to replace his own missing daughter.

The author answers questions about her work and provides an excerpt from Gone.

Interview With Author Stacy Claflin

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. In Gone, the main character is a teenager who sneaks off to meet a boy she met online. After she meets him, Macy realizes that he isn’t who he pretended to be. It’s too late though, because she can’t get away.

She’s ripped away from her family and everything she loves. Though she struggles to get away, her captor has thought everything out thoroughly.

The message I want readers to get is that you should never meet with someone you met online alone. Be safe and smart about it. I also want parents who read this to realize how important it is to know what their kids are doing online.

How much of the book is realistic?

I tried to make it as realistic as possible. I read about several true kidnappings so that I had a good idea about what the captors did and how the kids felt. Even though it’s completely fictitious, I believe the events could happen in real life.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

It was somewhat emotionally traumatic writing about a girl being kidnapped. I actually had to take a month or two break from writing it because I was experience physical and emotional stress from writing and researching.

After my break, I was able to finish without any more issues. It’s a sensitive subject, so it makes sense that being so close to the subject matter would be upsetting. I think it would have been more concerning if I hadn’t reacted in some way.

What are your current projects?

I always have multiple projects going at any given time. I’m writing a story that is an offshoot of the Gone books. This one is about a side character who discovers that her life is in danger.

I’m also editing a book from another series. It’s a paranormal romance – quite different from my suspense novels!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I have a lot because I’ve learned so much as an author. A few of my top tips:

-Learn from successful authors. Follow their blogs, listen to their podcasts, join online groups, and do anything else you can to find out their secrets.

-Always educate yourself on the craft of writing. Ask for constructive criticism, read blogs and books on the topic, join critique groups…use your imagination!

-Treat it like a profession even if you have a day job. If you act like it’s only a hobby, that’s all it will ever be. I consider it my second job, and treat it as such.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished reading The Fault In Our Stars. It’s time to pick up something from my large to-be-read pile!

Excerpt From Gone

Gone by Stacy Claflin

Gone by Stacy Claflin

Sitting in his warm truck across from the park, Chester Woodran watched her walk across the open field. An overhead light turned on as she passed under it in the dusk. Her long, dark hair swished back and forth behind her. She wandered around the playground, walking between the climbers and slides until she stopped in front of the swings.

He had spent hours watching her. Studying her. He knew her almost better than she knew herself.

The moment of truth would arrive soon. She’d come a few minutes early, but he wouldn’t deviate from the schedule. He would act exactly on time. He’d laid the groundwork. He wasn’t going to let her change a thing.

Chester pulled out his phone and scrolled through the pictures, stopping at his favorite. It was the girl in the park for sure, although he couldn’t see the details of her face up close yet. He would have to wait a few minutes.

From the phone, her light brown eyes shone at him. Her shy, almost insecure face smiled sweetly.

His heart sped up at the thought of many weeks of work coming together at long last. The waiting was about to end.

Clenching the steering wheel with all his might, he took several deep breaths to calm himself. Every precaution had been taken. Prepared with painstaking care. There was no chance of anything going wrong so long as he stayed with the plan.

The alarm on his digital wristwatch beeped. He turned it off and then leaned back into the seat, adjusting his over-sized glasses.

It was time.

About Stacy Claflin

Stacy Claflin, Author

Stacy Claflin, Author

I love writing and reading a variety of genres. I’ve been writing and telling stories as long

as I can remember. As a kid, my story telling would get me into trouble when I would try to convince other kids that my stories were real.

When I’m not busy writing, I spend a lot of time with my family. I run a preschool from home and homeschool my kids.

Learn more about Stacy Claflin:

Website: http://stacyclaflin.com/

Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O5GWMMY/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacy.claflin.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/growwithstacy

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/growwithstacy

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6591338.Stacy_Claflin

Book Updates/Newsletter: http://bit.ly/10NrfMw

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Our wonderful parade authors are offering fantastic swag baskets for three awesome winners! Prizes include ebooks, gift cards and fun!

Remember, winning is as easy as visiting, clicking or commenting–easy to enter; easy to win!

Click here to enter

ILBP prizes-001 (2)

 

 

Guest Blogger: Lisa Buie-Collard

Seen It, Done It, Reviewed It: The Blog is participating in the Indie Lights Book Parade throughout the month of February. A parade of talented authors will share excerpts from their stories, provide writing and marketing tips, and answer questions about their work. Today’s guest blogger is novelist Lisa Buie-Collard, who offers advice for novice writers and shares excerpts from her most recent book, the mystery-thriller The Seventh Man.

What advice would I give to an up-and-coming writer?

First: the old cliché, write, write and then write some more is still valid, and will always be, however, there is so much more to it than that these days.  Whether or not you are published by traditional means or Indie published, an author must take on the marketing.  Be aware of this.  Also: for those looking at Indie publishing: Write not only the best story you can but hire a professional editor.

Pay to have the inside and outside of your novel formatted properly.  There are SO many ‘Self Published’ books out there that aren’t up to snuff.  Getting past bad writing, multiple typos, and structure that limps is too difficult to ask from anyone who doesn’t know you.  If you are serious about writing and gaining a readership beyond your friends and family, if you want to be picked up by a ‘traditional’ publishing house, be professional and invest.  Indy Published titles have an uphill climb because there are so many out there that are NOT professional.  Pay to have the e-book formatted properly as well.Lisa Buie-Collard book

Second: Don’t give up.  Only you can make it happen.  Sounds trite but the truth is, if you don’t invest sweat equity in your idea/story, no one else will do it for you.

Third: Make use of social media to build yourself a name. And blog. Especially use ‘blog hops.’  That’s what they’re there for.  Go online and research reader blogs. Readers are your friends and hopefully, customers. Two I would recommend for anyone are: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html and  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/. On these you will find two of the best “writing/artists” communities out there on the web.

And finally:  Write and learn about marketing, in that order.  Pace yourself, always set aside time for writing, no matter what you do with the rest of your day. Research counts only if it furthers the writing. And don’t ever forget to pat yourself on the back for taking on the challenge of writing. Good luck!

Excerpt from The Seventh Man (thriller/mystery)

When a young writer is kidnapped by a man who can’t be seen, her only hope of escape rests on the one London cop who believes in ghosts.

On a cold, white, before-Christmas day, an assassin completes a job only to be pursued by police. Dodging through crowded city streets, the assassin nabs a young woman for cover.

Celia Wight, a reclusive American writer is shopping between engagements during a book tour. When a knife is pressed against her back, she loses her tenuous grasp on her carefully controlled existence.

Assigned to the homicide case, Detective Alban Thain, of the Metropolitan Police, suspects an assassin he calls the Wraith. The problem is, only Thain believes the assassin exists. Disregarding the consequences, Thain, who is the only one who believes there is a connection between the murder and the kidnapping, will do whatever it takes to exploit the Wraith’s first and only mistake: the kidnapping of an innocent bystander—if she is innocent.

And coming in Spring 2016: Rain (drama/romance)

Every relationship has its secrets, but is this one too big?

Annalyn and Jack meet in a Caribbean paradise and fall in love. After a whirlwind romance they decide to marry, but Annalyn discovers a dark and sinister lie that tears apart the life they’ve started.

Desperate to forget the agony of a past so well loved and so thoroughly destroyed, they each embark upon separate journeys to try and rebuild their shattered lives, loves and faiths.

But Annalyn and Jack can’t build their futures or make peace with the past until the lie that tore them apart is put to rest. Will facing the truth allow them to find the healing they each so desperately need, or will it only confirm that there are no second chances?

About Lisa Buie-Collard

Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, and daughter. I’ve been a server, dental assistant, teacher, journalist, and gardener. I love to travel and speak French.

I’m from north Florida, but now abide in Georgia. I write full time and have completed six novels. Writing is life, life is writing…

Where these books can be purchased:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Seventh+Man+Lisa+Buie-Collard

Learn more about Lisa Buie-Collard:

http://celticadlx.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081429.Lisa_Buie_Collard

https://twitter.com/#!/

https://www.amazon.com/author/lisabuiecollard

http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Our wonderful parade authors are offering fantastic swag baskets for three awesome winners! Prizes include ebooks, gift cards and fun!

Remember, winning is as easy as visiting, clicking or commenting–easy to enter; easy to win!

Click here to enter

ILBP prizes-001 (2)

Guest Blogger: Jamie White

Seen It, Done It, Reviewed It: The Blog is participating in the Indie Lights Book Parade throughout the month of February. A parade of talented authors will share excerpts from their stories, provide writing and marketing tips, and answer questions about their work. Today’s guest blogger is Jamie White, author of the book, Stains on the Soul. Below is an excerpt from her book, written from Fiona’s point of view:

“The Dream” from Stains on the Soul

I feel like I’m losing it. Every time I go to sleep, it’s the same thing: I wake up in a cold sweat with all kinds of horrible images fresh in my mind. I’ve been walking around like a zombie and trying not to let anyone know just how exhausted I am, and all because of these dreams.

There’s a girl about to burn at the stake. She looks terrified and I know it’s not just the fact she’s about to die. She’s terrified of what she sees before the men come and light the kindling beneath her. No… actually, I think she looks more sad than anything.

Stains on the Soul

Stains on the Soul

It makes me think of him, and I don’t know why. He’s new is town and he’s been coming on to me. He’s cute, so I really shouldn’t mind but there’s something about him that makes me uncomfortable. I think part of it is the fact I like him too much and I shouldn’t. I’m technically seeing someone, and I’m about to go off to college soon. Why should I bother getting mixed up with someone else? Especially someone who makes my skin crawl.

Every time I see him, I can’t breathe and sometimes I think of that girl in my dreams. She looks so sad, like she wants to tell me something important.

I told you I was losing it.

About Jamie White

Jamie WhiteJamie White is a music addict, book lover, pet servant & NaNoWriMo survivor. When she’s not busy writing blog posts, she’s taking pictures and spending time with her husband and pets. She released Stains on the Soul and Clutter via Pagan Writers Press in 2013. Stains 2 is set to release February 2015.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Pintrest | Amazon Page

About Stains on the Soul

It’s her last summer before going away to college and Fiona finds herself facing more than she bargained for: A boyfriend she doesn’t want who has a strange hold over her, a friend pushing her to expand her boundaries, and a new guy named Ted whose presence is more than a distraction.

If that isn’t enough, Fiona is being haunted with horrifying nightmares of burning at the stake—nightmares so real, she feels as though she’s losing her mid.

Are they only dreams, or are they trying to warn her about this new guy she can’t help but want?

Learn more about Jamie White:

http://www.jbcultureshock.wordpress.com

jamiebmusings@gmail.com

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Our wonderful parade authors are offering fantastic swag baskets for three awesome winners! Prizes include ebooks, gift cards and fun!

Remember, winning is as easy as visiting, clicking or commenting–easy to enter; easy to win!

Click here to enter

ILBP prizes-001 (2)