Silly Author Interview with Tami Lund

As I searched my laptop looking for blog post inspiration at midnight the night before I was scheduled to post something here on Love, Lust, and Laptops, I stumbled across an author interview. I don’t even remember where it’s from or for whom I wrote it, but I thought it was quirky enough to repost here, for your reading pleasure. Hopefully it makes you chuckle…

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Tami Lund, and once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. Then life and insecurities got in the way. Then that same life threw me a curve ball in the form of the recession, which introduced me to the world of unemployment for fifteen long months.  Job searching become tedious and incredibly boring, since, you know, there weren’t any jobs, while the desire to write became all-consuming.

I finally gave in, wrote a few dozen manuscripts, decided a couple were reasonably good enough to be published, and I haven’t looked back since. Oh yeah, and I have a husband, a kid, and a dog who is convinced the world revolves around me (it isn’t nearly as flattering as it sounds). When I peel myself away from writing that next book (or procrastinating via surfing Facebook), I’m usually cleaning up after everyone else in my family, occasionally gardening, rarely cooking (although you’d question that statement if you follow me on Instagram), often walking my dog, and sometimes paying attention to the kid and husband.

  1. What genre do you write and why?

I write both contemporary and paranormal romance. Mostly it’s because that’s what I love to read.

  1. What books have you published?

I’ve published quite the selection of books, so it might be easiest to give you the Amazon link to my author page. Hang out, peruse, enjoy, have a read or ten:

https://www.amazon.com/Tami-Lund/e/B00AXJH5MY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1422919572&sr=8-1

6. What are you working on next?

There’s always something! First, there’s a Christmas anthology releasing on Christmas Eve – I have a brand new short story in there. Then there’s a vampire boxed set coming in February. If you’re a fan of my book, Resist, be on the lookout for Anya’s sister’s story in this one. Oh, and Misti Murphy and I are hard at work on the next Sexy Bad book – this one’s called Sexy Bad Boss and it’s James’s story. There’s also another paranormal that at the moment involves shifters and faeries and demons. And lastly, I’m working on my first dragon shifter book! Wow, that was a lot, wasn’t it?

7. Do you use experiences from your own life in your writing or does it all come from your imagination?

I use real life experiences all the time. Usually, my best story ideas – even the paranormal ones – come from real life. Lucky for me, my friends all laugh whenever I say, “This is going into one of my books!”

8. What is your favorite curse word?

I’m not gonna lie. I love the f-bomb. There is no mistaking your passion when you insert the word fuck into a sentence.

9. Are you a cat or dog person?

I love both and I wish I had one of each. But we just have a dog. Not ‘just’ because I adore her and she’s my baby girl, but I’d still love to have a cat too. Unfortunately, the hubs isn’t nearly as fond of cats as I am. By not nearly I mean he’s literally on the other end of the spectrum. So yeah, no cats.

10. If you had your choice of writing retreat would you choose:

a.) Villa in Italy

b.) Cabin in the woods

c.) English estate in Derbyshire (think Pemberly)

d.) Beach house in the Virgin Islands

Beach house. Doesn’t even have to be in the Virgin Islands. Sandy beach and blue water and I’m there. Forever. I’ll send postcards. And new books.

Bonus Question: Tell us a funny story about you that we can’t find on your bio.

In the early years, when I was still treading the murky waters of publishing, I was embarrassed over the sex scenes I’d written in my books (crazy, I know). I had recently self-published the first in a now unpublished series called The Resort, and had finally started admitting to my inner circle of friends that I had books available to read, if they were so inclined. At a party comprised of mostly friends I had met through my kid’s school, one of the dads came up to me, ipad in hand, and told me he downloaded my book and it was surprisingly good. A small crowd gathered, and he read a passage that wasn’t exactly PG … Resulting in at least thirty minutes of teasing due to the redness of my face.

Yeah, that happened.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, wins awards, and occasionally does author interviews on her own blog. If you want more, check out her website: http://tamilund.com

#Audiobook One Night With His Wife by @SSaraDaniel

I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the One Night With the Bridal Party series to be complete in audio, and I’m excited to announce that it is!!

 

As long as he refuses to accept himself as whole, one night with his wife will be his last.

After a grenade took Marine Luke Cox’s leg and ends his career, he cuts ties with his wife to free her from the burden he’d become. On the day his divorce is to be finalized, he travels to meet a woman for a 1Night Stand date—a woman who doesn’t care about his missing leg or his sudden wealth from a business venture. However, things don’t go as planned, and when he arrives for his date, he’s still legally married.
Rosalind Cox tends to the horses on her cousin’s ranch resort, her love for the animals the only thing keeping her going since her husband turned his back on her. When he appears at her stables, all the longing and rising hope is crushed by the realization he’s only sought her out to gain his freedom.
She’ll give him what he wants, but she can’t resist taking one last kiss for herself. The kiss reopens emotions and attraction that neither can deny. To give in will only complicate the tangle as they try to unwind their lives. But even though Rosalind doesn’t care about Luke’s missing leg or his money, as long as he refuses to accept himself as whole, one night with his wife will be his last.

Buy Links:

Narrated by Hollie Jackson
Buy Links:

Sara DanielAudio Books

New Release!

Don’t you just love those words? New release. New book to read. New book smell… unless you use an e-reader.

This Old Cafe_PrintCover_June2017

This is the last book in my Stonehill Romance series. I love these people, this town, and this series, but I think five books in, I’ve told all the stories there are to tell here. That doesn’t mean the characters won’t be revisited down the road. Holiday freebies or novellas are always a possibility, but for now, we’re putting this one to bed.

And I have to say, Jenna and Daniel are a great way to go out.

Available at these super awesome sexy fine retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

And more!

Dreams Collide Excerpt

Dreams Collide FINAL

Just wanted to pop in and share an excerpt from the last posted chapter of Dreams Collide–my reader-driven novel.

Chapter three is about to get underway, but it isn’t too late to have your say in what happens next.

If you haven’t yet, hop on over to my blog and give it a go…let me know what you think!

Here’s a little taste of what’s happening now…

 

Kendra squeezed her eyes shut and put her hands over them for good measure as Jax cued up her last two performances. “Don’t make me do this.”

“We’re supposed to analyze each piece you did to see where you need improvement, although I have a pretty good idea already.”

“Do I have to watch?”

“’Fraid so, darlin’.” He laughed as he gently pulled her hands down and clicked the mouse on the laptop in the small studio inside their house.

Her heart pounded at the heat of his fingers around her wrist, still holding her hands from her face even though she’d made no move to hide again. The warmth of his touch was forgotten, and she moaned with humiliation as she watched herself singing. Her voice was fine; her stiff posture was atrocious.

“This is terrible,” she said.

Jax chuckled. “No, it’s not. It’s real. It’s raw. That’s what made it so refreshing. We all—the coaches I mean—said the same thing. You have a true talent that doesn’t require fancy dance moves and flashy lights. You feel the music and it shows. That’s awesome, Kendra. We just need to work on making a stronger connection with the audience. You get up there and you’re in your own world.”

“Okay,” she drawled out. “But you just said you already know what I need to work on, so why are we watching this?”

He turned off the video and faced her. His dark eyes bore into her soul and she felt her cheeks warm. Damn her pale skin for always betraying her.

“Your simplistic performances work for now,” he said, “but when you get down to three or four competitors, it’s going to bite you in the behind. You can’t grab an audience by blending into the background. You need to pull yourself out of that bubble and look at what is going on around you. Look at the fans, connect with them.”

She exhaled slowly. “Yeah. Not so great at that.”

“Have you had any stage experience?”

“Not really. I got caught up in life and music kind of took a backseat.”

“Why are you coming back to it now?”

“I was forced.”

“Forced?”

She lifted her brows. “I always give the performers crap so my sister submitted a tape of me singing. But neither of us thought I’d actually get this far. Just getting past the regional auditions was unexpected, but to actually be in the top fifteen is insane.”

“It’s not insane,” Jax said genuinely and her cheeks grew even hotter. “You deserve to be here. Now we have to make sure you stay.”

“I’m not sure Justin Timberlake is the best tool for that. I’m not a pop singer.”

“I think you’ll be surprised what you can do when you step outside your box. What have you picked for your solo?”

“‘Heartbreaker.’”

“Pat Benatar?”

“Yup.”

“What did you sing for your audition piece? The night you got voted into the top twenty?”

Ooh, barracuda,” she sang.

He grinned. “Heart, Stevie Nicks, and now Pat Benatar.”

Kendra’s confidence fell. “Is that wrong?”

“Not wrong. Classic rock is your comfort zone, but staying in your comfort zone isn’t going to help you grow, and if you don’t grow, you aren’t going to win. Want to know what we’re going to do for you, Miss Kendra?”

“No,” she deadpanned.

He ignored her. “We’re going to yank you right out of that cozy little bubble and toss you into the spotlight for the world to see.”

“Yay,” she said sarcastically. Even with his cute dimples, gorgeous smile, and sexy Southern drawl, his idea sounded terrible.

Swing by the blog to vote and leave feedback!

chapter2

 

Throwing Slop at the Pigs, er, Doling Out Marketing Advice

Today, I’m going to decipher some of that marketing advice that’s thrown at authors in much the same way as farmers throw slop to pigs. Just toss it in there and they’ll gobble it up. Why? Because if there’s one thing all authors crave, it’s help selling books.

Let’s talk slop, er, shop. There are several pieces of advice I see as fairly predominant. These are the ones we read most frequently, the ones we are supposed to take to heart. The bits of information we are supposed to actually act on. But how many of us really know how to act? How to follow all this sage advice?

That’s what I’m going to go over today. Ready? Good. Let’s do this.

  1. Forsake all else and write another book.

Okay, maybe that’s not literally what “they” say. Usually “they” say it much more eloquently, in order to ensure authors believe their fabulous advice. Write a damn book. And another. And another. What I hear when I see this bit of advice thrown at me over and over again is: Forget marketing. Forget the world. Forget Amazon rankings. Just write the damn book.

Let me translate what “they” really mean. When you aren’t working the day job (because everyone has bills to pay), and you aren’t paying attention to your family (because they sort of expect it once in a while), and you aren’t flapping your arms on social media, trying to get somebody’s attention, and you aren’t managing your street team and seven hundred other Facebook groups, and you aren’t throwing spaghetti at the wall on Twitter, and you aren’t editing, and you aren’t updating your website, and you aren’t designing eye-catching graphics to announce that next book promo… In those seventeen minutes before you pass out cold at two a.m. – yeah, that’s when you should write the damn book. Because readers like books, the more the better.

  1. Authors must blog. Blogging draws readers.

Oh the irony that I’m writing a blog that is about to trash blogging. Okay, not really. I enjoy blogging. I do it probably more frequently than I ought to, given the next book isn’t yet done. And yes, I believe people enjoy reading blogs. I do. I read a lot of them. I share them, I post them, I take them to heart. I especially like the funny ones. It’s just, I notice most of them dole advice about how to be a better author or sell more books.

…which I’m not convinced are things readers want to read about. So if my blog posts are aimed at other authors, how is blogging going to help me sell books? Yeah, I know authors are readers, too. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: Yes, we read each other’s books, but often for free. It’s called beta reading or critique partners or reviewers. So while my author friends may very well read my books and (hopefully) enjoy them and therefore tell their fans about them, those aren’t exactly sales. Organic or strategic marketing, sure. But it’s not a direct sale. And I’m not convinced talking to authors about marketing advice is going to draw readers to my blog. I’d be thrilled if I’m wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.

  1. Brand yourself as an author – not as your books

This one is pretty straightforward, so I don’t think I need to explain much. But I will anyway. What’s a blog post without words, right?

So here’s how it works: You wanna be an author. You write a book, you take all the right steps (editing, quality cover, marketing, maybe even secure an agent and/or a contract with a publisher). You are so damn excited about that book that you start telling the world, before it’s even finished the first round of edits. You create a Facebook page using the book’s title. And a Twitter account. You design your website around the book. Use the cover as your profile pic on all your social media accounts – maybe even your personal Facebook page. That book is everywhere.

And then it finally releases. And then it’s time to write the next one. Now what? You’ve branded yourself as that book, so how in the world are you going to convince the world to read your next one, or the next after that?

Yeah, so this bit of advice has merit. But then again, many authors, famous authors, really, really famous authors, are known by their book series. The first one to pop into my head is JK Rowling. Then there’s that chic who wrote the Twilight series and the one who wrote Hunger Games. Oh yeah, and the Stephanie Plum series. And Game of Thrones – no, wait, everybody knows who GOT author, George, I-have-two-middle-initials Martin is. Anyway, I think you get my point. Which is…

Brand yourself and your books. Websites can be (and should be) updated regularly. Cover photos can be changed. Taglines and logos and Twitter handles are a little harder – so brand those as you and update your pics and website every time you release another book. And then when your series starts picking up steam (or, really, before that point), add a page to your website or a second Twitter handle (if you can handle the extra work. Don’t take on more than you’re capable of juggling. Remember, you’re still supposed to be writing the next book.). Why not be known as an author and by your book series?

  1. Build relationships with readers

This one makes me chuckle. First, this is a virtual world in which we live. In-person, intimate author events are practically non-existent. Author events are now large cons, and how the hell do you develop relationships when you’re competing with seven thousand other authors? Additionally, while I can be a social butterfly, it usually requires either wine or for me to be in my comfort zone, or more likely, a combination of the two. And building relationships with strangers (no offense, readers!) is not in my comfort zone. I don’t imagine readers want to curl up on the couch with me while I’m in my pajamas drinking a lovely rosé.

Do they?

So what does this really mean? Well, it means be yourself. Yep. Be… you. The person who wills the clock to tick past noon so she doesn’t feel guilty for pouring that first glass of wine. The person who nearly wept when her laptop had to go to the shop for a few days. The person who would rather stay home and write the next book (or hang out on social media, posting funny memes about writing that next book) instead of go to an actual, literal, in-person social event. The person who considers her dog to be an additional child, and sometimes her husband too. The person who has a day job but likes to pretend she doesn’t because she would much rather be a fulltime author.

Yeah… you got it. Be yourself, even when you’re on your author social media sites. Make it personal. Pretend you’re a movie star or rock star. Tell me you don’t love it when movie stars or rock stars post pics of their new puppies or babies. Makes you feel like you got a glimpse into their lives, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what readers want. From you.

  1. Organic marketing

I confess, I bought into the organic marketing concept, mostly because it works. But dear God, it is a phrase I. Am. Sick. Of. I’ve worked in nonprofit, in public relations, as an event planner, in sales, in fundraising. I get organic marketing.

But it is one of those overused corporate terms that makes me want to grab the nearest fork and stab somebody in the eye. Repeatedly. It ranks up there with, “It is what it is” – a phrase that, whenever I hear it, I also hear nails on a chalkboard, and I cringe accordingly. Also, “cascade down” is pretty high on that list, because no phrase can make someone feel like a peon more succinctly than that one—and even if we are peons, we don’t want to be reminded of that fact every damn time we get a corporate email. Come on, leaders.

True confession: My hatred of the term, “It is what it is,” is quite personal, actually. Once upon a time, during the Great Recession of the Early Two-Thousands, I worked in hotel sales, for a general manager who was the world’s cockiest son of a bitch (without much justification) and a director of sales who never, ever ceased to look out for number one. When cuts had to be made—because I live in Detroit and nobody was traveling to Detroit back then—I was the lucky one to get put on the chopping block. When the director of sales informed me of my imminent demise within the hotel sales industry, she gave me a saccharin smile and said, “It is what it is.”

Which is complete and utter bullshit. “It is what it is” is an excuse to not try harder or find another route or seek out a goddamn solution to your problem.

While I sound bitter, I’m actually not. To tell you the truth, getting laid off was without question one of the best things to have happened to me. Since there was a recession and I couldn’t find another job in Corporate America, that’s when I started writing with a vengeance. Because I got laid off, I’m here today, blogging to you all. So maybe I should love that phrase, instead of loathe it…Nah. I still hate it. It’s a cop out.

Anyway, back to deciphering organic marketing. As I see it, organic marketing is the same thing as building relationships with readers. It means thinking long-term, always think long-term. Few authors will be successful overnight or even in ten days or ten weeks or ten months or, well, let’s not go the ten-years route just yet.

If you stick to it, if you continue to write, continue to put out quality (big emphasis here on that “Q” word) books, continue to market them, continue to build your relationships with readers, then yeah, you’ll make it. Maybe not JK Rowling make it, but you’ll develop an audience, have readers who eagerly anticipate your next book. And, frankly, in today’s publishing world, that’s pretty damn impressive all on its own.

So just keep at it. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t ever utter the phrase, “It is what it is…” Sorry, that one’s personal. Let’s try this again…

I could go on and on, but you’d get bored or your lunch break is gonna end, and I personally hate really long blog posts, so let me stop here and quickly recap today’s lesson:

  1. Write the next book
  2. Market yourself – and your books
  3. Blog because you like it and maybe you’ll get lucky and someone will actually read it
  4. Be yourself on social media
  5. Don’t expect overnight success, but don’t give up, either. It’ll happen. Probably later, but it will.

Ready? #yougotthis

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, award winner, wine drinker, and blogger, not necessarily in that order. She tends to dole out advice while drinking copious amounts of wine, so you should probably take whatever she says with a grain of salt … or another glass of wine.

http://tamilund.com

 

 

#AudioBook One Night With Her Husband by @SSaraDaniel

Here’s another installment from the One Night with the Bridal Party series. This was one is for everyone who met and fell in love while in college, which is what my husband and I did — minus all the drama that Marcia and Adrian go through in this book!

All she wants is one more night with her husband before she lets him go.

She walked away from her marriage seven years ago…
Marcia Johnson always assumed her husband would follow her eventually. She’d achieve success while she waited and prove her decision the right one. But when he finally turns up, she’s not ready. Her career hangs in the balance, and her weight has skyrocketed. How can she face the man she loves and show him she made the right choice? Especially when he’s matured from a decent-looking college student into the sexiest man she’s ever seen.

He’s waited seven years for his wife to finally need him…
If Adrian Torres can save her business, maybe he’ll have a shot at saving their marriage. But the woman he finds is too competent and independent to ask him for help. She even shrugs off his touch instead of reacting with the desire he hoped to ignite. Have the embers of their marriage finally died? Is it time to end their relationship and move forward?

He wants a divorce…
Her world ripped apart, Marcia turns to 1Night Stand to give her one more night before she lets Adrian go. She dares not hope for more. Even Madame Eve couldn’t have the magic to save their neglected disaster of a relationship…could she?


Narrated by Hollie Jackson
Buy Links:

So I’m doing this thing

Dreams Collide FINAL

Little known fact: I cut my writing teeth on fan fiction long, long ago.

Not exactly returning to my roots, but in a kinda sorta roundabout way, I am. I’m doing this whole “reader-driven” novel. What does that mean?

Well, any fan fiction junkie knows that the stories are posted chapter by chapter and we needy writers LIVE for feedback from readers. So much so, that oftentimes the reader’s feedback has a huge impact on the direction of the story line.

I’m embracing that interactive style with this new story, Dreams Collide, which is being posted on my blog.

When Kendra Michaels gets a coveted spot on the reality TV show Music Star Dreams, the last thing she expects is fall for her coach–superstar Jax Landry. For Jax, taking on a team of wannabe singers is his way of bouncing back after an ugly divorce. He’s determined to prove he isn’t the bad guy his ex made him out to be in the tabloids, but that may not be as easy as he expected. Especially when one particular member of his team has captured his attention and maybe even his heart.

I am giving readers plenty of time to catch up and let me know what they want to see happen. Once the novel is complete, I’ll post the book in its entirety as a FREE download!

I’d love for you to join me and let me know your thoughts! Check it out!