Guest Author Tami Veldura with Learning to Want

Hi all,

Yay, it’s Friday – and Black Friday at that, so if you’re out shopping I hope you manage to grab some bargains πŸ™‚ It seems to have got even colder here – the canal outside my house has frozen over and am huddled over my teeny work fire. Still, can’t be all bad, my parents are coming up to visit this weekend – plus I have the fab Tami Veldura dropping by. She’s chatting about her new release, Learning to Want – a sci-fi LGBT romance with elements of D/S and a full POC cast (I’m slightly in awe of someone who can fit all that into one novel – could you really ask for anything more?)

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So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

I’m a gemini, I enjoy long walks on the beac–wait, wrong bio. Let’s see: I’m a full time writer with a dragon obsession and this persistent idea that if I insist hard enough, my whole life will look like the happily ever after in my favorite romance books. I’m easily distracted by small kittens and have a book buying problem. So many more people know me as Tami than my legal name that I may just change it one day.

Nothing wrong with a dragon or book buying obsession *whistles innocently* Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was eight I was just starting school for the year and my mother took me to target for supplies. At the time, Lisa Frank was the brand to have and I came home with a pile of rainbow folders. Inside each folder, on the flap for your papers, was a two or three sentence paragraph about that Lisa Frank character: the unicorn, the puppies, the kittens.

I copied that paragraph from each of my folders onto a piece of paper and brought it to my mother. My first story. She put it on the fridge.

At the time I didn’t know writing was a thing, all I knew was the stories I was reading and the worlds I was living in were amazing and I needed more. Faster. So I’d start writing them myself.

Do you have a particular writing routine or any special rituals?

I tend to have ideas pop into my head throughout the day, especially when I’m out and about on the weekends encountering people and places.

But the average workday starts with a breakfast of grits or oatmeal, tea, and some time snuggling my pet rats while I wake up. I always keep a water bottle on my side table, but sometimes I’ll add a bottle of gatorade if I’m feeling dehydrated. I review my social sites and writing forum, just catching up on the world, but by 8AM I sit down on my corner of the couch and start writing. I try to write for at least 3 hours every day, but sometimes editing or a book release can skew the schedule. The rest of my day is filled with all the administration work that comes with hybrid publishing. Some of my books are self published and managed, while others are through small presses.

I’d like to add copywork to my morning routine before I start writing. Copywork is a technique that’s been used for generations to teach kids how to write and by authors to study their betters. Regular copywork can improve handwriting, but it’s also very meditative, can improve vocabulary and technique, and act as a mental trigger for an artist to enter that flow state where creativity and intent align into perfect productivity.

Sounds interesting, may need to have a look into! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

Initially, my writing was traditional high and low fantasy coming of age stories, since that’s what I grew up reading. But in high school I transitioned into fanfiction, specifically the slash corner of the fanfic world where I discovered all kinds of story types that I hadn’t ever seen before.

Now, I write romance, science fiction, and fantasy with LGBT+ characters and themes. I’ve been publishing regularly in the genre since 2010, but in 2015 I discovered asexuality and realized that I belonged in this subgroup as well. It’s not a surprise I was drawn to the people and themes in these stories since I was living them myself. It’s been a much more personal journey since then.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

Oh there is a list of people who are constantly impressing me with their ability to craft a world or pivot their business. Amelia Faulkner, Cecil Wilde, and E. Davis off the top of my head. My focus lately has been developing stories that appeal to a mainstream audience to attract a more stable income stream. I’m learning immense things from these established authors and I can’t wait to see how my readership grows.

What four things could you never do without?

My phone: you might be surprised how much business I manage on a daily basis through my smartphone. Twitter, email, google hangouts–I’m constantly on my phone communicating with editors, readers, coworkers and more. I have all of my work saved in the cloud, so phone access is possible on any file or book I could ever need to reference. A day without my phone puts me far behind!

The chromebook: A few years ago my life situation was a lot different than it is now. I had a day job with a decent commute and spent much of my time on the road outside of work, too. I needed a laptop that could go everywhere with me. I’ve written books on my phone, but that is a tough process I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. The chromebook was the solution I decided on. With all my work in google’s cloud I could access it anywhere I could find wifi (hello Starbucks and Panera) but I could also sit in the car and write on a draft on a full keyboard.

The chromebook is several years old now but still as zippy as ever. It’s my primary computer and sitting down to write anywhere and everywhere is easy. And it was only 200$ πŸ˜‰

Internet: While I could survive for a long time without the internet, ultimately my entire business requires it to function. I contact editors and artists through email. I connect with other authors on forums. I interact with my fans on social media. I even save my stories on the cloud.

My Fiance: Is this a cliche? I’m supposed to avoid those πŸ˜‰ Seriously, Fiance is critical to the success of my work. He supports me financially while I get this career underway which is both heartwarming and a heavy expectation. He knows I will be a famous author someday. That unconditional support is invaluable. He helps in smaller ways too, from traveling with me for research to reminding me to eat lunch. That second one happens more often than it should XD

Tell us a bit about your new release.

bannerLearning To Want is my latest novella and features a 100% POC cast. It’s a science fiction story set on an alien world where the ruling class uses sexual dominance and submission shows as political power. Atash is stuck at the bottom of the class system and hopes to teach Khoram how to submit. Khoram, meanwhile, is trying to avoid being killed by a mercenary clan boss: his former employer!

Ooh, sounds intriguing! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

The initial story was only five thousand words long and spawned from a call for submissions for an anthology about BDSM with a small press. I didn’t end up in the anthology, but when Nine Star accepted the story for publication, they asked me to expand it into a novella. Much of the world and action/adventure plot developed out of that expansion process and took me several months!

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

I loved imagining the details of an alien world and bringing that vision to life. Dulia has a native species called the Frea that are well-adapted to their desert planet, but half a dozen other alien species make appearances in the story as well.

That sounds like so much fun! I love the world-building side of things. What was the hardest part about writing it?

The hardest part, but also fun, was definitely the details of Frea culture. I wanted to develop an alien race that was interesting and complex, not just window dressing for a story, but only the readers can tell me if I succeeded.

Who’s your favorite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

Oh this one is easy: Madam Zoya! (That’s right I love my antagonist). Without Zoya, this book would have turned out much differently. When I first started writing she was just a convenient backstory name, but as the story evolved and grew her role expanded as well and became a critical driving force for not one, but both protagonists.

Hehe, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves my villains! Why should we run out and buy it right now?

You should run out and buy it right now because there’s a bonus sexy scene in my newsletter for readers to enjoy and you’re going to want to know all the details!

 

Check out the book details πŸ™‚

coverBlurb

Khoram is an enforcer, a bodyguard, but his boss has just betrayed him. Now he’s stranded on a desert planet he’s never heard of, chained to the only other human around.

Atash grew up in the cracks of Dulia’s complex social structure, where dominance and submission are a man’s worth. He’s struggled for years on a lower caste but Khoram could be his ticket to a better life if they can find common ground.

Atash wants to teach Khoram the art of submitting by choice and maybe make a name for himself along the way. Khoram, however, isn’t here to play Atash’s political games. He’s going to escape, if his former employer doesn’t see him killed first.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Amazon

Ninestar Press

Take care x

Guest Author Rhiannon Wellman with Lightsong Dynasty

Hi all,

Well, it’s Friday and a day of rather a lot of unrest and upset in the UK. I am feeling very disappointed and worried, but shall perhaps chat more about that later. For now though, I’m cheered by the fact I have the fab Rhiannon Wellman visiting to chat about her latest release, The Lightson Dynasty.

 

Thanks for being here, Rhiannon. So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

I find this question the hardest to answer whenever I’m asked. I’m never sure what I should say or what a reader would like to know. I’m 34, and wow that’s the first time I’ve had to write that number because it’s my birthday today. Writing is the third biggest passion in my life, after my husband and son. Writing has always been what I do to relax and de-stress, after all, I’m less likely to get arrested for murder for people who annoy/upset me if I only do it in a book.

Aside from a family and my writing, I have a full time job which I’m lucky enough to love which is always a bonus when you spend 13 hours at any one time there.

Aww, well Happy Birthday! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always made up stories, I used to tell them to my teddies and dolls when I was a little girl. I struggled when I was growing up with dyslexia so reading on my own felt out of reach, so I made up my own. But as I found books that drew me in and didn’t let go until I finished reading no matter how long it took I fell in love with books and the need to create my own was born.

Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

I will literally write anywhere. I’ve been known to write in the bath. I have apps on my phone, or I’ll write in an email to send to my laptop. I write in notebooks I have a tablet that I take if I’m doing a night shift to write in my break time. No special ritual or routine just as long as I have a way to do it I will write.

Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write over several genres but the common theme is romance. I’m a romantic at heart and love happy endings. Love in whatever form is special and should be celebrated.

Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I love to read, and lots of writers have shaped me as a person. ‘The Famous Five’ because that’s what made me read in the first place. ‘The Narnia Chronicles’ because it sparked my imagination in a way other books hadn’t, I’d been on adventures with The Famous Five but always in a setting I could relate to in the sense that they were in the UK doing thing I’d done, go to the beach, picnics or bike riding. Ok not so much catching criminals and saving the day but still. With Narnia, it opened my eyes to other worlds and whole other spheres of possibilities.

As I grew up… ok got older, I discovered Terry Pratchett who taught me so much I wouldn’t have time to tell you all of it if I wrote a thousand words. Things like first thoughts are good but trust your second ones. Make sure you always have a second pair of socks and in the darkest of forests, you should not be afraid because you should be sure that you are the most scary think in it.

Then there’s Harry Potter, seven books with will live in my heart Always.

What five things could you never do without?

My Husband

My Son

My Cats

My books

My writing

In that order

Lightson dynasty_Rhiannon Wellman 200x300Tell us a bit about your new release.

My newest release is The Lightson Dynasty, I loved writing this book. The first of a trilogy I wanted to talk about it because the second book will be out in the next month with the third coming very soon. Here’s the Blurb

Jo isn’t what he seems. Will his grandmother force him to live a life he doesn’t want, or can he figure a way out?

Jo’s life had never been simple. But since he moved in with his grandmother, things only became worse. First, she assumes that Jo stood for Josephine not Joseph. Then she believes all young women should be suitably married, especially her granddaughter, Jo…

So now Jo’s expected to marry a man he’s never met and whose own grandmother also wants the match. But how can he when he must protect his secret?

Marcus would rather spend time with his books and the gentlemen at his club than women, let alone marry one.

With both their grandmothers working against them, will they be able to find their way out of this potentially scandalous situation? After spending time together, will they want to?

Where did your inspiration for it come from?

That’s something I can’t answer, things pop into my head and make themselves comfortable, refusing to leave until I write them.

What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

The misdirection, little bits of humor and generally allowing two people who thought they would never be able to have the love or relationships that others took for granted to find each other and fall in love and be happy.

Also interfering grandmothers who are far wiser than the younger people give them credit for.

What was the hardest part about writing it?

The language, because it’s a historical book I had to be careful of how everyone spoke. I couldn’t use contractions. Honestly you don’t realize how often you use them until you can’t any more, Just look I’ve just used five in this paragraph.

Who’s your favorite character in it? (I know, I know, favoritism!)

I think Jo would have to be my favorite because he was shown by his parents that he could be himself no matter that it meant he wore dresses rather than trousers. And he lived that way, he lived the way that made him happy, no matter what the consequences would have been if he’d been caught. Which back then would have been dire. That takes bravery. It’s a very brave person who knows and accepts themselves, we should all be so lucky.

Why should we run out and buy it right now? 

You mean you haven’t been intrigued enough by my little hints yet, hmm well. How about. The second book in the Lightson Dynasty is called The Lightson Child and is written and with my editor. There will be no long wait for part two, no need to wait to find out what happens next in the lives of our two heroes. Yes there is a third book in in the works which will be longer, it is half written though so that will be out by the end of the year.

I invite you to the lives and families of Jo and Marcus. Part of the family of people who live in my head. Come join my family.

If you want to get your hands on a copy the details are here:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lightsondynasty-2024798-160.html

And don’t forget to follow Rhiannon on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/RhiannonWellman/

Take care x