Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Whispers with Author - Piper Kay

Why don’t you share with us what a day in the life of Piper Kay is like away from the books? 
      Wait, what? We get days away from the books? Does it also apply to the men living in my head? Lol Well for me, it’s a fun filled day of non-stop adventures. I get to find my way through the maze of mismatched clothes, play a game of scrubbing bubbles with the toilet.

Oh, oooh and on very special occasions, I get permission to enter the Do Not Enter room, that belongs to my teenager. She’s an activist and been really involved with some sort of “Save the carpet” campaign. She takes all the clothes in her closet and her drawers, along with all the things she’s borrowed from friends and stolen from me, and strategically strews them across her carpet in a protest to fight for carpet fiber rights. She’s amazing at it, making sure every time, to use all her clean clothes, as well as her dirty ones to do this. After making her point through reminding me she’s always right and she does indeed know everything at age 15, we may sit down to have a real home cooked meal together. She loves our time together so much, that she spends the entire time texting every single one of her friends to tell them about it. Okay, hold up, Is it getting deep in here yet? Lol Is for me. I’m so boring it’s unreal. I do household chores, grocery shop and sleep. Hahaha On occasions, I will read, catch a movie or make a concert.

 Your upcoming book – Passion’s Pride is being released soon.  Can you tell us a bit about it and the series it’s a part of? 
      Oh yes, the Passion Series
Book One-A Perfect Passion, is about my guys Damien and Dax, oh and a crazy lunatic ex named Aaron. Damien was always giving too much, and Aaron, his live= in boyfriend took advantage of that, but he gets caught in the act and is out of Damien’s life. Damien’s pool man, Dax, sexy, tall, rock god body is a straight man, who just split with his girlfriend. Since Damien has a big house he rents Dax a room and their story takes the two of them from hurt and fears to trust and love, and a passion neither of them can deny as much as they might try.  
Book Two-Payce’s Passion is all about finding Aaron, the lunatic from book one, Damien’s ex. See Payce, Aaron and Braxton grew up on the streets as kids. Payce was the ring leader, but was set up and did a little time behind bars to protect Braxton. As young adults, barely legal, they shared one night together, the next day is when Payce went away. As Payce hunts down Aaron, he crosses paths with childhood one nighter, Brax again, after seven long years and everything ignites. They have so much stuff to get past, mainly Payce going away and never coming back to him, to Aaron, and being set up, that both are almost ready to walk away from it all. Again though, passion is a powerful thing. Now Sparky (from book three) first appears as a waiter in this story, but when he talks, he steals the scene. So much so, that he HAD to have his own story. He went from a one line character, into one that became everyone’s favorite character in the series. He was that good. 
Book Three-Passions Pride, Passion’s Pride is the final book of The Passion Series, featuring all the characters from the first two, but focusing in on Serge, aka Sparky, and Ash.  Sparky has had a crush on his manager for almost 2 years, so in this one, they finally take a chance on each other. And the Sparks really do fly between them. Rawr! Lol Their pride sometimes gets in the way for the wrong reasons, but when passion is your pride, nothing can stop you.

If you had to decide on one influence and/or person that made you head down the writer’s path, who or what was it? 
      Okay, this is actually the truth, but in a negative sort of way, so I’ll keep it short and sweet, then give you a positive if that is okay?  My mother and her words growing up “you’ll never amount to anything if…” and also the words “Stop daydreaming, what makes you think you have what it takes to become an author, you’re delusional for even thinking that. You need to snap out of this fantasy world you live in and go get a real job.
Now the positive was from my best friend, Bobby, who I’d known since 6th grade until he passed away 2 yrs ago. He was also an author. “You can do anything you put your mind to, so just do it. Put pen to paper and let what happens, happen. And then if it doesn’t come naturally, we going to do it differently. We’re forcing it out of you, because your mother is going to eat those words one day.” Hahaha He was someone who truly understood me, and loved me and vice versa. How can you have a friendship that long without it?
                  You were recently named Author of the Month at Divine Magazine. What was that like? 
      Incredible, and so humbling. I felt very honored. It was all awe and amazement at the same time. The magazine has an outstanding following in the LGBT community and is a great resource point of reference. Unfortunately, they were also targeted about a week ago by some that are anti-gay . Yes, there are still those that feel the need to judge others and carry out hateful things, even in 2015, so last minute, they decided to rename the magazine and start completely over again rather than take any more risks at being targeted again. They will have to build their following again, etc. Here is the link to them (and the Author of the Month feature-lol)I would love it if you could show your support by following them as they build back up what was taken from them.

Their other sites are:        FB

 You are with an Indie publishing house. Can you tell me your thoughts on the indie environment and things you wish would change? Or is ideal about it?  
      Well, I’m  published through a small Indie house publisher, called Hot Ink Press. Hot Ink is an imprint of Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. When I signed with them, they were one of the first ones I’d heard called that, but I didn’t know exactly what it meant…I soon found out and I love the whole concept of being indie.
Basically, our authors get a say in how our books are published, what genre and categories they will fall into, and we have control over what our covers look like, have a say so in designing them, how promotions are handled, etc. All in all, we have a voice in decisions regarding our own books. These are all ideal working arrangements in my book.
The owner, SJ Davis, is a real down to earth person whom the authors adore and love. Over the two plus years I’ve never once heard a demand from her, but instead a fairness in what we think. She actually does listen to us, asks for input or feedback regarding things that will affect us, our books, and us as a whole unit. Our indie house works together as a family unit. We have just over a hundred authors now, and to be able to pull off that many with set schedules, plans, ideas, opinions and keep it civil at all times, is a huge plus where I’m concerned.
I guess it’s a little obvious I’m all pro-indie, huh? Lol
As for negatives, when I find one, I’ll let you know. There used to be a certain dislike for indies, but that has even calmed down over the years.

What is your process when you sit down to write a book?  Can you share your techniques, keys to seeing that you finish it?  
      My technique is to have no technique. Lol! A sure fire way to get me off the beaten path is to plan it out, or make an outline. I’m a total pantser. I may have a general story line in mind, but when I come to the desk, I come empty handed. I completely let my characters do the walking and talking. Where they take me, I just follow along and type it down as they show it to me. I think what drives me to finish it, is that I also want to know how it ends too, so the sooner I can get there, the better. There are certain things that I do when writing, like blast music, guzzle caffeine like a Mac truck does fuel, but those are just little extras. Hahahaha! I kid you not, I have been on the last pages of a book and gone to sleep only to wake up and type what they want and bam my solo just turned into a series. It happened with A Perfect Passion. I had to message my publisher and tell her what happened, she said run with it, so I did. Hahaha It was intense.

You have a great following and many authors are looking to have the same —what advice could you give to others? 
      My readers ROCK, seriously. They are the best and I’m very lucky to have them.  Advice, hmmm… Be yourself, never forget where you came from, and never get too big for your britches.

Traditional versus Indie—why did you choose indie? 
      In the beginning, I honestly came into writing almost blind. I hadn’t researched it, but knew I wanted to do it. Luckily I ended up in contact with some wonderful people along the way who told me what to expect, to watch out for and probably the best advice ever given was to find someone I wanted to be like and find someone I didn’t want to be like and watch them and what they do, how they interact, promote, comment, share, etc., etc., etc. I learned a lot about some indie authors at the time, as well as traditional authors. I knew I didn’t want what the traditional authors had to go through right off the bat. The authors themselves are extremely nice and sweet people, but their publishing companies, I just didn’t agree with a lot of what they do is all. It’s fine for some, it just wasn’t my cup of tea is all. I like the freedom that comes with being indie.
What is in the future with your writing? What projects are you working on
      Oh wow ummm…there are a lot of them, projects that is, for this year. Hope I can do it all.
~Currently waiting for the all clear on Passion’s Pride, which will be very soon.
~March 10th is tentative for a surprise mini-series coming out. No one knows about it, so I’ll spill a little bit here, it’s an M/M Erotic Comedy Mini Series, and by mini-series, I mean episodes like a weekly TV series would have, but this will be every 2-3 months, then the next episode will release. And by comedy, I mean me attempting something I’m completely clueless about.
~March 25th tentative for Joey’s Choice. Now, don’t faint, but it’s my first ya/teen book coming out. It’s a super short, about a 17 yr old high school boy who is bullied because he is gay. It’s got a few tough spots in it, but the outcome of it all is awesome. You’ll see.
That covers up until March, then I have a break with releases until June, so have some major writing to do in between the two.
~June 27th is tentative release date for my 3rd book in the Invicta Series (my go-go dancing boys-growl)
~July 31st is tentative date for my new MC series called The Southern Sinners Series. It’s my motorcycle club story that I am so excited about. Leather, hotties, Harley’s= Mmmm…
~October 24th is also tentative release date for my 4th book in the Invicta Series (more go-go boys-woo hoo)
~December 12th tentative for The Passion Series Reunion book. (yes, I am one of those authors who can’t let her characters go. I just can’t seem to cut the apron strings)

What do you consider some of the best blogs, promo services and others for getting the word out there?  Who do you recommend? 
      Any blog is a good blog, it’s free promo.  For LGBT books, I would say Rainbow Gold Reviews, Bike Book Reviews, GGR, Gay Media.
For M/F and/or MM too. Ashley’s Addictive Book Promotions, Crystals Many Review’s, Naughtybook Snitch, Naughty Ladies Book Page, Pussycat Promotions, plus ~ahem, cough cough~ I just started a promo page and review section on my website as well

 And finally—here’s your chance to give a fellow writer or someone that wants to become one some advice—what would it be
      Watch, a lot. Find those you do and don’t want to be like and observe from a safe distance, no stalking now.-hahaha  Join some writing groups, and never be afraid to ask questions, everyone has to do it.

Fun Stuff:
Favorite Color - 
Favorite Type of Food -  Mexican
If you could be a cartoon character, who? Jessica Rabbit, Rogers wife. lol

And tell me Piper….are you a CRUISER GIRL? 
J Ahhhhhhhh, well now you got me going. Absolutely a CRUISER GIRL. Nederland Drag Baby. Nederland, Texas sometime in my earlier days. We had to of crossed paths many times there Jas! Bwahahaha. We’re shared exhaust fumes, that makes us family.  I included my cruiser mobile back then and another picture for you too.

I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and share a bit of yourself with me. How can people stalk...I mean ;) find you?


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To Give It Up (Writing)

I the last few weeks I have given very real thought to giving up writing. It had very little to do with my new career which more than pays my bills. Nor to do with stress or lack of motivation and inspiration. I always find motivation and inspiration.
My books do well. My fans are the best. I've been lucky to never have less than a 4-star review and the rest are 5. And all love my books.
The literary world has been kind to me in the form of wonderful peers and bloggers as well as others in the industry. that I've made that clear (and you know this isn't a woe is me, pity me on. I know you were worried there. :) )
No...the crux of my mental meanderings was this:  In a sea of freebies, 99 cent books and never ending TBR's I was asking myself what's the point?
I have been called many things, and I don't know, maybe they are all true: book snob,  egotistical author, asshole, judgmental, holier than us, no talent, puppeteer of people...insert more words here. Yeah. Some of that hurt. don't know me at ALL so it didn't even tickle.
No. It was because I just can't do the whole freebie, cheap book thing unless its a special deal, or limited time as a reward. Add to my book being stolen and given out to dozens and dozens of people either by blogs or people (I'm told this is a positive thing--helping to get my name/books out its just frustrating.
Sure...who doesn't want to be known for their talent? Known as an author of worth who writes well, constantly strives to become better and makes sure to put out  books (full-length, fully edited, original covers...books) and price them the average price worthy of all the hard work I've put into them.
Sure...I won't lie. I'd love to make lots of money for my writing, pack signings. And any author who says they don't care or want those things are lying--we love to write, sure. But we like to eat and see all that hard work pay off too. None of my books, are priced ridiculously...$2.99- $4.99.
But it goes so far and beyond getting known...
It goes deep to the core of valuing my work. My characters. Are they worth free? Less than a dollar? Hell no. To me they are priceless in the value they give me in creating them. They make me feel like a million when someone loved them too. When a reader says they cried, ranted, screamed as they read the pages.
I just can't toss all that effort out to be consumed cheap just to "get my name out there". Because chances are my pricing my books as free or $.99 is not going to get my name " known". Its like saying somehow my name will float to the top of the ocean of names that penny-ed their books or wash up on the shore of a TBR beach. Its literary bingo with a million of numbered balls and even more of those stupid cards that never match.
I don't want to be known as that type of author. I'm me a snob. Call me delusional or naive. But one thing you can't say is my books aren't good. You can't say I don't believe in them by investing not only money but time on them because I don't cheapen any aspect.
What's the point, you ask?
Its this: if all the readers care about is cheap and free, what is the point in trying to produce a quality novel? Why stay up nights...days on end in creating characters, worlds and stories if I am just going to invest and get zero return? Whether it be a royalty or a review? Why would I price that creation cheaper than the worse burger at the cheapest junk food place? Or free... No. There was no point so why keep trying? I couldn't find one. And it broke my heart.
I don't solely blame readers. I don't place all the guilt upon digital formats or Amazon. I don't even toss that big of a hunk of accusation at my fellow authors. I think its a combo of all...and we all shall stumble with the burden and cost eventually.
So, I consoled myself in the fact that all that time and energy I was now using for writing, I could now use to HOPEFULLY be a positive energy in a venom filled indie publishing world. I'm mentoring two promising authors and DBP has so much potential to be that creative home that authors need--there would be plenty to take up the slack I would have in giving up writing my own works. I could work closely with struggling writers and maybe help them in that struggle with what I've learned. It makes me so sad to see our writing community turning on its residents so brutally. Something has to change. Its a dark, vicious world for authors if they aren't "big"... But well knowns aren't immune either. The literary world is in a fiery tailspin. It will hit and crash...soon.
But could I do that to my wonderful fans? Some of which have become my friends and best supporters? Well, I was writing and putting it out there long before I published my first book with my name on it via social media and other avenues--I could still give them things to read " The Ward Way". They, most of all, would understand.
It's a huge decision. Big for me considering writing is my therapy. It kept me up and it made me ill in even thinking of making that choice.
So here's what I did...
I sat down. I picked up some books. I shut away the world over the weekend and I read. I let myself get lost in the worlds and listened to the characters voices as they told me their stories. I laughed and cried. I ranted and yelled. It was a real touch base as to why I do this.
Or would I be saying "did that".
So...guess you're wondering what the verdict is huh?
Now I could do the trend of a badly flowed cliff-hanger to get you to buy in to what happened next, but I'm not that kind of writer either. ;)
I can't give it up. Spending that reading sabbatical made me realize my writing books is as much a part of my soul as all other aspects of my life--my family, children, pets. And just like life is so much richer with the existence and would mourn most of my days without.
But...I still won't toss my books into the cheap freebie bin just to " get attention ". No...they shall be valued what they are worth and will get highlight by being the best book I could place in front of a reader. And know that reader believed in it and me by purchasing it. I will get known one quality book at a time. My books...its characters don't mind. As long as I make sure to care and give them " life ".
In fact...I might go completely old school and e-books will not be my standard platform, but secondary. But that's a subject that will be babbled about when the time comes.
Oh...and before I forget. Would you like to know which books saved the part of my soul where author me clings?
My own.
Take care and happy writing.