Monthly Archives: August 2015

An interview with Renae Kaye

Today I have the pleasure in interviewing fellow Perth girl, Renae Kaye. We all know Renae from her best sellers, Loving Jay, The Blinding Light and more recently, You Are the Reason. All of Renae’s books are set in Australia which is just one reason why readers love her.BL

 Renae has been a prolific author for the past year or so and I had the pleasure in meeting her just before her debut novel was released. At the time I hadn’t started writing myself and I found it fascinating to hear the trials and tribulations she had gone through to get to that point. I remember thinking “I’m never going to start writing. It’s too bloody stressful.” Now look at us!

RJ: Hi Renae. Welcome to my blog. *hands over coffee* (Now you may have heard Renae isn’t a hugger. She usually waves hello from a safe distance. I try not to be offended. LOL)

RainRenae: **waves** LOL. **Accepts the coffee gratefully** What? No cake?
**Disappears to order cake**
 Sorry. I need the sugar. I mean, yes – authoring is really stressful and I use sugar to keep from bouncing off the walls. Thank you for the welcome and the “prolific” bit. I have to laugh, because I don’t feel prolific.
The hugging thing? Eh. I think I just have a large personal space. I grew up in the country and I get a little stressed when I’m boxed in.

RJ: I touched on how stressful writing and publishing can be. How do you handle it?

Renae: Lots of sugar! I’m the mother of two young kids, and my first “job” is seeing to their well-being and keeping the house. On release week, or on the week where I have first edits, the washing seems to pile up, and the floor doesn’t get done (I’m planning on buying a robotic vacuum with my royalties).
I have to admit I’m getting better at handling the stress. Or perhaps I know I’m going to be stressed, and therefore make room for it.
But in a way, the stress is good. The stress means I care about my work. I don’t want to stop caring, or else that means I will be producing sub-standard stuff.
I think you also need friends you can chat with. **slurps coffee and salutes RJ** You need someone who has been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt. They understand the flip-out over the unfair review, and checking your Amazon ranking ten times an hour and all those other things we don’t like to admit to. You need a valve you can blow off steam with.

 RJ: You had 4 full novels published in 2014 and 2 novels and a short story published so far this year. How do you manage your writing schedule? Do you plan ahead or just write and see where it lands on the publishing timeline?SL

Renae: Umm – four full novels AND a short story in 2014 **winks**
 I really just write what wants to come out. I have stories I want to write, and sometimes I sit and force myself to write it, but other times I take a left turn and just write what I feel like.
I don’t have a publishing deadline, although I should be more professional about it and have one going. Truthfully, I’m just winging this new career at the moment!
The four novels in one year thing probably won’t be repeated, because all of those novels were written before I received my first edits, or my first book was released. Just little things that take up your time that you didn’t realise – like today I realised that my website doesn’t have the latest link to my audio book. I think, going forward, two novels and a smaller story per year is a much better thing to aim for.

 RJ: And you manage all that with two small kids? Wow. Okay tell me what a typical Renae day looks like. If you’re like me, you don’t do anything until after the first cup of coffee.

SGRenae: I actually have two alarms on my phone that go off, because I’m always snoozing the first alarm. So I have my phone dinging at me at least four times before I find the energy to rise.
I’m a very punctual person, and I have things timed down to the minute. I’ve “trained” my kids well, and others are amazed at how we function in the mornings. Between 7am and 8am the kids need to eat breakfast and are allowed TV. I make school lunches, coffee, make my own breakfast, check the news on the internet, check my email, check my Facebook.
At 8am we all stop what we’re doing and it’s a flurry to get ready for school. Dressed, teeth, hair, mum-where’s-my-library-book, I-don’t-want-a-ponytail-today, no-I-don’t-know-where-your-shoes-are, pack bags, grab everything. And at 8:30am on the dot we walk out of the house to go to school.
For me, from 9am to 2:30pm is my time to “write if I’ve done everything else.” Some days I have to do things such as the grocery shopping and attend assemblies. At home there’s washing, gardening, cleaning to be done. I try to balance it by writing for 45 minutes, then putting the washing on the line. Write for another 45 minutes, then stop and clean the bathroom. And in the day there is lots of coffee.
And of course “writing” is not necessarily putting words into a story. There’s blogging, reading contracts, research, talking to people, organising blog tours, posting books off, keeping track of expenses, updating websites, considering covers, reading reviews, and even reading other people’s work.
Once the kids are home from school, until they go to bed, I may sneak in a couple of emails, print off a review, etc, but not always. When the kids are in bed, from 8am to 11pm is back to me writing.
I don’t watch TV – I gave it up in order to fit in writing time – so the writing is my evening’s entertainment.Safe

RJ: For me the writing has to come by itself, I can’t force myself to write something that isn’t in my head. How do your scenes work? Do you sit down and think I’m going to write blah blah today and then I’ll work on blah tomorrow” Can it really be that easy?

Renae: Yes, and no. (See? Easy.) **slurps coffee**
I don’t plan my writing in the terms of “in this chapter, this will happen, then next chapter, this will happen.” I may have an idea of where they are going (ie first date, then meet the parents, then disagreement over that thing), but I just let the writing take me where it wants to go. For example, in writing the story I just finished, I had the idea of “and then they make love.” It ended up being a huge long scene, because there was lots of emotional stuff that happened in the MC’s head while the scene was unfolding. In the end, it took me three days to write.
YES – I had to write sex for three whole days! (My MCs were exhausted!)
So I don’t plan to write a particular piece in a day, but I do try to write every day. I keep a track of my work, and attempt an average 1200 words per day. For example, my word count yesterday was 168 words. The day before 2095, and the day before that 3635.   So my average is over 1200 for those days and I’m happy with that.
BUT – and this is my advice to authors who ask – there are times you don’t feel like writing, or you don’t know what to write. Write anyway. If I’m stuck on a particular storyline, I either leave it and pick up another piece of writing, or I force myself to write. Limping along at 200 words a day will soon get you over the hump. So yes, forcing the writing is what you should do.

ReasonRJ: So what’s next? You’ve just had the release of You Are The Reason which is a follow up from The Blinding Light. Is there another series coming, or are you working on something completely different, and when can readers expect it?

Renae: I have to admit—I don’t know.
Nothing dries up my creativity more than the word “deadline.” So I haven’t given myself any deadlines with my writing. A lot of work goes into a story, even after the “writing” bit is done. So writing is just part one.
I do have a lot of ideas and I’m working on several projects at the same time. Not very time effective, I admit, but I hope that it may mean several projects are finished all at the same time.
This is a round-up of what I have going:
The Tav Series: I have at least two more books planned for this series, but I don’t want to ruin it by saying who. I’ve started the next book, and it’s in the very early stages of writing.
Loving Jay: There are two spin-offs to this book I wish to write. I have 30k written on the first spin-off, and this is the WIP I’m concentrating on now.
Safe in His Arms: There are two spin-offs to this book too. Lon’s friend Paul (and his married lover, Andrew) have a story. The story is finished and waiting to be beta-read. I will then send it to Dreamspinner to see if they like it. Then I plan to write Ash and Devon’s story.
The Shearing Gun: Mickey Ryan has a story to tell, and so yes, I want to write it. I’ve also had a request for more of Hank and Quackle, and I think a small “what happens next” can be arranged.
As a side-line, there have been a number of storylines pop into my head that have nothing to do with my current publications. Actually they are not even contemporary. I’ll see how those pan out. Two that are going strong in my mind at the moment, one is set 400 years in the future where humans are dying out due to global warming, and the other involves an alternate reality with a serving of paranormal.
Something that you may not know is that I also write M/F. I have yet to publish them yet, because I’m working up a backlog of manuscripts to release, but about 30% of my time is spent on these stories. I’m hoping to find a good M/F editor to work with and self-publish these stories.LJ

RJ: Thanks for taking the time to visit me today, it’s been a pleasure as always. Where can people contact you?

Renae: Thanks for having me! **finishes coffee** You feed it, it never leaves…
But yes, thanks for the coffee and thanks for being interested in the writing that goes on behind the scenes. I think a lot of people don’t realise how much work and effort can go into a single book.
For those who’d like to check out more of my writing, or say hello through social media, I can be found:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au
Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com
FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9
Twitter:  @renaekkaye
Instagram: renaekayeauthor

RJ: I’d hug you goodbye but, you know. I’ll just stand over here and wave. 🙂

Now for those of you that haven’t met me yet and will be at GRL in San Diego in October, here’s fair warning. I will hug you. 🙂


RJ

 

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Out of the Blue GIVEAWAY!!

I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of Out of the Blue and the good thing is you don’t have to do anything extravagant to win!  Just click on the link below and hit enter. (Postage worldwide on me) Enter as many times as you like until September 11th.

Here’s the blurb:

When everything happens Out of the Blue…

Lt Cameron Cooper has been with the San Francisco Fire Department for fifteen years. He’s seen and dealt with a lot of horrifying situations. He’s always considered himself mentally tough, but when he attends a multi-vehicle accident and sees a dead boy with features remarkably similar to his long-time boyfriend, his mental health takes a hit.

All Jake Montgomery wants is to propose to his boyfriend on their ten-year anniversary. He’s already bought the perfect rings, but when Cameron struggles to look at him after a tragic accident, he has doubts about their future. Cam is withdrawing, and Jake doesn’t know why.

With heated arguments and cold shoulders, Cam and Jake’s life starts to fall apart. Just when Cam thinks he can overcome his issues and finally talk to Jake, memories from Jake’s past threaten to push them apart forever.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Out of the Blue by R.J. Jones

Out of the Blue

by R.J. Jones

Giveaway ends September 11, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Heroes vs best friends.

Today is the release for Nic Starr’s latest novel Andrew’s Promise. It’s the second in the Heroes series and follows Andrew and Tanner. Andrew is Charlie’s brother who we first met in Charlie’s Hero.

Check them out below:

CharlieSchoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

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Purchase from Amazon and Dreamspinner

AndrewYoung mechanic Andrew Campbell’s life couldn’t be better. He is about to restore a Ford Mustang with his dad before heading off on the ultimate cross-country road trip with his best friend, Tanner McKenzie.

But tragedy strikes, and Andrew’s life is shattered. Worried his family will be torn apart if he doesn’t step in, Andrew makes a tough choice between following his heart and doing what he needs to do to protect his little brother.

When Andrew pushes Tanner away, Tanner heads off on the planned trip alone. Once Tanner leaves town, his life takes a different path and it’s ten years before he returns. Now a firefighter, he’s never forgotten his first love, and no one has ever taken Andrew’s place in his heart. He’s determined to see if Andrew feels the same way. He just hopes Andrew’s excited to see him, hopes that he’s available—and finally out—after all this time.

They might not have been ready to deal with emerging feelings years ago, but now might be the time for their second chance at love.

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Purchase from Amazon and Dreamspinner

We know heroes can come in many forms. They can be men and women who risk their lives to save someone like a firefighter or police officer. They can be fighting in the military to ensure we enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted in our everyday living. They can be a stranger holding someone’s hand who has wrecked their car as they wait for the paramedics (another type of hero) to arrive to help them. They are there at times of need. They are selfless. They are considerate.

So what’s this got to do with Nic Starr’s new release? Not much really. I just wanted to say thank you to my best friend who has helped me over the past week that I’ve been absent from social media, despite having my own release to promote. Life can get the best of us sometimes and during those times we can feel the need to curl up in a corner and hide for a while. That was me the last few days. Nic was there and she listened patiently, always encouraging, even when I was being a whiny bitch for no discernible reason. She gets me. She even told me to pull my head out when that was what I needed to hear. So I’m sending a big heartfelt thank you to my bestie. *Big squishy hugs*

Now to Andrew’s promise. I’m not going to do a big review here, but I will say that this book made me fangirl all over Nic. Despite thinking Andrew was a bit of a douche in Charlie’s Hero, I loved him. I got him. I loved Tanner and when these two finally sorted their shit out? Magic. Sexy magic.  And who doesn’t love that?

Oh and Nic? If you see this I’ll try to be subtle.

*cough* Antonio *cough*

There. Now it’s out in the open you have to write it.

RJ

 

 

 

Stuff and Things. And some needed radio silence…

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for me this week. First I had the release of Black & Bluhe and that went well. Initial reviews have been promising and I’m yet to see anything too negative. It’s all good. I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the blogs that participated in the tour that was coordinated by Will at Pride Promotions.

Participating blogs were (in no particular order):

Prism Book Alliance, Hearts on Fire, Bayou Book Junkie, Jessie G. Books, Carly’s Book Reviews, The Hat Party, Love Bytes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, My Fiction Nook, The Novel Approach, Just Love Romance Molly Lolly, and Parker Williams.
There’s an exclusive excerpt at each blog stop so be sure to check it out.

On the other side of things, it’s been a tougher week than it should’ve been. There’s been a major upheaval on the homefront which is going to take some time to get through the transition, for both me and the kids. And it’s hitting hard than anticipated.

Things I can usually brush off and say “She’ll be right, don’t worry about us” is becoming harder to do. Little things that don’t usually bother me, do. Things I have no reason to be annoyed with, I am. It’s not rational. I know this.

On the writing side of things, well, I’ve been handed a couple of blows this week as well which is taking up major brain space that I don’t have to spare right now.

It’s all conglomerated into a major shitty week and seeing a lot of negative posts on social media lately hasn’t helped.  Authors behaving badly, readers being ostracised etc has compacted my mood. So I’m going radio silent for a little while and focussing on my family instead. I’ll still answer my emails but if you tag me a in post or leave a comment, please don’t feel like I’m ignoring you. I’m ignoring everybody.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a hot man pic. Because at the end of a crappy day, they’ll always put a smile on a face, especially these two.  🙂

Sexy BW Men

 

RJ