Words that tug on the heartstrings
My Mother had bee one of those alluring women, a flaming redhead, who had men baying at her feet like enslaved dogs. Not for her the indifference of men, she had played the game to the hilt and every man that walked out of her life was a man she had send packing.
Find out more about Athena’s journey to self-discovery as she throws aside the shackles that bind her in.
Paperback: £3.50/ $5.00
Amazon Link: http://mybook.to/ALifetime
For more information and reviews: https://gibbsdream.wordpress.com/my-published-stories-a-lifetime-or-a-season/
1.Can we start with your name and where you’re from?
My name is Holly, I’m from Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire
2. Most authors love reading, is this true for you and if so who was/is your inspiration?
Yes, I love reading. I have always read since being a child, paperbacks and now my Kindle is full and the paperbacks I have now, are signed and stay grease free.
I never had any particular authors who inspired me as they all did. I read so many genres, including the gippy ones the teachers use to pull out.
3. What genre do you write in or do you cross over into many?
I guess I should say, it depends what genre my mind is working on. At The moment all my current published works are erotica, as that is where I initially started. However, my mind started wondering and has taken me to genre’s I never expected I would write, romance, supernatural, action thriller, ghost…if my mind is thinking it, it will write it.
4. If you could take any character from someone else’s book and make him/her your own creation who would it be and why?
Gosh I truly have no idea. I have read so many amazing books, it’s too hard to choose.
5. When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was about 7 or 8 years old. The only time the teacher got my attention was when she said essay. I loved my imagination taking over. I recalled in my English class when I was 13 or so, the teacher (who was a cowbag) told me off for handing in an essay of 30 pages, she said ‘next time only give me 5.’ I hated her, I thought teachers were meant to encourage students. I guess not. Anyway after that, I handed in 5 pages and once marked went home to finish it.
My first ever novel was written, handwritten might I add called ‘Full of Surprises’ a cute sweet romance, back when I was 16 and I still have it to hand now.
6. Do you plan every inch of your books or do you just let the words flow?
I allow the words to flow. I have an idea where the book is going, but nine times out of ten it will turn. Wowzers! I never saw that coming. I just allow the characters to tell me where and what they won’t me to write.
7. Who is your favourite character and why? (your own character)
Hmm, I am not sure I can answer this question. It’s a cruel question as I love all my character even the badass. If I was really to say…gosh…Holly in All That We Are, why, because she in some respects is telling a story of me. Her character lacks confidence. She hides behind her laptop, keeps herself at a distance of anyone and hates any form of confrontations. And there is also a scene of bullying in there which is true, to each and every word. I had a little cry after I wrote it, no one should ever go through such acts, ever.
8. Was there an event in your life that triggered a particular book, or even a scene in a book? If so what was the book and what was the event?
For me I guess all my novels are my autobiography, there is something in them all that has stolen a little snippet of my life. The worst one for me is in All That We Are regarding the bullying and how that affected my adulthood. For me when writing the scene through the tears, brought it all back, some would say why write it, because to me it was like a sense of relief, sharing a part of me and possibly getting the message across that bullying isn’t acceptable, do something about it, don’t dwell as it will only hurt more.
9. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so can you share any tasty morsels?
I’m currently working on four books, one I’m writing an action erotica thriller which appears to be my favorite genre at the moment.
I have one book I had to take down from publication is with an editor called Innocence BK 1. This book is a romance, and a little taster, Two pasts, one direction. When pain hits full force. Emotions run high. Guilt and protection. Can two hearts hold it together?
Book 2 is awaiting an editor, booked for March called Destiny BK 1. Sexy Erotic Billionaire Romance. Taster, Destiny is a girl who wants for nothing! Compromise Mr. Wright, compromise.
Book 3 is awaiting the editor, booked for June called Target, Scar Lover series BK 1. Action Erotic Thriller. Taster, He was sent to kill her, only instead unearthed more problems.
10. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out?
Write to enjoy it. Write for it to be a hobby. Write what you want to write. Never give up, keep writing. Don’t allow anyone to spoil your illusions. Write the first manuscript in draft, then leave and go back and polish, re-write, make it better, stronger and fuller. Stalk authors, get yourself on social media, talk to authors, that is what I did, and even today I reach out for a little help. We are a great community, yes we can get some nastiness, but generally we are all there doing the same thing, getting our work promoted.
11. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a part-time job as a care assistant in a residential and nursing home so that takes care of two days working 12 hour shifts. I am a nana to twins a girl and boy who I see as regular as possible. I enjoy reading, spending time with family, going camping in the summer months and visiting places in the UK.
12. What is the hardest part of the whole writing, editing, marketing process for you?
Editing, I loathe it especially as I cannot see the errors. I intend to sink back into the characters and pulling myself out can be tricky. Authors told me to step away. Leave the book for a year or so…doesn’t work I still end up back in their minds and bodies. This is why I hire editors as trust me I need it.
Marketing is a nightmare. It rather daunting at times, you write the book, find a good editor, get it proofread and then start arranging the formatting, and boom hit the big button…and you start hitting social media, crying out to all those bloggers. It’s hard work, and even more so to get it out there.
Will I ever give up…no. I love allowing my imagination to do its stuff, giving up isn’t an option.
13. We all have those friends or family members who make sweeping statements about our writing or the process, which is your particular bug bear?
I’m lucky, I think a majority of my fans I work with they are just brilliant, all so supportive and buy my books. At my last place of work, one woman did suggest telling me her life story and wanted me to write about it…I don’t think so. I think because people think your write stories that you would like to write theirs…nope I have enough people screaming in my head without your story, which isn’t all that exciting.
My family and friends are very supportive, well my hubby has to be he, he’s my assistant for the book signings, at least my muscle man.
14. What is your idea of happiness?
To always be a naughty woman, who is well known for making rude gestures from nothing. Live life to the full and be who you want to be. I don’t worry about much, as life is too short.
15. For this one I want you to showcase your creativity by painting me a picture, with words, of your ideal setting to write in.
Large room, sofa bed, desk with draws, book shelves, chair, notice board, images of characters staring at me, a wall decorated in my published works and another wall with my family, walls can be white and wooden flooring with a rug under my feet.
In a corner would be a desk with draws underneath, in oak. The desk will sit my laptop in the center. My glasses, notepad and dictionary will be to my right and my kindle, headphones, phone on silent with fruit and bottles of juice to my left. To the right a large window with blinds to block out the dazzling sunlight in white and white curtains. And between the window and wall to my right fixed book shelves where I can easily reach for research.
In front of me above my laptop will be a notice board in shabby chic, with pins with ideas and inspiration and other possible ideas that spring to my mind.
I will also have at the far side more book shelves with swag, signed books and a list of names and contacts when looking for promotional ideas, which will also contain all the links to where my books are published.
The far wall would have pictures of my family, grandbabies and below a sofa bed where I can go and relax and read my kindle or sneak a snooze.
One the left wall will be my book covers in all their glory.
The lighting will be variable, depending on what I am doing, reading my kindle would be a small lamp in the corner and when writing a bright light so I’m not squinting. I will also have a Bluetooth speaker if needed to help with inspiration when ideas might run dry.
16. What makes you laugh/cry?
For me, bullying, child cruelty and hearing a baby has died, it breaks my heart.
17. You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three men/women who would they be and why? This can be practical or purely sexual in nature.
This is going to sound drab but my hubby, Nigel. He is amazing at knowing what to do when stranded, he would know what to do in every department, how to build things, go hunting and how to please me. He is always watching programs where people are dumped and left to survive. For entertainment my hubby as he knows me, he knows what I like and would protect me from anything, well sort of unless he gets hungry and decided to eat me lol.
18. What is your most annoying habit?
I’ll ask my hubby…he said, ‘I cannot cook.” I hate cooking lol!
19. Please tell me about your books?
Desires the series, there are 5 books up to date. This series is about a sex club, an exclusive club where you can go and enjoy your erotic side without being judged. The series tells us the story of a couple, Stacie and Dan. Stacie is the guest who is seeking confidence sexually after being in a bad relationship. Dan the sex worker a serious hot toy boy is her tutor, and well he teaches all she needs to now and more. Heck, he blew me away, the cutie. The series also brings in a scorned woman, jealous of the couple and spends most of her miserable time trying to spilt Stacie and Dan up.
All That We Are, this book is about a promoter called Holly who starts talking on social media to Ashton Noir, who is a bestselling author. They start talking, building up a friendship and helping in areas where they both lack confidence. This is an internet love story which in the author world I bet has happened.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
Please leave Facebook, Twitter, Website links so we can check you out further.
Desires Series: Erotica, BDSM, kinky romance.
Bk 1 Desires
Bk 2 Touching Angel’s Desires
Bk 3 Desires’ Secrets
BK 4 Embracing Desires
Bk 5 Dan’s Desires
All That We Are
Amazon UK :
Amazon US :
Amazon CA :
Barnes and Noble :
Itunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/holly-j.-gill/id656813976?mt=11
Links to me
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/hollyjgillauthor?ref=hl
Erotic Holly BLOG :http://hollyjgill.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=b9ccabad8f15e367
Romance BLOG Holly : http://hollyjodygill.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/HollyJGill
Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/107879443337932231480/posts
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6860426.Holly_J_Gill
Pinterest : http://uk.pinterest.com/gill0839/
My name is Lindsey, and I am from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands
Yes, definitely. I started out reading. Initially good old paper backs many moons ago, and then hoards of different things on my Kindle.
If I were to pull out 3 names that inspired me to give it a whirl, they would be Teresa Gabelman, Melissa F Olson, and Ashley Stoyanoff. Love their series’ so much!!! Very good paranormal reads!
I started off writing Paranormal. They were meant to be Erotic as well, but my first novel kind of veered off into a thriller instead. Which suited the story more than filth. So I wrote the dirty books seperately.
I hope to also branch out into Post-Apocalyptic (though, probably under another name) as well as eventually combining the Paranormal and Erotic genres.
Oh wow, this is difficult because I have come across so many bad ass characters. It would come down to 3… Jill from Teresa Gabelman’s Warrior series, Scarlett from Melissa F Olson’s Scarlett Bernard series, or Rachel from Maggie Shayne’s Brown and de Luca series, because each are strong, powerful, alpha women and I adore them and how they are written. For me, a good, strong MC makes for awesome reading, and these were no exception!
I’ll need to hazard a rough guess over this one… I would say about 3-4 years ago. It took me a long time to get my first book polished enough for me to be happy with. It took at least 12 months for me to publish it because the first draft was utter rubbish! I had to seek help!
I’d like to think that I plan, but in reality, it doesn’t always work that way. I get a basic plot and I go with the flow… sometimes even the plot changes a few times before I settle on something I like.
The book I am currently writing, for example, is only 3 chapters in and already I’ve changed my mind 4 times! I have moments where something will just come to me, and then something else will work on top of that, etc., etc., and I have to write it all down before I forget it.
Hmm, another difficult choice. I have my female fave and my male fave. My female fave is Amelia Ellis from the Faction series. She is a kick ass cop with a feisty attitude, and she takes no crap.
My male fave is from the same series, and that’s Nate Turner. He’s a sarcastic, scruffy, loveable rogue.
Without going into too much detail, there are elements of a past life / relationship used in my first book, Invoking the Witch. More specifically, relationship elements, control issues, domestic abuse… I won’t give too much away because I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone who might read it, but I did have to draw on a lot of memories and past hurt / emotions to fully convey what the MC was going through.
I’m currently working one 3 pieces at the moment. One just loosely, which was originally a short story for an anthology that never happened. So, I am turning it into a novella. It’s an Erotic Spy Thriller.
The 2nd is a carry on from my first full-length Erotic novel, Graceful Damnation. Not so much one of a series, but I am giving each character their own book which usually follows on from where the previous left off.
The 3rd I’m working on, which I am currently focusing on at the moment, is Nate’s series which follows on a little from the Faction series previous to that, but rather than vampires, it’s going to be more about werewolves and packs, though some familiar faces will make an appearance.
I’d always tell someone never to give up. Write as though no one will ever read your words, because they come across more raw and honest that way. Don’t let someone tell you you’re wrong, but do let other help advise and polish your work, because some of the best advice I had came from other authors, and I still cherish and use it to this day.
Despite the occasional ups and downs on Social Media, the author world is quite a friendly and tight-knit community. There’s always someone willing to help, because there’s always somebody who’s experienced the same struggles you likely will. Don’t be deterred, just be determined.
I have a full time job in recruitment currently. I also have my (almost) 5 year old Bedlington who still thinks he’s a puppy to keep me on my toes. Recreationally I love my PlayStation and First Person Shooter games.
On top of that, I also design book covers and other imagery for myself and other authors, as well as Swag and Jewellery. As you can well imagine, I’m kept busy – but I like it that way.
The writing can sometimes be hard. I will, on occasion, find myself struggling for ideas, or how to connect one piece of the story to another. But, at the same time, it’s the most enjoyable part.
Editing is tedious, but necessary. And it helps when you have a great group of Beta readers, as I do. They point out things I have missed, even after reading it over thousands of times!
Marketing is definitely the hardest. It’s great writing the book and then hitting publish when all the bits and pieces have come together, but the hardest part is definitely trying to get it shouted about.
There are plenty of tools, don’t get me wrong, and I would probably find it so much easier if I spent more time and money on it. But, as you can see, my time is stretched thin as it is, so I do what I can in the hopes that, one day soon, a PA will take pity on me and help me out for free Swag and books!!
The dream is also to do it full time, but it’s swings and roundabouts at the moment – though, I will persevere because I love it so much.
I’m quite lucky in the sense that my family and friends support what I do. Sometimes, you get the odd one that calls it a hobby, which I understand because, to them, it would seem that way. I mean, I have a full time, paying job and I write in my spare time, which is almost the definition of a hobby in a way. However, it’s so much more than that, but I don’t sweat it. I know what goes into the whole process, and I know how I feel when I get something out of it. I’m just glad there are people that stand behind me while I do it.
To feel fulfilled, and for those around me to be content in their lives. No have minimal worries and to be involved in doing things that I love with the people I love.
A large room, the walls fairly plain, in some off-white colour – not to be boring, but to enable me to fill them with my achievements and accomplishments. One wall with hoards of pictures of family and friends in varying white and oak frames – my inspiration and my happy thoughts. Another wall with glossy, a4 framed photos of all my book covers, in all their glory.
In one corner, a large desk, big enough for my laptop, my storage devices and all my materials for making swag and jewellery. Some of them will even be on shelving, fixed to the wall above the desk.
The desk itself will be fairly minimal, but will have ample lighting and a large notice board pinned at the back, covered in lined paper and Post-It notes with scribbles and ideas on.
In another corner will be a unique, novelty bookcase with all my signed paperbacks that will slowly grow. Somewhere on that shelf, there will be a reserved space for my paperbacks, too.
There’ll be at least two windows, with linen blinds drawn up, allowing in sunshine. Simple bright green plants in white pots will sit on the window sills.
The lighting will be variable, depending on the mood and what I am doing, and, though I prefer the quite when I am writing, there will an iPod on a docking station, ready to blast out my choice of song when I need that inspiration for a difficult scene, or I’m working on swag or jewellery.
And, last, but not least, a black pyramid kettle with an endless supply of Nescafe decaf cappuccinos!!
Usually PMT! Or animal / child cruelty if I see / read about it
Hmmm… this is a difficult choice. I’d have to have some eye candy, so Andrew England is a must! Or Drew Truckle… I’d be perfectly happy with either. Having met Drew, he would be my first choice in actual fact, because he is a lovely guy who can hold a conversation, so I’d be entertained.
Ray Mears would be another choice because he is an expert on survival in the wild. He would be able to show us how to live off the land
My third choice…gotta be a woman so I’m not the odd one out, so let’s go with Doon Mackichan because I love her sense of humour!
As if I have any, lol!! Erm… I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Perhaps leaving my plates and cups upstairs instead of taking them down to be washed!
My books, so far, are a 3 part Paranormal Thriller series involving Witches, Vampires and Werewolves at the moment. They can be kind of grisly in nature, so not for the faint hearted. I tend to research my subject matter to death to get it spot on, and sometimes it’s a little dark.
The erotic are exactly that, and they will vary depending on the nature. My novella is quite light and breezy, whereas my full length novel includes murder and revenge, and that, too, is a little on the dark side. The opening chapter is certainly not to be taken lightly, and might be disturbing to some.
I like to fully develop my characters, and I always try to fully describe everything – every feeling / emotion, location, scene, so there is a lot of descriptive passages.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
Please leave Facebook, Twitter, Website links so we can check you out further.
There is a wonderful initiative that is run by one very busy lady, a pro-active author who helps other authors. Yes, you are quite right there are lots of people out there who do a lot to support the Indie community.
What makes this initiative special? This one could really work if more people took part.
The idea is that each week there is a spotlight author/book, for that week you have to either have your book priced at .99c or .99p or for free. Then then members over the space of the week buy this book. If they are so inclined, they can read and review also, but that isn’t a necessity. There is no spotlight for the weeks over Christmas and New Year, so the most you commit to is £50.00 or $50.00 per year. You don’t have to buy each and everyone but to make it work it would help. If you already have the spotlight book, you just write that in the comments box.
So what does that do? The increased sales, especially spread out over the week takes you up the Amazon rankings and once you get within the top 100 in a category you may get sales from randoms because if we’re honest how many of us have the patience to trawl through 500 pages to find a book we might be interested in- it doesn’t really happen. If you disagree with me, please feel free to scroll through until you reach mine, pick it, send me a screenshot of your purchase and I will be happy to eat my words. No really, please do that…now!
I was lucky enough to be the spotlight author during the week of the 15th February. I also followed this up with a BookHippo promotion. My Novella’s fall below the word count allowed for BookSends and BookBub otherwise I would have kept the momentum going with them.
So what happened for me? Before the spotlight my sales chart was flatlining, I was waiting for the time of death statement.
I am going to attach more screenshots here than you may want to see, but please feel free to scroll from the top to the bottom to give you the picture.
15/2/2016 – Spotlight starts (5 sales)
16/2/2016 (3 sales)
17/2/2016 (3 sales)
18/2/2016 (1 sale)
19/2/2016 (0 sales – 1 review)
Didn’t do a screenshot
20/2/2016 (6 sales – Book Hippo that day also)
21/2/2016 (1 sale) last day
1 week later with no additional sales
Can you imagine what those figures would look like if more people participated, worth thinking about.
14/2/2016 (2 sales) presumably the difference in time zones attributed to early sales
15/2/2016 (1 sale)
16/2/2016 (0 Sales)
17/2/2016 (1 sale)
18/2/2016 (0 sales)
No screenshot today
19/2/2016 (0 sales)
No screenshot today
20/2/2016 (1 sale)
21/2/2016 (0 sales)
One week later with no additional sales
I didn’t have any ranking on the Canadian site, so anything was a bonus. I won’t post every day.
18/2/2016 (2 sales)
19/2/2016 (1 sale)
20/2/2016 (1 sale)
One week later with no additional sales
I would love to have been able to report that my sales had continued but alas that isn’t true but maybe had the amount of participating members been higher the rankings may have risen higher and stayed there for longer. I certainly enjoyed being part of this and will continue to support the spotlight each week.
If anyone hasn’t bought ‘As Dreams are Made on.’ I have left it at the sale price 0.99 in whatever country you are in.
I would like to thank everyone who bought the book, read or reviewed or still plans to do so.
I would especially like to thank Tanya whose hard work makes this group possible. I want to end by doing a mini interview with Tanya.
Me: What was your motivation behind the Spotlight of the week?
Tanya: I was frustrated at how the big publishers are able to set a book off at a run when it’s released because of having such a larger support network. I wanted to see if we could develop a similar type of network for indies.
Me: What would you like to see from the group?
Tanya: I’d love to see it grow into the thousands and potentially branch off by genre.
Me: You are an exceptionally busy woman who not only works but writes so where do you find the time to help other people so much?
Tanya: There’s a saying, “if you want something to get done, ask a busy person” lol. I love helping people, it’s inherent in my nature, as such I tend to make the time to do the things I love. It helps that I don’t have a social life too haha.
Me: You have published your own book, ‘Dreams of Beautiful Whisper.’ when do you plan to make your book the spotlight of the week?
Tanya: My plan was to wait until I had book 2 completed, though that’s been delayed a bit, so I’m not sure on my timing. I also didn’t want members to feel that the purpose of the group was self-serving for my own book, so I haven’t made my book a priority for the Spotlight. I’ve also tried to stress to those submitting their books for the Spotlight that it’s important to have supporting marketing lined up for before, during and after a Spotlight position in order to maximize the benefits from it. I don’t have that stuff lined up for my own book yet, so that’s another factor in me holding off for now.
Me: Have you got a release date in mind for book two?
Tanya: Originally I was aiming for, well now lol, but a variety of circumstances in my life has caused a delay. So at this point I’m really not 100% sure when I’ll get it finished. But I am hoping to at least have ARCs available before the summer. (It is coming along nicely and my read along editors are loving it!)
Me: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on the journey of writing?
Tanya: As for the writing side – just do it. Make sure you’re writing something (anything) every day. Keep learning about the craft and always aim to improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation and word choice. For the rest of it, don’t try to rush the process. Do your research, learn the ins and outs and then approach it all very methodically. This can be a huge challenge for creative types as we do tend to be more sporadic and random by nature. But if you’re wanting to publish your work (by any means) it’s important to treat it as a business and to make sure you have a well thought out plan in place that you then consistently execute.
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