Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
The Diaries of Avalon Rose--First Blush, will be released August 1, 2009. This first in a series of romantic and erotic diaries describes events that take place during the summer of 1877 at Highgate, an English country estate southeast of London. The young, beautiful and feisty staff do more than cook and clean. Their most important work is...well...play! Juicy and sensual, everyone who has read the previews guarantees you can't put it down! Avalon's adventures lead her to an inheritance where she makes an amazing discovery which, in turn, begins the second diary and the rambunctious tales of her mother in Italy. Succeeding diaries will journey back many centuries. Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Although I've been a successful entrepreneur for 25 years, I still feel like that shy girl from Maine who was brought up in a strict Protestant household. I never would have imagined myself writing a historical romance/erotica story, but you never know how your life is going to be reinvented due to circumstances. I've been writing all my life...short stories as a child, government and business information, columns for United Press International's religion and spirituality site, The Wisdom of Mary Magdalene card deck and book...and now, Avalon Rose! This new book is not just about fantasy and romance, I want to show how a young disadvantaged woman can learn to be in charge of her own life. As a woman who has been through many tunnels myself, and now as a certified life and business coach, I have always been passionate about helping women succeed in life. Avalon turns out to be a fantasy character who is empowered and successful on her own terms.
Tammie King of NOR: If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why?
Ahhh, many people have asked me if I'm really Avalon! All I can say is that Avalon has guts and courage. I would like to have exhibited these qualities at a much younger age, and there are those who say I did. However, even though I had great fortitude along my path, I didn't consciously realize that I held these traits until my early 50's. Many of us are late bloomers! In my next life, I would like to start out like Avalon and truly live my entire life on my own terms. Of course, anyone can do that, but doesn't truly realize it until much later in life. My favorite saying is that one does exactly what one needs to in life until they are ready to do something else!
Tammie King of NOR: Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
When I was young, I escaped into the world of fairy tales and magic. I frequently played out the parts in my head. One day a couple of years ago, I started daydreaming about this young woman and she started to become larger than life. So one very hectic morning, I did a meditation, pushed everything else away and just started writing. The words began to pour out. I would close my eyes, imagine a scene and then type the picture that I saw in my head. It was quite a magical experience.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
"...Dipping my body into the stream, the water felt like continual caresses bestowed by fleeting nymphs intent on calming my bewildered thoughts. As I totally relaxed and let the gurgling sprites have their way with me, I sensed someone behind the trees. I looked and didn't see anyone and presumed that my frayed nerves were playing games with me. However, I heard rustling closer to the brook and was surprised to see Johnathan just sitting on the grass watching me, silently. I could see his lovely strong legs showing through unusually tight black working pants, a thoughtful half-smile tickling his handsome face. I, in turn, said nothing but decided to give him a bit of teasing. Turning my back, I leaned forward and scooped water over my head, shaking my long loose hair as it trickled through the strands. I made a cup with my hands and began a long slow process of turning out the water all over my body. I took my time and let my own hands wander down my legs while I bent over provocatively. When I had finished with my back side, I turned and faced him directly, now only a few feet away. Johnathan reached for me, but I laughingly retreated and continued to taunt him. With my legs slightly spread, I tipped my head back and let my fingers travel luxuriously over my breasts and allowed myself the pleasure of pinching them before my hand traveled to usually hidden curly hairs. I put my fingers inside myself and my body responded to my own touches. I could hear Johnathan's labored breathing, and I smiled inwardly, loving this power I had over him."
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next?
Avalon's mother's diary has shown up unexpectedly. Her story begins in 1840 England. Due to some circumstances, her parents decide to send her to a convent in Italy because she needs some discipline. Possibly a good idea, but definitely the wrong place! While the second diary continues with Avalon's mother's adventures, simultaneously, the present Avalon is putting her art and design talents to good use. What men will she choose to shower with love, and sex? What will she teach the society women who come to her in Chipping Norton to be fitted for sumptious gowns? Who is Avalon's mother involved with in Italy? Hmmm...maybe the Vatican even comes into play in some nefarious way!
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
As the story became more real, I realized how careful I had to be with details and history. Fortunately, after I did my research, my good British friend, Trudy Read (who lives in Italy) went through the book and corrected inaccuracies. Trudy has now become my historical editor. I do intend for the second diary to be much longer than the first so that I can blend in more history. I love the research process, and it can be painstakingly slow. Ergo, hooray for Trudy, who will keep me straight!
Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers?
There is a story in all of us. We can tend to put off writing our own words because we feel it has to be perfect. Of course, that is our own harsh inside critic, and we do NOT have to listen to it. And many times, our mind runs rampant getting stuck on "how" we would ever publish anything. So I would encourage any of you has even the tiniest yearning to put emotions, words, actions on paper -- to just DO IT! No one has to see it. Do it just for you. Write it like your own diary and see what comes up. Just start somewhere and know that your heart will make the pen write the correct words that capture what you are feeling, whether it's poetry, short stories, history...anything. You get to choose. Julia Cameron's books are wonderful for opening up your own creativity. Personally, I'm a strong believer of going to one's own edge. When you start to get out of your comfort zone, THAT'S when you push even more and create an exciting footprint for your next thing. We'll swap stories one day :-)
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
No, I don't belong to a formal group of any kind. I have many friends all over the U.S. They know I appreciate honesty and are not afraid to give it to me. I'm very open to positive feedback. I might not like it, but responses always help me to take an extra step forward on my journey. I'm honest in all aspects of my life and don't have time for people who play games. Although don't confuse that with playing in general, which is my favorite thing to do!
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
(from Avalon's mother's diary) "Pasquale, I can't go on like this, seeing you only when it's possible for you to sneak away." "Shhh...we'll talk later, my love. Now is not the time for words." By this time he had removed all of my layers of clothing and finally touched bare skin beneath my breasts. He told me to stand perfectly still while he savored what he called "the beauty of my perfection." Pasquale slowly let his fingers trail over my stomach and legs and then turned my body and let his fingers stray into the crevice at spines's end. My legs trembled with wanting and I urged him to lie down upon the bed, but he said not yet and continued his taunting, touching every inch of my skin, stopping to play when he discovered an especially sensitive spot. "Now you may also touch me, sweet rose, but I bid you to remain standing until we are both near collapse." We left not an inch of skin untarnished. Our hands were like spider appendages, reaching and darting everywhere. But when Pasquale, with a very devious smile, asked me where the long strand of pearls had disappeared, I sensed what he had in mind and simply fell to the thick carpet on the floor.
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I have a new blog/site, www.DiariesofAvalonRose.com It's new and doesn't have a lot of information on it yet. I twitter. I have a coaching website, www.VisionJourneys.com. My coaching e.mail is email@example.com and I'll soon have firstname.lastname@example.org set up. This book really did catch me by surprise, and I'm just discovering all the ancillary fun work attached to my writing.
Tammie King of NOR: When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
My husband, Richard, is an incredible writer and has several books on the market and working on another. When he read the short story that I was playing with, his eyes glowed and he said something like "Wow! You've become a real writer!" That's all I needed to hear because I respect his work so much. Then I ventured the story to some of my professional friends, and everyone said I had to write more. What the heck, I thought! So I kept adding more scenes and descriptions etc. and well, Avalon's adventures became real! I'm an educated risk taker, but sometimes I don't even need the "educated" part. Something feels right and I go with it.
Tammie King of NOR: What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Listen to your heart and don't let anyone else tell you what is right for you.
The worst advice? Stay working for the federal government. Some day you'll need that pension. I am so glad I left government service after 12 years. I never would have had the incredible opportunities to start my own businesses and travel internationally.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you outline your books or just start writing?
The storyline plays in my head all the time. I tried an outline but then the scenes weren't as spontaneous and vivid as much as I would have liked. I did have to outline time lines with Avalon because her lineage is journeying back so far that I needed to know who might be where during the past 300 years.
Tammie King of NOR: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
Hmmm...I could share quite a lot. Besides coaching, I do retreats and teach a variety of things, but one thing stands out--believe in yourself. You can do or be anything you desire. Listen to the passion in your heart and not to any self-defeating beliefs you may still be carrying around with you that serve no purpose. Maybe you want me to share a writing thought? LOL! Writing is secondary. Being true to yourself is primary!
Thank you for this opportunity!