Saturday, August 21, 2010

An Interview with Rebecca Goings

An Interview with Rebecca Goings

As a newbie in the publishing world I’m honored to have seasoned author Rebecca Goings over to play at my site and answer a few questions. Rebecca, you are one busy woman. It looks like you have at least four novels coming out in the next four months: Mark of the B*E*A*S*T, Black Angel, The Scarab Prince and Falcon Prince. How do you juggle all the promotion, writing and kids? And do you also have another job besides writing?

It is hard, juggling it all, I won’t lie. Most of the time, I have to promote when I’m not writing, and that’s at night, or sometime in between my writing spurts.

My day goes like this - get up, feed the baby and the critters. For a couple of hours, I check my email and I might write a blog. If I’m so inclined, I’ll write a bit on my book. Then it’s chores, then it’s schooltime (oh yes, I homeschool four out of my five kids; the fifth is just a toddler), and we usually wrap from the daytime activities around 3pm. From 3pm to 5pm is my prime write/promote time, unless after dinner DH is on his computer or doing something else. I can promote a bit then, too. Also weekends are big promoting days for me, since I get interrupted for “family time” a lot (who knew on weekends??). When I can’t devote a chunk of time to writing, I’ll send a tweet, update a few lines on Facebook or again, write a blog for my site.

My laptop is on my dining room table, so I can check my email frequently throughout the day and do quick little promotions here and there (responding to a tweet or posting a reply to a forum/blog/group post). Remember, “promo” doesn’t always have to be GO BUY MY BOOK!! It’s getting out there, being personable, and getting noticed by shooting the breeze sometimes. Most promotion is name recognition and word of mouth.

This is your fourth installment of your B*E*A*S*T series. Was this always meant to be a series, or was it a story that demanded you revisit it again and again? How have the characters changed in ways that surprised you throughout the different volumes? Is there a fifth in the works?

Yes, BEAST was always meant to be a series. Three books. BUT, a fourth book crept up on me in Book III. I took some time off to give myself time to think of a great plot but I ended up taking a three year hiatus. When I first had the idea, it was one book, but then it snowballed – if there was some malevolent agency experimenting with DNA, logically, there’s more than one guy trapped in there. So from the drawing board, it was a series.

The characters haven’t changed much but what surprised me is their great banter. I love the banter between Noah and Rogan especially. I wanted to give their speech a realism, and hopefully I’ve accomplished that. And the banter only gets better as the books go on.

Currently, there is no fifth book. I did not end Book IV on a cliff hanger, BUT, I did leave it open to give myself some wiggle room should another plot arise. For now, though, I’m going to leave it up to my muse. And currently, she’s taking an extended vacation on my desert planet of Jikkar

Black Angel with its stunning cover appears to be a stand-alone fantasy which is releasing with Champagne Books in October. Want to tell us about it?

Yes, this one is a stand-alone book. I’ve always wanted to write a book about an unconventional hero. Romances between species has always intrigued me. I guess it’s the exoticness, the taboo of it. Alric, my hero, has jet-black skin. He has huge, leathery, bat-like wings. He’s been banished from his world for a crime he didn’t commit, but the world he’s been banished to has only seen him as a demon over the years because of his strange appearance.

But one woman, Brielle, is lost in a snowstorm. She prays for her goddess to help her and that’s when Alric finds her. He saves her, and she believes him to be an angel, despite how different he looks. But underneath that black skin is a seriously lonely, yet handsome man, who clings to the first person to give him the time of day in who knows how long.

But their love is not to go unchallenged – those who wrongly accused Alric are back and they attempt to use magic to keep Brielle from him, perhaps even kill her. He must save her any way he can.

I had great fun writing this story.

You have a couple of releases scheduled for fall and winter this year with Carnal Passions. When you write an erotic novel, do you start out knowing it’s going to be erotic? Or does it sort of happen on its own after you’ve begun? Do you have a different promotional approach to erotic vs. non-erotic novels?

I go into it knowing it will be an erotic from page one. I actually haven’t written too many erotic romances, but I’m definitely going to be writing more. There are books that are very hot, that with a few choice words here and there, it could be erotic. MARK OF THE B*E*A*S*T*, for example, is very very hot. But “erotic romance” is much more than a romance with the jargon thrown in. It’s exploring the baser instincts of sex and lust and being much more frank about your prose and your character’s thoughts. You have more creative freedom to explore kinkier stuff, like playing with food and/or handcuffs. You don’t always have to be kinky in erotics, but you do have to push the boundaries of the situation and really dig in and get into it.

You have been Champagne’s best-selling novelist several times. For us newbies out there, can you share some of your promotion secrets?

Two words: Social networking. If you’re an eBook author or an aspiring eBook author, your promo playground is the INTERNET. I want you to forget print. You are an eBook author. So, how do you go about promo-ing an ELECTRONIC book? Facebook. Twitter. Myspace. Yahoo groups. Blogs. Yes, even YouTube if you or someone you know is handy at making trailers for your books.

Jump at any chance for a guest blog, BUT, make it new content every time. Readers tend to skim if you’re posting the same blog hither and yon. And if they see your name and roll their eyes because here comes the same dang blog post, that is a very bad thing. Become a member of romance forums and yahoo groups. And just talk. Don’t do 24 hour promo of your book. You will become annoying and again, readers will skim you. Let your signature line do your promo work for you. Like this:

Sexy. Sensual. Seductive.

Have your own blog. And don’t just yak about your books. I have found so many readers through my blogs about my wrist problems, the music I listen to, situations with my kids, holiday plans, random reviews of books I’ve read, funny pictures I post. People searching the Internet for these subjects might stumble upon your site. Swap links with other authors. Put their link on your site, and they will reciprocate with your link on theirs.

Ask for interviews on review sites. Pay $10 fee or $20 sometimes for the privilege of having your book cover up on these review sites. They can push traffic, but make sure the link you give is your BUY page, NOT your webpage. If readers have to click through too many pages to buy your book, THEY WON’T.

I could keep going on and on, but I’ll stop there. Give you a breather. lol

When do you do most of your mental “writing” – while you’re trying to sleep, listening to music, etc?

In bed, in the dark, when it’s quiet and I can zone. I’ve had a lot of revelations when I’m on the verge of sleep, and sometimes in my dreams themselves.

And I know this question is unfair – it’s like if I asked you to pick your favorite child and tell me why. But I’m asking anyway: which one of your books is your favorite, and why?

THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE, because it’s a story I thought of when I was 13 years old. I used to dream of being published with that very book as a starry-eyed kid. After I married, I decided to see if I could write a book, since my “life’s goal” was to be an author. After EIGHT long years from starting it, I finished it and submitted it. Lo and behold, it got published!

So I’m one of those people who can say they’ve accomplished their dream as a kid. The rest is just butter!

Which author has been the most inspirational for your own writing?

I could tell you Johanna Lindsey, for first hooking me on the genre. I could tell you Kate Bridges, because I love her historicals. But the author who inspires me the most is my crit partner, Donica Covey. She is brutally honest and tells me if something is crap or if it’s gold. She finds my errors, my plot holes, and thinks of suggestions I never thought of before. Even a few of my books are dedicated to her. If anyone has shaped my career, it’s her. So thank Donica that what you’re reading isn’t crap. :P

And finally, whatcha got cooking right now?

Book V of my Desert Princes of Jikkar series, THE JACKAL PRINCE. It’s the fifth and final book on Jikkar. It will be bittersweet for me, because I love this series so very much. But I have NEVER written a series so fast before. I have written three books and finished another in four months’ time. VIPER is available now, SCARAB is coming in October, and FALCON is coming in December. I just finished THE SPIDER PRINCE, but that will probably come out in February of ’10. And now I’m writing JACKAL.

Be warned, though. These princes are like crack. Once you start, you’ll get addicted and you won’t be able to stop. Heheh >:D

To find out more about the princes, you can visit my blog at:

To find out more about me, visit:,, or

Thanks so much for allowing me to take over your blog. Take care!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Writing with Children

Hear that sound? Ahhhhhhhhhh. It's the sound of my daughter at school. I love that kid, don't get me wrong. But the summers are...challenging. I'm generally a nice person with a bubbly disposition, but I am gruuuumpy writer. I'm like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. "If the door is closed, it means I'm working. Don't EVER disturb me when I'm working." So if I try to sneak in a chapter, say, when she's watching My Little Pony, and then she comes in to say she wants Mac & Cheese -- a perfectly innocent request -- my focus is gone in a flash and oftentimes cannot be retrieved. Write after bedtime, you say? That's hard for me too -- she loves to be cuddled until she falls asleep, and then guess what happens most of the time. Yeah, I've been going to bed at 8:30 lately.

But at least I only have one, and she's in school. I know some of you writers out there have more than one, and ones that are too young to be in school yet. So I ask you: when the bleep do you have time to write? I just took on a new part-time job too, typing at home. Now I barely have time or energy to work on a novel. So you ladies and gentlemen out there, juggling kids, work and a spouse, how do you find time to write? What's your routine?

Desperately Seeking Sanity

Friday, August 6, 2010

Living the Dream

With less than two months to go before my book release, and to kick off the maiden voyage of my first blog, I think it's only appropriate to explain how I became a writer in the first place. So pull up a chair; only don't get too comfy lest you fall asleep. I'm afraid there's nothing juicy in this particular story -- no kidnappings, deaths or forbidden love. But I am rather partial to it, myself.

I was 12 years old when I decided to become a writer. My sixth-grade teacher assigned all of us to write a "novel" - complete with a cover of our own design. It was the first time I ever showed enthusiasm for an assignment; I was so excited that I wrote the whole thing that afternoon based on an idea I "borrowed" from a Twilight Zone episode about a novelist whose books come true. It was also the first time I received an A -- not just that, but an A+. Soon after that I saw the movie Romancing the Stone in the theater (yeah, yeah you can do the math if you must), and when I saw Kathleen Turner's book covers mounted on the wall as posters, this became the shining trophy in my mind's eye: someday I would have a book cover of my own mounted on the wall. A Young Writer's Conference in eighth grade really cemented the writing idea in my head, as did a few successful short stories in high school that knocked a couple of teachers' socks off.

While I didn't actually start writing a book until my 20s, there was no shortage of ideas, and oddly enough, my teen years were the most fertile for my imagination. I just discovered there is a word for the imaginary world I invented in my head: paracosm. The word in itself sounds like it's right out of a science-fiction novel. I had a whole cast of characters with soap-opera story lines that I envisioned on a daily basis, which were based on characters I had created in early childhood. Because they were foxes until I hit puberty (go figure, right?), I tried to keep the vulpine theme alive in some form. Thus the Fox series was born.

While my main character Jared certainly isn't a fox per se, you won't have to read much in order to get the fox vibe. And don't worry: while I may have created some of these characters and ideas when I was five, I promise you'll find the themes in these stories to be anything but juvenile. The three volumes are dark fantasy, and my daughter will have to be at least sixteen before I'll let her read them. And they gain momentum too; Shadow Fox is just dipping your toes in the pond before you get smacked down by the violent waves in the subsequent volumes.

I won't go into much detail about the grisly and bloody world of my rejections; I'll save that for another post because THAT story is almost as long as this one. I will tell you that while I was frantically sending out my first fantasy novel, several more novels were born. During a 10-year stint running a theater company I even tried my hand at playwriting and managed to publish a stage adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. I gave historical fiction and literary mainstream novels a try, and placed well with both in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. While my reading taste runs mostly with more literary faire, I still have a huge desire to write fantasy. I don't even read much fantasy because I'm really picky about it. I just love to write it. While Shadow Fox may not be the work of a literary titan, I think you'll find it a compulsive read. It certainly was compulsive writing.

I still have that first "novel" I wrote back in sixth grade. It has the tackiest cover made out of hot-pink construction paper, with the title Angel written in my atrocious handwriting with a Sharpie. You can see where I got the E and the L confused and had to switch them; I couldn't even be bothered to start over. But I love having that reminder in my life, a tangible memory of where it all started. And guess what? On my wall, above my couch in the living room, is a 16 x 24 framed poster of my cover with my name on it. I stare at it everyday, because after so many years of obsessing and hoping and worrying, it's really happening. In two months the ebook will be out (Champagne Books), and in another three after that, I'll be holding the paperback in my hands. No matter what happens after that, I can actually say that I achieved my greatest, lifelong desire.

I'm livin' the dream, man.

To my fellow author buddies out there: did any of you create a fantasy world in your childhood?