New Release: The Fallen Part 2 by Robin Woods

Happy Thursday, readers!

I wanted to let you all know about a new release from my dear friend and writing partner, Robin Woods. Her exciting and sexy YA Vampire Watcher Series has finally come to its conclusion. I have been a fan from the start, and was able to beta read, proofread, and edit most of the series. I highly recommend this book; grab your copy TODAY:

Amazon:

Click HERE

Add it on Goodreads:

Click HERE

Here’s the gorgeous cover:

25179677

And click HERE to visit Robin’s website to find out where you can stalk her online. Hope you guys pick up a copy! Happy reading! 🙂

IMG_7812About Robin:

Young adult fiction writer, Robin Woods, was born and raised in San Jose, CA where she earned a BA in English and a MA in Education from local universities. In addition to writing, Robin has been teaching high school English for over two decades and works as a college professor. Her love of working with teenagers and her love of books inspired her to begin writing in the teen genre.

Robin’s love affair with vampire lore began at age eight when she was mesmerized by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She took advantage of her summers off and traveled all of Europe; she even managed to find herself in one of Vlad Dracul’s castles in Romania. She escaped unharmed.

When she is not torturing her high school English students or chasing her two small children around, she is sitting in a local coffee shop wondering how vampires like their lattes.

Character Interview: Tyran/Taranis from The Watcher Series

book boyfriend

Okay, so let’s all be real with each other for a minute and admit that we have fictional crushes. My very first fictional crush—and I don’t think I’ve confessed this since Kindergarten, mind you—was Bugs Bunny. HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!! Now, it’s slightly embarrassing, but I obviously wasn’t thinking about LOVE in the real sense (or even sexuality) as a 5-year-old. I just thought the cartoon character was funny and cute and always managed to get away from the notorious Elmer Fudd.

As I became older, I still had cartoon crushes, but they were at least human cartoons. Okay, actually, I think I did kinda have a crush on Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life. (Don’t judge. Fine, you CAN, but just don’t tell me.) And, of course, I grew up with Disney, so I crushed on almost every prince or hero in the cartoon movies.

Finally, when I was nearing junior high age and reading tons and tons of books on my own, I began developing crushes on fictional literary characters. Since then, I have collected quite a string of fictional boyfriends and will continue to add to my list as I discover new books. However, the guest on my blog today has…I dunno…like that something extra special about him. Good thing I happen to know his creator, Robin Woods, quite well, because I can ask her about him as much as I want.

But today, I have the bad boy vampire prince all to myself, and he’s here to answer my questions.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my #1 fictional boyfriend, Tyran! *clapping my hands, making internal cat calls, and fanning myself* I’ll let Tyran speak for himself while I ask him questions, and then you can decide if he’ll be your next crush, too. Here we go:

Me: Hi, Tyran. Or…should I say Prince Tyran? Thank you so much for letting me interview you on my blog today.

Tyran: Whatever you prefer. (He waves his hand dismissively, but I swear he winks at me.) It is my pleasure to be interviewed by you.

Me: So, let’s cut to the chase. (I gulp nervously.) How long have you been a vampire?
Tyran: My entire existence; I was born a vampire.

Me: Do sparkly vampires, like Edward Cullen, actually exist? (I have to hold back my smirk.)
Tyran: (He rolls his eyes and flicks his wrist as if batting away the question.) Cliché. Next.

Me: (I want to press him about the former question for a real answer, but there’s something in the way he’s watching me that tells me it’s best to move on.) What’s the best thing about being a vampire?
Tyran: Superiority.

Me: (His answers are so clipped, but I need to remain calm, cool, and collected. I move to the next question on my list.) What’s the worst thing about being a vampire?
Tyran: There is nothing bad about being me. (He raises an eyebrow, and I suck in a breath. I’m nervous all over again, like when I asked out my old junior high crush for the Sadie Hawkins dance freshman year of high school.)

Me: Do you like being a prince?
Tyran: (Examining his nails and looking bored.) Nothing else would do now, would it?

Me: I suppose not. (I nod a little too emphatically.) Do you have any special abilities? 
Tyran: Strength, speed, mind-control, and several other things I would be happy to show you.

Me: (Is it hot in here or is it just me? I find myself reaching up to the back of my neck and rubbing it as if that will steady me somehow. Then I clear my throat after what seems like 100 years, but is closer to 10 seconds.) If you wanted to take someone like me—er…a woman on a date, how would you plan it? Do you plan ahead like that?
Tyran: My planning would be meticulous. I like to familiarize myself with whomever I have interest in. Especially if it were with the likes of you. (The way he says the last sentence sounds very intimate. My throat is suddenly dry and I have to take a sip from my water while he’s looking me up and down.)

Me: Do you have a favorite book? (I hope and pray this is a safe question. But then again, nothing is safe about Tyran.)
Tyran: I prefer the classics. (He laughs and winks at me.) The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli or maybe something by Sun Tsu. (He pauses and leans forward, slowly running his finger over my knuckles. I find myself locked in his stare, completely mesmerized by the ridiculously blue eyes looking at me. I hope I’m not drooling, because that’s the only thing my body can manage at this point.)

‘Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.’ Though, it is often an advantage to know your poetry. (He seems to turn the full force of his blue eyes on me as he takes my hand. He’s reciting—freaking RECITING, from memory—poetry to me, like he’s trying to woo me. WHO. DOES. THAT? Well…Tyran, that’s who.)
‘By night, Love, tie your heart to mine, and the two
Together in their sleep will defeat the darkness
Like a double drum in the forest, pounding
Against the thick wall of wet leaves.’

Me: (Was that double entendre? How am I supposed to take all this? Reluctantly, I take my hand back and try to keep my demeanor professional. Hopefully he doesn’t hear the slight tremor in my voice. Then again, he’s supposed to have better hearing than a Border Collie, so he probably knows. Lord, I hope he can’t read minds—I can’t remember now if that was one of his “special abilities” or otherwise.) That’s nice. Who is it by?

Tyran: Pablo Neruda (He’s looking at the hand I pulled from him, a slight frown on his face.)

Me: Do you think you’ll ever get married? Or that you’ll find someone with whom you could spend the rest of your immortal life? 
Tyran: (His head snaps up. Well…that got his attention.) I would never deprive myself of any experience.

Me: (I wasn’t expecting that. Very interesting…hmm…) Okay, Prin—I mean, Tyran. Final question. Does the thought of immortality ever scare you?
Tyran: (A leisurely grin spread across his face as he rakes his eyes up and down me. He’s taking in every inch, and I want to both hide behind my chair and lean forward to kiss him. My heartbeat is a little faster than normal.) Never. I like being able to take my time in all things.

Me: (I think I’ve just died and gone to Man—Vampire—Candy Heaven. It takes me a few seconds to recover from that last answer. Tyran is somehow in possession of my hand again, and I think he’s starting to ask me if I’ve ever gone to France—where he currently resides. I pretend to not hear his question and instead start to wrap up the interview.) I—well—thank you, Tyran, for the interview and for your time today. I’m sure my readers are very interested in knowing more about you.

Tyran: And what about you, Tamar? (He’s practically cooing, and my name sounds like a loaded question that’s already been answered for me, instead of the usual harshness of pronunciation by Starbucks baristas who royally screw up my name.)

Me: Oh, I enjoyed this interview very much as well. (I’m stammering now, so Tyran’s going to take over from this point.)

Tyran: Good. We can discuss more over dinner.


Well…guess I have a dinner date with Tyran. Though, I don’t think he really eats, but maybe he’ll have a glass of wine. 😉

In the meantime, to close out this interview, I have a profile for Tyran below. Enjoy the eye candy, and leave a comment—or a question you might have for Tyran—if you’d like. Below the picture/profile are links to Robin’s Watcher Series Pinterest boards. Make sure you check those out—they’re super fun. 🙂

PINTEREST BOARDS FOR THE WATCHER SERIES

The Watcher Series

Who Would You Cast? The Watcher Series

Author Interview: Robin Woods

I have a special guest on my blog today. She’s no stranger here, but it’s been a while since I’ve hosted her. Please give a warm welcome to novelist, Robin Woods, author of The Watcher Series. She’s sharing about her latest projects, giving some author/writer tips, and letting us know a bit more about her life. Enjoy!

IMG_7812About Robin:

     Young adult fiction writer, Robin Woods, was born and raised in San Jose, CA where she earned a BA in English and a MA in Education from local universities. In addition to writing, Robin has been teaching high school English for close to two decades, and also works as a college professor. Her love of working with teenagers and her love of books inspired her to begin writing in the teen genre.
     Robin’s love affair with vampire lore began at age eight when she was mesmerized by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She took advantage of her summers off and traveled all over Europe; she even managed to find herself in one of Vlad Dracul’s castles in Romania. She escaped unharmed.
     When she is not torturing her high school English students or chasing her two small children around, she is sitting in a local coffee shop wondering how vampires like their lattes.

 Q & A

What genre do you consider your books?  The series starts out as Young Adult (YA), but gradually becomes New Adult (NA) as the books progress. Though, I have never listed my novels as NA because there is an expectation that there will be graphic/explicit sex scenes. My novels get dark and definitely have some sizzle, but I keep to the YA “rules.”

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? Chaos!! I work about 50-60 hours a week, at minimum, as an English teacher/college professor and have two children (ages 5 & 8). So my writing schedule is fairly erratic. I do write (almost) every day, though. Sometimes it is only a paragraph or two, but it is important to look at my manuscript each day to keep my head in the story. I am usually having conversations with my characters as I drift off to sleep each night.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I need coffee in my hand and music in my ears.

What are your current projects?  I am finishing up The Fallen: Part Two and will begin writing a couple of novellas for a Hollywood producer as soon as I am done. I have been tasked to write stories with the intention that they will be turned into a script. One of them is a fairytale reboot or origin story. That is all that I am allowed to say, but I am excited.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book, The Unintended? I would probably mix up the timeline in the first few chapters and cut some detail to help pick up the pacing. It is a little slow, but I did lay out the world fairly well for a first novel. I think there is a large jump in my writing between my first and second book. The second one, The Nexus, is much faster and sexier than the first.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Writing the exposition between major scenes. I usually write key scenes and connect the dots later. Sometimes it is hard to force myself to write those interim scenes. It isn’t nearly as fun as writing something with a high emotional impact—be it action or romance.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

1. Be consistent and write every day—guard that writing time!

2. Research and fact check, even if you are writing a fantasy novel. There is no excuse with the ease of Google.

3. Have your work professionally edited. Period. No arguments. The number one complaint about indie books is the lack of editing, and it is the top reason for being rejected by a large publisher.

4. It is never too early to start building a platform—brand yourself and not your book.

5. Read, read, read—no excuses.

I try to give back to the writing community and blog about the craft and have free resources on my website.

Do you write an outline before every book you write?  Maybe a little; I do almost everything in my head. I have a very organized brain. If you aren’t that way, I do not recommend it. Outlining is a great exploratory and organizational tool.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? I think you have to put yourself in your character’s shoes for the writing to be authentic. I have been known to have tears in my eyes while killing off a character.

I know that you have done some other interviews recently. Do you have a favorite? Yes! I did an interview for The Hammock and want to give a shout out to Claudia Arroyo Valdez (@arroyoclau) for having me. This interview focused on music and writing. I got to show off my saucy side. 😉

THIS OR THAT

 Writing during the night or writing during the day? Night

Writing from home or someplace else? I’m just happy to find time to write!

Weather: Hot or Cold? Cold

Music or Silence? Music

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

The World being taken over by Zombies or Sexy Blood-sucking Vampires? Duh, vampires

eBook or Physical Copy? Hardback (but I usually have both going)

Time travel to the Future or Past? Past

Being able to Fly or become Invisible? Fly

Bookmark or Dog-eared? Post It

Pen or Pencil? Pen (I have a special affection for Sharpies)

Coffee or Tea? Both

Manicure or Pedicure? Pedi!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website and Blog

Book Descriptions, Samples, and Links to US & UK
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Amazon US Page
Goodreads

Robin’s books:

Allure Cover (Small)Unintended CoverTHE NEXUS (Book 2)THE SACRIFICE (Book 3)The Fallen Spine (Book 4)

Author Interview: Robin Woods

Today we have a very special guest: recently published author Robin Woods–who happens to be one of my former high school English teachers. What a privilege to learn more about her writing and publishing process, especially for those of us who are aspiring authors. Below, she answers questions I’ve asked regarding her writing history, frustrations and creative process. Check our her recently published book, The Unintended. It’s a great read; I just finished it the other week. Cheers!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself—what’s your background and how did you become a writer?

I have masochistic tendencies and therefore chose English as my major for my undergrad.  I liked the thought of endless hours in dusty libraries, carpal tunnel from typing papers, and eyestrain from hunching over too many ancient tomes.

Years later, I decided to return to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology from San Jose State.  Once again I proved that I like a challenge; I found out I was pregnant that same week.  But I completed the program without missing a beat—though I did miss out on a tremendous amount of sleep.

Ironically, the reason I started writing after having my son was because of insomnia.  I decided to do something productive with my time instead of spending endless hours watching infomercials at 2:00 A.M.  I mean, I love the promise of magical elixirs that will help me lose weight, wonder chemicals that will clean my kitchen, and biscuits that will give my dog good breath, just like the next girl, but after weeks of insomnia I had to do something.

2. What is the genre in which you write?

Young adult fiction—specifically fantasy and paranormal.

3. What is the book you recently published? What is it all about?

The title is The Unintended, and it is the first novel in The Watcher Series.  The summary is as follows:

After breaking up with her boyfriend, seventeen-year old Aleria “Ali” Hayes finally feels liberated.  Unfortunately, her ex’s buddies are not making it easy on her. When his friends harass her one night, a mysterious stranger, Bowen, steps in to rescue her. But just as this new relationship seems to be taking off, Ali is attacked by something far worse than spiteful high school boys. When she awakes, her eyes are opened to a world where gods still walk the earth, where vampires and other immortals fight for supremacy—and where fate may be stronger than free will. Now, Ali must decide who she can trust, and whether the world of mortals is worth saving at all.

4. Have you published or written any other works?

I have not published anything else, as of yet.  But I have already written books two and three in the series.  I am currently working on a prequel-type novella, while I wait for comments from my editors.  So, I am essentially working on three projects at once.

5. Name your top three favorite characters you’ve made up and explain why they’re your favorites.

It is actually difficult for me to pick.  I love my protagonist, Aleria.  She is strong and sassy and in way over her head.  I am also completely in love with Joshua.  But I would have to say that Gabriel is actually one of my favorites.  He represents all things good, but at the same time he is a trained killer.  There is something menacing about him, yet you know you’re only seeing a sliver of what he actually is.

In the next two books, two of my favorite characters are Morpheus and Dagan.  You see a glimpse of Dagan in the end of The Unintended, but there is much more to him than being the Captain of the Royal Guard.  Morpheus is a new character introduced in book two.  If you know your mythology, Morpheus is the god of dreams.  I picked the name for a reason.  He is not exactly on the good side—and therefore quite delightful to bring to life.

6. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Rarely, but it does happen.  I usually try not to think about the actual writing for a day or two; instead, I simply live in my character’s world.  I run conversations through my head between two characters.  Sometimes, I actually pretend to interview them.  Luckily I don’t do any of this aloud, otherwise people would know I am crazy.

7. How long did it take to finish your first novel? 

The bulk of it was written in only two months.  I had written some scenes from the novel in 1996, but didn’t pick it up again until 2009.  Of course, I revised everything I had written before, but I had already created the world and five of the main characters in the first go.

8. What were the challenges you faced when getting your first book published?

I decided to independently publish, so the hurdles were different than they would be for a traditional publisher.  I did some things correctly: professionally edited, great cover art, etc.  I did make a few mistakes like not purchasing my own ISBN.  My advice to people is to take your time.  It took much longer to edit and put the book together than it did to actually write it.  Make sure it is right.

I found some great advice in this article; unfortunately, it was after the fact:  http://reviews.cnet.com/self-publishing/

9. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found that work best for your genre?

Right now, I market mostly through social media and word of mouth.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget with my teaching salary to explore other avenues at this time.

Luckily, social media is a stellar way to communicate with my target audience.  Sites like Facebook and Tumblr are the avenue many high school and college students use to communicate.  My students seem to be shocked and amazed I have a Tumblr account—Yes, I am that cool, I say as I arrogantly polish my nails on my shoulder.

10. What does your writing process “look” like?

With each book, the process has been a little different.  While writing The Unintended, I carried a journal with me everywhere.  I was constantly writing notes and scenes.  I would often curl up in bed, donning my headphones, and work through the dialogue in my head.  I tend to live through everything in my head.  Consequently, I make very embarrassing facial expressions if I am not careful.  I would outline a chapter and then type over the outline.

For the second and third books, I wrote a few key scenes and then simply wrote from one end to the other in about ten weeks’ time for each book.  I didn’t outline at all.  By then, I knew exactly where I was going and how to weave all the threads through the story as I went.

11. What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently editing The Nexus and The Sacrifice while writing a presently untitled novella.  It is a prequel set in 1928.

12.  What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Argh.  Most of the criticism has been with style preferences.  I did have an exceptionally snarky review from a teen reader, but I am fairly unscathed at this point.  I know it is coming.  Sigh.  I’m sure I will develop a thick skin—I have to.  Some people equate cruelty and snark with intelligence and feel writing a scathing review makes them cool.  Maybe I am naïve, but I feel criticism should be constructive.

I have had several teens who read advanced copies stay up half the night reading—teenagers who had never before read a book from cover to cover.  To me, that is the ultimate compliment.  I have been deeply honored by what they have said, and I love the fact that some of them are now avid readers.

13. What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

Write every single day.  It is that simple.

Writing is like anything else; you have to practice.  Some days I struggle through and only birth a paragraph.  Other days, I will be prolific and produce twenty pages.  Writing a little each day helps me keep my focus and keeps me in the world I created.

14. When can we expect to see another publication of your work?

I am aiming to release The Nexus in late May 2012 and The Sacrifice in late November 2012.

15. Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers?

I am immensely grateful for all of the support and kind words.   I love it when people ask questions and make comments on Tumblr.

16. What’s a cool (or nerdy) fact about you that you’ll share with us?

Ha.  I am such a closet nerd, it is not even funny.  I have been skydiving, bungee jumping, and parasailing.  I’ve also been privileged enough to travel all over Europe and have even been to Africa, but I am just as happy curling up with a good book. 

 

17. Finally, how can we find you? What are your social media sites and where can we purchase your book(s)? 

Amazon Profile & Books: http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Woods/e/B009H8V62C/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

eBooks: http://www.amazon.com/Unintended-Edition-Watcher-Series-ebook/dp/B00APRAEVI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Personal Site: www.robinwoodsfiction.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/robinwoodsfiction

Tumblr BLOG: http://robinwoodsfiction.tumblr.com (Ask me questions here!)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RWoodsFiction
Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13184962-the-unintended

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rwoodsfiction/