Sunday, March 22, 2015

Roanoke Author Invasion: Featured Authors and Giveaway (3)

Image Credit: Laura Howard

The Roanoke Author Invasion is coming to the Star City on April 11, 2015. Thirty authors of contemporary, romance, and paranormal fiction will be in attendance. I am thrilled to be attending this event held in Southwest Virginia. To get ready for the event, I am featuring the authors on my blog in the weeks leading up to the event through promotional posts and mini-interviews. I'm asking each author to share a little about themselves, books, and writing advice, and ending this month-long feature with a huge giveaway.

For more information about this FREE event, please visit Roanoke Author Invasion at or on Facebook at

Get your tickets now through EVENTBRITE.

Today I am featuring Michele G. Miller, Karen Lynch, Rysa Walker, Melissa Haag, and Rebecca Rynecki.

Michele G. Miller

What are some of the books that make you fall in love with reading?
I've always been a reader, but I had three influential stretches of reading in my lifetime:
1) In middle school there was a period where I devoured all of the VC Andrews (Flowers in the Attic) series. I would go to the flea market bookstore and buy them for 25¢. Then came harder English classes and I moved to reading for school instead of enjoyment. Lord of the Flies is one book I loved in high school
2) The around my early 20s my mother-in-law gave me a copy of Judith McNaughts 'Only You' I fell in love with it and historical romance and began snapping up all of her books. I also began reading Mary Higgins Clark thanks to my own mother. I'm stuck to those two authors for a good long time, reading everything they had. Then a baby came and work and life got in the way of reading again.
3) Like so many others, my love of voracious reading returned thanks to that little book 'Twilight'. You might have heard of it.   
After Twilight, I read the Hunger Games trilogy and we bought an iPad. That little iPad changed my reading life (I read with my Kindle now). E-books made it easier for me to read a few chapters in bed at night without bothering my sleeping husband. I love reading in peace so - with 3 kids - I rarely read during the day. I could snuggle up in bed and read all night happily and I've been doing that now for years.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
When I first sat down to write Author Nancy Straight told me to write 2k a day. 2k a day = 90k in 3 months. That sounded legit and doable, so I ran with it. It helps to break up your writing into small goals like that, especially when you're first starting out. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Something I keep in mind always is 'don't follow the trends, follow your heart' that is harder advice to follow when you see so many people raking in great sales because they are selling a particular type of book that's currently 'hot'. You have to know your voice and passion. Also, know that this industry is hard. Some people come out of the gates and make it big, some take years, and still others never see much in the way of an income (remember the majority of books sell 500 copies in their lifetime - there are millions of books out there). You might see no sales with book one and a ton with two or vice versa. Different books 'hit' for different reasons. Don't compare yourself, your sales or your success to others. Come up with YOUR own goals and chase them down! 

Tell me three things about yourself:
1) I'm a real life Disney princess ;) by that I mean I am constantly singing and dancing as I go about the house during the day. I'm the person who, if there were a hidden camera in my kitchen, you would see doing pirouettes on the wood floors while I wait for my lunch to cook. *I was an ice skater as a little girl and I have a dancing daughter - so I've got moves ;)
2) I'm a sports fanatic. I will happily watch pretty much all sports and love watching ESPN - when I have free time, of course, I've been really busy with books lately :(
3) I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth. Like really really massive. Jelly beans and Twizzlers are both approved writing snacks.

Find Michele on-line at

Karen Lynch 

What are some of the books that made you fall in love with reading?

I read so many books in my childhood that it’s hard to single out a couple. I’d have to say that the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of my favorites and really drew me in every time. Another one I adored was To Nowhere and Back by Margaret Anderson. I think that is the one that made me start thinking about writing. I still have a copy of that book.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

I think the best piece of advice I’ve received is to write every day. Writing is a craft and like any craft it requires practice. The more you practice, the better you get.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

The advice I give to new writers is to read a lot in the genre you want to write, to write every day, and to write books that you would want to read. Don’t follow trends, Write what feels good to you.

Three things about me:

I am a romantic at heart. I love Jane Austin movies and I don’t like books or movies that do not have a happy ending. I read for the sheer enjoyment of it, not for some kind of personal enrichment. When an author kills of a main character for no good reason, they lose me as a reader. That’s not to say their books aren’t otherwise well written. They just aren’t for me.

I am a total softy when it comes to animals. I have two German Shepherds and three cats I rescued. Growing up, I brought home so many stray dogs and cats and injured birds that it drove my parents nuts.

I work full time as a computer programmer and I write on nights and weekends. My dream is to make writing a full time career and the sooner the better.

Find Karen online at 

Rysa Walker

What are some of the books that made you fall in love with reading?
I can't remember a time when I didn't love reading, so I suspect that the earliest culprits were some book from the Little Golden Library.  I've always been one of those people who is constantly reading--I'll read the cereal box, the toothpaste tube, or the shampoo bottle if there's nothing else around. The books that engage me the most, however, are speculative fiction--fantasy, science fiction, horror.  That's always been the case, even when I was a kid.  I loved The Wizard of Oz.  I started reading Stephen King in middle school and still have to plan a day off when he has a new release, because I know I won't get anything done until I finish it.  Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Mark Twain's snarkier stuff (like Letters from Earth), Robert Heinlein, Tolkien...I could go on for a very long time.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Unless you live alone, get an office with a door that you can lock.  Runner up: turn off social media until the word count is finished.  (I'm not always as diligent on that last one as I should be.)  

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read.  And when you really enjoy a book, go back and reread it.  That's something that I don't do often enough in this era of easy access to new books--just click the button and you're on to the next story--but it's a very important thing for writers to do.  If the story pulled you in or you really identify with the characters, figure out why.  And then figure out how you can make those same tricks of the trade work for your characters and your plot.

Tell me 3 things about yourself.
  • Like most writers, I'm an introvert...until you get me in a group of other writers.  Or a group of readers who like the same things I do. Then all bets are off. 
  • I love chocolate, but not that sweet, milky stuff.  Make my chocolate darker than the soul of Satan, add a cup of coffee on the side, and I'm a happy camper.  (This quite possibly came to mind because that's what is on my desk right now. ;) )
  • My current work-in-progress (the final novella in my CHRONOS Files series) would already be complete if not for my unfortunate addiction to Bejeweled. Any time I get stuck on a plot point or one of the multiple timelines has me going crazy, I play a few speed rounds.  And unless I hit 350K early, I usually play a few more.  I recently paid twenty bucks for a program that limits the time I can play to fifteen minutes...but then I deleted it the very next day.  I think I need professional help.
Find Rysa online at

Melissa Haag

What are some of the books that made you fall in love with reading?
The first book that hooked me on romance was one of my mom’s indian “savage” books.  I was 13 and she didn't know I’d picked it up.  I closed myself in my room for hours.  When she finally thought to look in on my, I was over halfway through the book.  I can still remember her face.  HAHA!  She was so mad.  She took the book away and hid it in her room.  Yeah, I found it and finished it, and I've been reading romance since.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
To just keep writing.  Not every book is meant to be published or will be loved by readers if you do publish it.  But that doesn't mean you should stop writing.  Keep at it.  As in anything, practicing will hone your skills.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
There’s so much I could say!  Honestly, I would give the same advice given to me.  Just keep writing.

Tell me 3 things about yourself.
Ticks freak me out.
I hate spit!  (yes, it’s in my mouth…I try not to think about it)
I write best at night when everyone’s in bed.

Find Melissa online at

Rebecca Rynecki

What are some of the books that made you fall in love with reading?
Way too many to name, but there are a few that I come back to over and over again. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and Enchanted by Orson Scott Card are the ones that I re-read quite a bit.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
It may seem like nothing big, but my 9th grade English teacher just told me to keep going. Small, but it meant a lot to me when I was uncertain. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
To have fun with it! Be as silly as you'd like! 

Three things about myself:
1. I love pina coladas. Dancing in the rain...kind of iffy. Unless it's warm.
2. I went to Hollins University for college. It was the best experience!
3. I cannot sing. That doesn't stop me from belting it out though. Even when my son asks me to stop. 

Now for the Giveaway
One person will receive a selection of Books, E-books and Swag collected from RAI
(some items are donated by the authors and some items will be purchased at RAI and from Amazon for this giveaway)
Must be 18 years or older to enter
U.S. Addresses only

Enter via Rafflecopter

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