Heroines with Heart Blog Tour: Interview with Author Z.L. Arkadie

It's my pleasure to have interviewed Z.L. Arkadie the author of Parched as a part of the Heroines with Heart Blog Tour. Take a moment and find out more about her and her book below, and don't forget to enter the contest to win a free Kindle!

Brief Bio:

I have a BA in Broadcast Journalism and an MA in Communications Studies from California State University, Los Angeles. I’ve read scripts, providing coverage for production companies and screenwriting contests but have been studying and writing fiction for over 13 years.
Visit her blog here.

1.) What made you want to be a writer?

Every one has that one thing that they do the best and for me it’s writing.

2.) How long have you been seriously pursuing a career in writing?

For about 13 years.

3.) What words describe your nook/writing space?

Sun and skyscrapers

4.) Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

Inspiration is abundant. The writer’s thoughts are always active. You see something happen on the street that leads you to wonder. You look into the window of a restaurant and there’s someone sitting on a stool gazing, listlessly out the window and you wonder. And then there’s the index in our heads, memories. I draw my inspiration from all of that and more.

5.) Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pantser?

I’m an outliner. I call what I do creative outlining though because at some point I relinquish structure to pure creativity. I mean, yes, outlining is a creative process but it’s a different kind in a way that I’m aware that I am the writer and I am merely building the story. But when I start to know where I’m going, then I stop and go into pure creativity. In pure creativity mode, I as the writer am not writing the story, the characters are. And this is a great way to tell if I’ve hit the wall. If I get stuck, then I know the characters are done and that I need to go back into outlining mode to write up to my next beat.

6.) If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

J.D. Salinger because I was right there, experiencing those few days of freedom with Holden Cauflield in the Catcher in the Rye. He wrote that story with such detail by capturing Caufield’s actions and reactions as he continuously moved forward.

7.) If you could meet one character in your book, who would it be? Why?

Whoa, tough question. Maybe Clarity because she’s able to know what I’m thinking and feeling at first sight. And then I would ask her, so tell me, who do you think I am? I’m curious to know.

8.) Favorite quote/personal motto:

“Can’t get there unless you push yourself,” Michael Jordan once very frankly said.

9.) If you could give any advice to other writers, what would it be?

Simple. Take it serious. A doctor is born with a gift but he or she still has to LEARN how to be a doctor. The same goes for writing. Our craft has been so romanticized that a lot of people who want to do it should probably be doing something else. It’s in the studying where one learns if he or she is truly a writer.
Description of Parched:
Get to know a new kind of Vampire for our kind of world…

“Baron Ford, he says and pauses to pick apart my expression, attempting to read how familiar I am with that name. I nod stiffly to give no indication I know exactly, who that is. I’m shocked to hear it in this setting, at this stage of my life, the one far away from Cambridge, Massachusetts over five years later.”

Advertising Exec, Clarity Parker thought she would never see Baron Ford again. Five years ago, she fell in love with him on their magical first date and then poof–he literally vanished into thin air. That’s why she’s past stunned to hear his name again. After all, five years have passed since that night. And to add intrigue to what Clarity considers an embarrassing and unforgivable insult, he’s asked that she be exclusively assigned to his multi-million dollar account.

Clarity tries her hardest to avoid Baron but he finally catches up to her and when he does, he issues a warning–things are not safe for her, especially since the fog has rolled in.

Before the day is over her entire world will come crashing down on her. Everything about her life that she thought was true is a lie, and she doesn’t know whether to jump for joy or rage against everyone who’s deceived her. However, she has no time to choose between reactions. Baron was right. Her life is in danger–so is his, and they need each other to fight the forces of evil that threaten them both, and possibly the entire world!

One thing’s for sure, from this point on, their lives will never be the same.

About Blog Tour: Heroines With Heart is a massive blog tour that runs throughout 2013, that features books with strong female protagonists. We have authors from several different genres, including young adult, mystery/thriller/suspense, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, and Christian fiction. We are also giving away fun digital prizes and sharing new and noteworthy books throughout the year
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heroines With Heart Blog Tour: Author Jordyn Meryl

It is my pleasure to help promote author Jordyn Meryl's new book The Space Between today as a part of the Heroines With Heart Blog Tour. Read a little about her and her book, and enter the contest below.

About Jordyn: Once living under the guise of a passive, quiet, school librarian, books and kids were the passions which kept her mind fresh. But now it is when the night muses visit Jordyn, her spirit rises up to wrap around the stories that float in her head. Land locked in the mid-west she dreams of days on a white sandy beach with a laptop to write all her tales. Crossing many genres she spins chronicles of romance, paranormal and fantasy, for they are stories worth telling, even at the risk of revealing true feelings.

This is Jordyn on her own. I co-authored three books in “The Stilettos Series”. The responses I received were so overwhelmingly positive; I decide it was time to step off into my own exciting venture. The three new books are solely my novellas stories. Also, visit her at http://www.jordynmeryl.com/.

About The Space Between: When the human spirit is so bruised it rages against the laws of nature, the Universe steps up and issues Justice. The beautiful Katrina guided by the three Goddesses, Mariah, Tess and Jo find righteousness is possible with the right gifts and a pure heart. But Karina did not expect Mitch, a human with a good soul and integrity. Awaking a missed chance at love, she weights the purpose of her mission. The quest to seek revenge against the evil Tomas pits her in the peril of good versus bad.

Excerpt: Her right hand gripped the large kitchen knife as her left hand reached for her cell phone.  Hitting “1” on her speed dial, she sent the call as she backed away from the man.

“So, I read in the rag paper, you accepted a modeling assignment in Paris.  Of course after hearing it from a friend’ who couldn’t wait to rub it in.”  The very tone of his voice made her jerk with alarm.

On the move, to get far away from him.  “…it just happened this afternoon.  I am preparing a sumptuous meal for us to celebrate.”  Waving the knife towards the chopped food.

Her first instinct to come home, pack and escape now looked like the better choice.

Her back hit the wall as he reduced the distance between them.  He lunged forward and with one swift move, backhanded her.  The knife and the cell phone flew from her hands as she slid down the wall to the soft white carpet.

The explosion in her head put flashes of light in front of her eyes.  The cell phone was within in her reach. The knife was not.  Snaking her hand out she tucked the cell phone next to her, careful not to hang up.

The woman stood up slowly, the sting of his abuse still radiated on her skin. “But it’s my job. It's what I do.”  Swaying wobbly, she leaned against the wall trying to clear her head of the pain.  “It’s a good-paying gig."  Her hand with the phone hung at her side she turned towards the wall.

His sinister laugh told her that was the wrong thing to say.  “You have a job. Pleasing me.  You don’t need money. I meet your needs.”

His advancement towards her again made her step away.  “Okay, I’ll call.”  She turned towards the bedroom, walking on unsteady legs.

In the room, her bags stood packed, ready to go.  With the caller still on the phone, she picked up her bag and purse.  She needed to escape. To get away from this madness.

Wheeling her suitcase behind her, she shook her head again to clear it then went out to face him.

From behind the counter, his eyes flashed an intense fury as he watched her come out of the bedroom with her luggage.

“I see you are not taking me seriously.  Do I need to make my point clearer?”

Stopping short, she raised her head and squared her shoulders.  “No, you made yourself perfectly clear.  I am leaving, you and this toxic relationship.  Good bye.”

Wanna keep reading?Buy the book here.

About Heroines With Heart Blog Tour: Heroines With Heart is a massive blog tour that runs throughout 2013, that features books with strong female protagonists. We have authors from several different genres, including young adult, mystery/thriller/suspense, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, and Christian fiction. We are also giving away fun digital prizes and sharing new and noteworthy books throughout the year.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Makes A Writer?

Photo by Favim.
What makes a writer? I cannot help but ask myself this question often. I can't even escape it while mindlessly perusing Facebook. The question "What do you do?" taunts me. Can I truly put "writer" in the employment section? Am I a writer if I've barely ever made money from my endeavors? Can I really feel comfortable labeling myself as "writer" or "author" unless I've had a book published traditionally?
It's truly maddening to be stuck in limbo as far as a career is concerned. I am blessed enough not to have to search for a job right after graduating, and I've decided to focus on my writing for a bit and hopefully finish the two novels that I've been working on. But after working on three novels and all the work, time, and blood it takes to be a novelist - I still wonder if any of it really makes me a writer.
Most people would argue that one is a writer because he/she writes. While I fancy agreeing with this notion, I cannot quite convince myself of it. But something happened last week that made me stop in my tracks and reconsider this whole idea. Consider this:
If you were told that you only had thirty days to live, how would you spend your time?
Most people think about things like spending more time with family and friends, focusing on spirituality, or perhaps traveling to a place they have always dreamed of seeing, etc.
For me, there was something else on that list. When faced with this hypothetical question, I couldn't help but feel this overwhelming desire to write. I momentarily felt this panic inside to get all my stories out and to release what little bit of wisdom I had inherited from this life into immortal words. I, too, would want to spend more time with the people I love and in prayer, but spending more time writing truly came as a shock for me. I realized in that moment that "writer" is labeled on my soul. It's not what I do; it's who I am.
If you've ever tackled this question, how did you answer it? And if you only had thirty days to live, would some of your time be spent immortalizing yourself through words?

Last Year's Highlights; This Year's Dreams

Happy New Years!!

Last year was an awesome ride. So many life changing events happened for me.

-We moved into our tiny slice of heaven on Lake Eufaula.
-I started a new novel!
-I got a poem and an article published in addition to my collections 'Psalms of Me' and 'Collecting Light'.
-I had many amazing authors provide interviews right here on my humble blog. (Thanks guys!) :)
-I got a new puppy- Georgia.
-I became an aunt to baby Brysun.
-My husband and I had our 5 year anniversary.
-And I graduated with my English degree.

Wow. 2012 was pretty amazing, and I sincerely believe that 2013 is going to be just as great and maybe better. I'm taking a bit of a sabbatical for a few months this year. I'm planning on finishing two of the novels that I've been working on, and I'm going to spend some time being still. I've been going so hard for the past few years trying to obtain my education that I've not taken time to smell the roses, embrace my talents, and enjoy this beautiful life that I've been blessed with. That's all going to change this year. I had this idea of what and where I wanted to be by the age that I am now, and while some things have worked out, I've fallen short on others. And you know what? That's okay. I'm happy despite the odds. lol My only dream for these next twelve months is to laugh more and enjoy the ride. Life is beautiful, and it's short. Why not grab a cup of joe and enjoy?

Thank you, readers, for making this the best blogging year ever! Your encouragement, support, and wonderful comments have given me loads of joy. I'm looking forward to another year of contests, interviews, and and writing adventures.

I pray that this next chapter sprinkles lots of moments that remind us all how great life truly is.