Interview with Ella Slayne

What made you want to write High-Heels and Slippers?

I had always liked the idea of writing a full length novel but I completely lacked the courage to do it.  When my Uncle Alan passed away suddenly, it was the catalyst I needed to get started.  It was a sharp reminder that life can be short and I decided not to waste anymore time.

How long did it take you to write the book?

Nearly four years. Of course I thought I’d finished after a year and half which shows how little I knew! 🙂

What was the hardest part in the writing process for you?

I think one of the hardest parts of the writing process for me was learning how to take negative feedback in a constructive way and not let letting it send me into the depths of depression!  At first I found it very hard to move on from a critique but actually I found that my book improved after I worked through feedback.  Now, I find that negative criticism is often the most valuable because it helps me improve as a writer.

What were some of your favorite scenes to write?

Well I like a bit of romance, and I was always rooting for Josie and Callum to get together, so it was fun writing scenes between their characters.  I also enjoyed writing the scenes with Tom in England, even though they were emotional.  It was cathartic in a way and my intention was always to write a chick-lit story with a poignant twist; I wanted Josie’s character to have layers. I hope I managed that!

What made you decide to give Josie her own blog?

Starting Josie’s blog was a huge learning curve for me.  I was completely new to the blog world but I wanted to test the market and see if there was an audience for a character like Josie.  Besides I felt she had a lot more to say than just what was in the book so the blog was a good outlet for her!  I’m so glad I did it, even though I was petrified at first.

Are you currently working on another novel?

Yes I am and I hope to release it in the Spring of 2012!  It’s called “Holding Me Up – A Life Without Jasmine” and it’s about Trisha Miller, a bereaved mother, trying to find a way to move on from the grief of losing her daughter.  It’s starts off in a dark place but I pull her out to somewhere good in the end!

You also do voiceover work. How did you become involved in this?

Back in England my plan, since I was a child, was to become an actress.  I studied Drama at Manchester University and then trained as an actress at the Webber Douglas Academy in London.  However everything was put on hold when I started having kids and moved to Belgium! A few years ago I made the decision to move forward with a voice-over career because I thought it would be flexible enough to fit around my family life.  I am proud to say that I’ve recently become a volunteer reader to the Dallas Reading Resource center which provides a huge variety of audio material for those people who can’t read. It’s a fantastic facility, they reach out to so many people, and it feels good to be using my training for such a good cause.

If you could be on any reality show, which one would you choose?

That is so easy! I am a HUGE fan of American Idol and The X Factor so I would have to be on one of those.  Although I’d prefer to be a judge if possible because it must be absolutely nerve-wracking to be a contestant!

Where would be your dream vacation?

I would be alone in an old stone cottage, half-way up a hill somewhere with a view of the sea, there would be a log fire, a steaming coffee pot, a tray set with jam and scones and a bookshelf crammed with books.  The only sounds would be the crackling fire, waves crashing back and forth and rain lashing against the windows.  I would be wearing cozy jeans, a pair of fleece slippers and a huge, but stylish, baggy jumper and I wouldn’t wash my hair for days! Ooh when can I go?

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

My advice to anyone wanting to start writing is the same advice I tell myself all the time (and it’s also the title of a FAB book by Susan Jeffers which I always recommend because you can apply it to all aspects of life): “Feel the fear – and do it anyway!”  Just get started and don’t delete ANYTHING at first. Let the story come out; there’ll be plenty of time to edit your work later.

 

Guest Post by Deborah Coonts: Vegas Wild

Vegas Wild
By Deborah Coonts,
Author of Lucky Stiff

The words “Las Vegas” conjure thoughts of wild exploits, sexual highjinks, hangovers, and the scantily clad. Not too far from the truth, actually. I’ve lived here over twelve years, give or take, and this city gets under your skin. You just do stuff here you wouldn’t even think about anywhere else. And I’ve done my share.

Take male stripping. Who knew it was a contact sport? I’m not talking Chippendales or Thunder Down Under — great shows, but a bit tame, all things considered. True male stripping involves young men parading around in nothing but muscles with tiny sacks over their bananas. I think they smile too, but frankly, I don’t remember. I must not have been looking at their smiles, but I’m not admitting to anything. Anyway, the strippers paw the patrons, rubbing up against them in very provocative ways. I remember sitting across from a girlfriend of mine as one guy straddled her and ground his member into her lush chest. All I could see were his clenching butt muscles until my friend leaned around him, raised her glass, and gave me a shit-eating grin. It ruined me — I was done. Laughing does not make the strippers happy. Trust me on that one. Who knew that handsome young men in their near-all-together could be so sensitive?

Another fun evening out here in Vegas involves men and dancing, but of a different sort. You know how sometimes you just wanna dance? No fondling, no come-ons, no tired pick-up lines . . . just dance? The best place to do it in Vegas is Krave. They bill themselves as the Number One Gay Nightclub in the Country, and I would agree. Not that I have a great deal of experience, mind you, but boy is this place fun! The guys are great. They love to dance. And they are totally not interested in picking up women. A relief. Of course, if you’re in Vegas to score a bit of action, this might not be the place for you . . . unless you are gay.

And now I here the owners of Krave are opening a bar in downtown Vegas, near Freemont Street, where all the servers are drag queens. Who could resist? I plan on being first in line!

Of course, if you’re into beer and butt-whacking, the Hofbräveuhaus is for you. Yup, you can sing along to what I call oompah bands — I’m sure that’s not the technical term, but you get my drift (a bunch of guys with beer bellies in Lederhosen) and you can order a flagon of beer and get paddled by a pretty girl with a wooden paddle and a major-league swing. Why anybody would want to do this is beyond me, but they do — to the delight of the restaurant patrons. And the whole thing can be memorialized for posterity by a roving photographer. This is not something I’ve experienced personally — I’m not one to pay for physical punishment and pain — but I’ve seen it done.

Oh, a word to the wise: leave the cameras at home when you visit Sin City — you’ll thank me.

So, while we’re on the subject of crazy-ass stuff I’ve seen but not participated in, let me tell you about the best party in town. Most folks think New Years is Vegas-Gone-Wild, but I beg to differ. Halloween is the night you want to be here to get your naughty on. There’s this party — The Fetish and Fantasy Ball — and the costumes are . . . creative. Often they involve spray paint and pasties. Or maybe just Saran Wrap. Or a couple of triangles of fur and string. But is it one heck of a party! The people-watching is the best part.

Did you know it is possible to eat a five star meal, served by tux-clad waiters . . . while suspended 180 feet above the ground. The views of the Strip are amazing — as long as you’re not acrophobic. It’s the only meal in town to require a seat belt — and it’s a ton of fun. Champagne toasts, filet mignon, unobstructed views, both panoramic and straight down, where else could you have this experience? It’s Vegas all the way.

Now, there’s one other thing I’m working my courage up to do. There’s this bar called the Double-Down — billed as “The Happiest Place on Earth”. They sell something called Ass Juice — it comes with Puke Insurance. I understand it’s a place you want to go when you’re craving the down and dirty, punk-rock Vegas thing. Sounds too good to pass up. Anybody game?

© 2011 Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff

Author Bio
Deborah Coonts, 
author of Lucky Stiff, says her mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she’s not totally sure — her mother can’t be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can’t get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. She is the author of the Lucky O’Toole Las Vegas adventure series.

Her first book, Wanna Get Lucky?, was released in 2010.

For more information please visit http://www.deborahcoonts.com/, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

Blog Tour Sign Up: Write from the Heart by Heather Hummel

Heather will be on tour in February/March with her novel Write from the Heart. Please note this will be an eBook tour only. Use the sign up form below if you would like to be included. Heather will also be available for guest posts and interviews. I will contact everyone chosen to participate. Thank you!

Journals are a woman’s best friend…
When Samantha Sounder quits her office manager job the day after yet another boyfriend breaks up with her, the emotional havoc of these two events launches the beginning of her new life.
Samantha dives into therapy with Ragnar Axel, a traditional therapist who explores her failed relationships and sends her on a wild goose chase through her old journals to rediscover herself.
Despite the unsettling reactions of her best friend, Amanda, and Ragnar, Samantha decides to walk away from the corporate world and follow her dream as a novelist. She sets out to craft her first novel, Winter’s Truth. Hesitantly, she accepts the unexpected guidance from Craig, an unlikely man she meets at the coffee shop.
Along her journey, Samantha picks up a new journal and titles it her “Positive Journal,” declaring to only write positive thoughts in it. Samantha’s life transforms from one of despair and loss to hope and faith as she navigates through new territory and explores the possibility of finding love over lattes.

**Heather’s tour is now full. Thank you to everyone who signed up!**