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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fall in love with forever: Wyoming Wildflowers Series by Patricia McLinn #amreading #western #romance

If you enjoy reading about strong women and the men who love them,
you’ll love this acclaimed Wyoming Wildflowers THE COMPLETE SERIES or THE COMPLETE COLLECTION by the USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn.
Wyoming-Wildflowers-Series
 
 
The COMPLETE Series:
Prequel — Wyoming Wildflowers: The Beginning (Snowberry)
Almost a Bride (Indian Paintbrush)
Match Made in Wyoming (Fireweed)
My Heart Remembers (Bur Marigold)
Jack’s Heart (Yellow Monkeyflower)
Where Love Lives: The Inheritance (Threadleaf Phacelia)
 
 
 

 
Wyoming-Wildflowers-CollectionThe COMPLETE Collection:
Prequel — Wyoming Wildflowers: The Beginning (Snowberry)
Almost a Bride (Indian Paintbrush)
Match Made in Wyoming (Fireweed)
My Heart Remembers (Bur Marigold)
— A New World (prequel to Jack’s Heart)
Jack’s Heart (Yellow Monkeyflower)
— Rodeo Nights (prequel to Where Love Lives)
Where Love Lives: The Inheritance (Threadleaf Phacelia)

5-STAR REVIEWS:
ABOUT PATRICIA McLINN: 
USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels -- cited by reviewers for warmth, wit and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.
In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.
Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and -- for 20-plus years -- an editor at The Washington Post. She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest-speaker at the Smithsonian Institution.
She is now living in Northern Kentucky, and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook and Twitter.

CONNECT WITH PATRICIA McLINN ONLINE:
Twitter: @PatriciaMcLinn

Thursday, August 11, 2016

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS: A new documentary film about the world of romance novels! #LaurieKahn #BlueberryHillProductions

Laurie Kahn (left) looking at pictures with production assistant Riley Davis (center) and production coordinator Julia Hines. Photo: Sean Proctor/Boston Globe
Laurie Kahn (left) with production assistant Riley Davis (centre) and production coordinator Julia Hines.
Photo: Sean Proctor/Boston Globe
Laurie Kahn is a documentary filmmaker whose latest film explores the world of romance fiction and romance writers. It's called LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS and it was just released last month. Laurie Kahn is also the Project Director of THE POPULAR ROMANCE PROJECT, which includes the doc film LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS, about the global community of women who write and read romance novels as well as a large interactive website exploring popular romance across time Love-Between-the-Coversand across cultures, a nationwide library program with the American Library Association, and a symposium on the deep roots of romance fiction and its future in the digital age at the Library of Congress.Kahn is known for making documentary films that explore fascinating aspects of popular culture and women's issues. Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was part of PBS’s The American Experience series and won numerous awards including a national Emmy for Outstanding Non-fiction. Her more recent film, TUPPERWARE! won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for a national Best Nonfiction Director Emmy. Both films are used in courses on women’s history, medical history, early American history, obstetrics, midwifery, 20th century history, marketing and gender studies. Kahn also conceived of and produced an award winning website, DoHistory.org, that immerses its users in the hands-on process of piecing together the life of an extraordinary person in the past. Kahn’s film company, Blueberry Hill Productions, was founded in 1992. During the 1980s and early 1990s, she worked on many award-winning documentary series, including The American Experience, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965, and Frontline Special Report: Crisis in Central America. For the past four years Kahn has directed the Creativity Foundation. She has also been a consultant for the American Film Institute, The Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Before working in film, she worked in radio for NPR’s evening news program All Things Considered.
LP: What inspired you to make the documentary LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS?
Laurie Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was broadcast on PBS
Laurie Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was broadcast on PBS
LK: As a documentary filmmaker, I want to bring the lives and work of strong, interesting women to the screen, because women's stories aren't being told nearly often enough!  I am also very aware that any industry dominated by women is typically dismissed as trivial and “merely domestic.”  My previous films -- A Midwife’s Tale and Tupperware! – are very different from one another, but they were both shaped by my desire to look honestly at communities of women who haven’t been taken seriously (but should be), who deserve to be heard without being mocked.
When I learned that the romance fiction community is global, successful, and almost entirely female, my ears perked up. I began doing research, and I discovered a group of women who've built a remarkable community -- and also a multi-billion dollar business.
Panel discussion after a screening of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Panel discussion after a screening of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
LP: How has the romance community responded to your film?
LK: There have been almost 100 very successful screenings of Love Between the Covers -- in libraries, community centers, and movie theaters in cities across the US, and around the world.  The big romance publications -- Romantic Times, USA Today's HEA, the American Library Association and many romance blogs -- have raved about the film.  I get email and social media messages from readers and authors who I don't know, all the time.  And since the film's wide release on various platforms on July 12, I hope to hear from many more!
LP: Who are the authors that you follow in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS? And what was it like meeting them and talking to them?
LK: I wanted to find a broad range of characters, to challenge the two-dimensional stereotypes of romance authors and readers.  I was looking for authors with diverse backgrounds and diverse day-jobs.  After shooting dozens of interviews, I had to narrow down my list of potential main characters. And that was incredibly difficult, since so many of the women I'd been interviewing were funny, smart, and interesting.
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30:  Laurie Kahn (L) and Eloisa James attend the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss the documentary "Love Between the Covers" at AOL Studios In New York on June 30, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic) (Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Laurie Kahn (L) and Eloisa James attend the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss the documentary "Love Between the Covers" at AOL Studios In New York on June 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic) (Getty Images)
The main characters we finally chose to follow in Love Between the Covers are:
  • Mary Bly– Tenured Shakespeare professor by day, bestselling romance author Eloisa James by night.
  • Len Barot– Surgeon, farmer, publisher, and well-known author of lesbian romance fiction, writing under the pen names Radclyffe and L.L. Raand.
  • Beverly Jenkins– Pioneer of African American romance, author of historical, suspense and inspirational romances.
  • Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley – Best friends, divorcees, single mothers, and New York Times bestselling writing partners.
  • Joanne Lockyer– A young Australian environmental consultant and aspiring romance author trying to publish her first novel.
* Nora Roberts– Often called the Queen of Romance. One can’t make a film about the romance community without Nora!
But lots of other writers play important roles in the film.  We got terrific interviews with Jayne Ann Krentz, Jennifer Crusie, Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson, Suzanne Brockmann, Bella Andre, Sherry Thomas, Kristan
Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Jodi Thomas, and many more.  For a list of all of the authors we interviewed, you can check out lovebetweenthecovers.com/main-characters.
Nora Roberts interview clip from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Nora Roberts interview clip from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
I had a blast meeting and getting to know all of them!
LP: Tell us about the production itself – how was it funded and is this doc part of a bigger series or a special academic project you are working on?
LK: Back in 2010, I dreamt up the Popular Romance Project which includes 1. the website PopularRomanceProject.org, 2. the Library of Congress conference What is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age (you can see the conference program and watch all four amazing panel discussions at http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/loc-con), 3. the film Love Between the Covers, and 4. a nationwide program of screenings of the film at public libraries, universities, and community centers.
Check out the trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Check out the trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
The project was funded by hundreds of generous Kickstarter supporters, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mass Humanities, the Nora Roberts Foundation, an RWA scholar grant, the Freed Foundation, Amazon's foundation, Harlequin (they supported the conference), and dozens of other foundations.
The sneak preview of Love Between the Covers took place in the historic Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress in February of 2015. I'm proud of organizing the first-ever conference on romance fiction hosted by the Library of Congress!  And I'm grateful to all of my partners on this project: the Library of Congress, the Center for History and New Media, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance.
LP: How do you define a romance novel?
LK: The Romance Writers of America define a romance novel as a novel with a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. So that's the definition I worked with!
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was a "contemporary romance author"  in her time and the "originator" of the now hugely popular Regency Romance
LP: When did you start reading romance and why do you love it?
LK: I was a big reader of Victoria Holt, Elizabeth Goudge, and Jane Austen when I was in junior high school.  I was intrigued by the Brontes, and immersed myself in the imaginary world the Bronte sisters created when they were young.  When I got to high school I became an avid reader of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann, James Baldwin, Herman Melville, and many others -- mostly men, since very few women were deemed worthy of "the canon" back then.  In college, my reading shifted to non-fiction (I was a philosophy major and I wanted to be a journalist.)  For years I read non-fiction and short stories. Plunging into the romance world has allowed me to plunge back into long-form fiction!
LP: Why is romance fiction important for women? In your opinion is it empowering? Is it feminist?
LK: I think romance fiction is empowering.  This is one of the few places where women are always center stage, where they get what they want, justice prevails, and the broad spectrum of desires of women from all backgrounds are not feared, but explored unapologetically.
Film screening and panel of Love Between The Covers
Film screening and panel of Love Between The Covers
LP: When and where can we expect to see LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS? Any upcoming screenings?
LK: Love Between the Covers was officially released on July 12!  It's all been very exciting!  The film is now available for purchase at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, X-box, VUDU, DirecTV, FandangoNOW, Kaleidescape, AT&T U-verse, cable on demand, satellite TV and many other platforms!  Here are the links for Amazon and iTunes:
You can find info about upcoming public screenings at: lovebetweenthecovers.com/screenings.
LP: Tell us about some memorable moments that happened during filming of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS?
Nora Roberts​ and R. C. Ryan / Ruth Ryan Langan​ on rooming together at the very first Romance Writers of America​ conference and becoming life-long friends.
Nora Roberts​ and R. C. Ryan / Ruth Ryan Langan​ on rooming together at the very first Romance Writers of America​ conference and becoming life-long friends.
LK: It took us a few years to get our interview with Nora Roberts, but when we did, she was open and funny and willing to talk about subjects she’s never been asked about.  A woman was sitting outside the hotel room where I was doing the interview.  I asked who she was, and Nora told me it was Ruth Langan, a romance writer she met 30 years earlier at the very first conference of the Romance Writers of America.  They roomed together then, and have been sharing a room at the national conference ever since! Clearly Nora, a multi-millionaire, does not have to share a room with anyone!  But I thought their friendship said a lot about the loyalty and camaraderie of the romance community. I invited Ruth into the room and then interviewed the two of them together. Our interview with Nora is unlike any other interview with her that I’ve seen.  She openly discussed her childhood, shared hilarious stories about her early days as a writer, explained how the romance industry has changed, and discussed her writing process.
Laurie Kahn's next project is a feature-length documentary film following Y2Y (Young Adults Uniting to End Homelessness).
Laurie Kahn's next project is a feature-length documentary film following Y2Y (Young Adults Uniting to End Homelessness).
LP: What’s coming up for you – tell us what you’re working on next?
LK: My next film project is about a homeless shelter called Y2Y (Youth-to-Youth) -- created for young adults and staffed by volunteer university students the same ages as their homeless guests. I will document Y2Y’s obstacles, hard choices, and triumphs over the next three years as homeless young adults and idealistic university students work together to create a safe environment for an extremely vulnerable population. It's a wildly ambitious attempt to come up with a better model for dealing with homeless youth, and the students running the operation hope to inspire other students to replicate what they are doing at universities around the country.  It's an important subject.  And the students and homeless guests are inspiring. For more info: blueberryhillproductions.com/y2y.
A romance novel cover photo shoot featured in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
A romance novel cover photo shoot featured in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
LP: Bonus: Who do you fangirl over? 
LK: Sorry to be geeky but I fangirl over beautifully made, interesting, entertaining documentary films.  When I see one, I'm jazzed for days.
LP: Where do you enjoy tucking into a good romance novel?
LK: On a hammock between two big trees in my yard.  In the winter, you can't beat a comfy chair in front of a fireplace!"
An excerpt from our interview with romance author Beverly Jenkins, who gave us some insight into where her characters come from.
An excerpt from our interview with romance author Beverly Jenkins, who gave us some insight into where her characters come from.
Connect with filmmaker Laurie Kahn on her website for Blueberry Hill Productions, on facebook and twitter, and through
The buy link for Love Between the Covers is http://radi.al/LBTC
You can check out the film trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS AT: -https://vimeo.com/167886547 
You can see ALL the different places where the film is now available for purchase or viewing at:lovebetweenthecovers.com/filmrelease as well as watch excerpts from the film AND fabulous bonus videos with footage that did not make it into the film!
Authors: Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley in an excerpt from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Authors: Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley in an excerpt from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
If you watch the film LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS take the time to rate and review it at Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay!  It will make a big difference for this wonderful indie documentary film!!!
To connect with Laurie Kahn online check out the website for Blueberry Hill Productions or the facebook page for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS.

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS: A new documentary film about the world of romance novels! #LaurieKahn #BlueberryHillProductions

Laurie Kahn (left) looking at pictures with production assistant Riley Davis (center) and production coordinator Julia Hines. Photo: Sean Proctor/Boston Globe
Laurie Kahn (left) with production assistant Riley Davis (centre) and production coordinator Julia Hines.
Photo: Sean Proctor/Boston Globe
Laurie Kahn is a documentary filmmaker whose latest film explores the world of romance fiction and romance writers. It's called LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS and it was just released last month. Laurie Kahn is also the Project Director of THE POPULAR ROMANCE PROJECT, which includes the doc film LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS, about the global community of women who write and read romance novels as well as a large interactive website exploring popular romance across time Love-Between-the-Coversand across cultures, a nationwide library program with the American Library Association, and a symposium on the deep roots of romance fiction and its future in the digital age at the Library of Congress.Kahn is known for making documentary films that explore fascinating aspects of popular culture and women's issues. Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was part of PBS’s The American Experience series and won numerous awards including a national Emmy for Outstanding Non-fiction. Her more recent film, TUPPERWARE! won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for a national Best Nonfiction Director Emmy. Both films are used in courses on women’s history, medical history, early American history, obstetrics, midwifery, 20th century history, marketing and gender studies. Kahn also conceived of and produced an award winning website, DoHistory.org, that immerses its users in the hands-on process of piecing together the life of an extraordinary person in the past. Kahn’s film company, Blueberry Hill Productions, was founded in 1992. During the 1980s and early 1990s, she worked on many award-winning documentary series, including The American Experience, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965, and Frontline Special Report: Crisis in Central America. For the past four years Kahn has directed the Creativity Foundation. She has also been a consultant for the American Film Institute, The Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Before working in film, she worked in radio for NPR’s evening news program All Things Considered.
LP: What inspired you to make the documentary LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS?
Laurie Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was broadcast on PBS
Laurie Kahn's film A MIDWIFE'S TALE was broadcast on PBS
LK: As a documentary filmmaker, I want to bring the lives and work of strong, interesting women to the screen, because women's stories aren't being told nearly often enough!  I am also very aware that any industry dominated by women is typically dismissed as trivial and “merely domestic.”  My previous films -- A Midwife’s Tale and Tupperware! – are very different from one another, but they were both shaped by my desire to look honestly at communities of women who haven’t been taken seriously (but should be), who deserve to be heard without being mocked.
When I learned that the romance fiction community is global, successful, and almost entirely female, my ears perked up. I began doing research, and I discovered a group of women who've built a remarkable community -- and also a multi-billion dollar business.
Panel discussion after a screening of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Panel discussion after a screening of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
LP: How has the romance community responded to your film?
LK: There have been almost 100 very successful screenings of Love Between the Covers -- in libraries, community centers, and movie theaters in cities across the US, and around the world.  The big romance publications -- Romantic Times, USA Today's HEA, the American Library Association and many romance blogs -- have raved about the film.  I get email and social media messages from readers and authors who I don't know, all the time.  And since the film's wide release on various platforms on July 12, I hope to hear from many more!
LP: Who are the authors that you follow in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS? And what was it like meeting them and talking to them?
LK: I wanted to find a broad range of characters, to challenge the two-dimensional stereotypes of romance authors and readers.  I was looking for authors with diverse backgrounds and diverse day-jobs.  After shooting dozens of interviews, I had to narrow down my list of potential main characters. And that was incredibly difficult, since so many of the women I'd been interviewing were funny, smart, and interesting.
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30:  Laurie Kahn (L) and Eloisa James attend the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss the documentary "Love Between the Covers" at AOL Studios In New York on June 30, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic) (Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Laurie Kahn (L) and Eloisa James attend the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss the documentary "Love Between the Covers" at AOL Studios In New York on June 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic) (Getty Images)
The main characters we finally chose to follow in Love Between the Covers are:
  • Mary Bly– Tenured Shakespeare professor by day, bestselling romance author Eloisa James by night.
  • Len Barot– Surgeon, farmer, publisher, and well-known author of lesbian romance fiction, writing under the pen names Radclyffe and L.L. Raand.
  • Beverly Jenkins– Pioneer of African American romance, author of historical, suspense and inspirational romances.
  • Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley – Best friends, divorcees, single mothers, and New York Times bestselling writing partners.
  • Joanne Lockyer– A young Australian environmental consultant and aspiring romance author trying to publish her first novel.
* Nora Roberts– Often called the Queen of Romance. One can’t make a film about the romance community without Nora!
But lots of other writers play important roles in the film.  We got terrific interviews with Jayne Ann Krentz, Jennifer Crusie, Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson, Suzanne Brockmann, Bella Andre, Sherry Thomas, Kristan
Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Jodi Thomas, and many more.  For a list of all of the authors we interviewed, you can check out lovebetweenthecovers.com/main-characters.
Nora Roberts interview clip from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Nora Roberts interview clip from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
I had a blast meeting and getting to know all of them!
LP: Tell us about the production itself – how was it funded and is this doc part of a bigger series or a special academic project you are working on?
LK: Back in 2010, I dreamt up the Popular Romance Project which includes 1. the website PopularRomanceProject.org, 2. the Library of Congress conference What is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age (you can see the conference program and watch all four amazing panel discussions at http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/loc-con), 3. the film Love Between the Covers, and 4. a nationwide program of screenings of the film at public libraries, universities, and community centers.
Check out the trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Check out the trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
The project was funded by hundreds of generous Kickstarter supporters, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mass Humanities, the Nora Roberts Foundation, an RWA scholar grant, the Freed Foundation, Amazon's foundation, Harlequin (they supported the conference), and dozens of other foundations.
The sneak preview of Love Between the Covers took place in the historic Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress in February of 2015. I'm proud of organizing the first-ever conference on romance fiction hosted by the Library of Congress!  And I'm grateful to all of my partners on this project: the Library of Congress, the Center for History and New Media, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance.
LP: How do you define a romance novel?
LK: The Romance Writers of America define a romance novel as a novel with a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. So that's the definition I worked with!
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was a "contemporary romance author"  in her time and the "originator" of the now hugely popular Regency Romance
LP: When did you start reading romance and why do you love it?
LK: I was a big reader of Victoria Holt, Elizabeth Goudge, and Jane Austen when I was in junior high school.  I was intrigued by the Brontes, and immersed myself in the imaginary world the Bronte sisters created when they were young.  When I got to high school I became an avid reader of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann, James Baldwin, Herman Melville, and many others -- mostly men, since very few women were deemed worthy of "the canon" back then.  In college, my reading shifted to non-fiction (I was a philosophy major and I wanted to be a journalist.)  For years I read non-fiction and short stories. Plunging into the romance world has allowed me to plunge back into long-form fiction!
LP: Why is romance fiction important for women? In your opinion is it empowering? Is it feminist?
LK: I think romance fiction is empowering.  This is one of the few places where women are always center stage, where they get what they want, justice prevails, and the broad spectrum of desires of women from all backgrounds are not feared, but explored unapologetically.
Film screening and panel of Love Between The Covers
Film screening and panel of Love Between The Covers
LP: When and where can we expect to see LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS? Any upcoming screenings?
LK: Love Between the Covers was officially released on July 12!  It's all been very exciting!  The film is now available for purchase at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, X-box, VUDU, DirecTV, FandangoNOW, Kaleidescape, AT&T U-verse, cable on demand, satellite TV and many other platforms!  Here are the links for Amazon and iTunes:
You can find info about upcoming public screenings at: lovebetweenthecovers.com/screenings.
LP: Tell us about some memorable moments that happened during filming of LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS?
Nora Roberts​ and R. C. Ryan / Ruth Ryan Langan​ on rooming together at the very first Romance Writers of America​ conference and becoming life-long friends.
Nora Roberts​ and R. C. Ryan / Ruth Ryan Langan​ on rooming together at the very first Romance Writers of America​ conference and becoming life-long friends.
LK: It took us a few years to get our interview with Nora Roberts, but when we did, she was open and funny and willing to talk about subjects she’s never been asked about.  A woman was sitting outside the hotel room where I was doing the interview.  I asked who she was, and Nora told me it was Ruth Langan, a romance writer she met 30 years earlier at the very first conference of the Romance Writers of America.  They roomed together then, and have been sharing a room at the national conference ever since! Clearly Nora, a multi-millionaire, does not have to share a room with anyone!  But I thought their friendship said a lot about the loyalty and camaraderie of the romance community. I invited Ruth into the room and then interviewed the two of them together. Our interview with Nora is unlike any other interview with her that I’ve seen.  She openly discussed her childhood, shared hilarious stories about her early days as a writer, explained how the romance industry has changed, and discussed her writing process.
Laurie Kahn's next project is a feature-length documentary film following Y2Y (Young Adults Uniting to End Homelessness).
Laurie Kahn's next project is a feature-length documentary film following Y2Y (Young Adults Uniting to End Homelessness).
LP: What’s coming up for you – tell us what you’re working on next?
LK: My next film project is about a homeless shelter called Y2Y (Youth-to-Youth) -- created for young adults and staffed by volunteer university students the same ages as their homeless guests. I will document Y2Y’s obstacles, hard choices, and triumphs over the next three years as homeless young adults and idealistic university students work together to create a safe environment for an extremely vulnerable population. It's a wildly ambitious attempt to come up with a better model for dealing with homeless youth, and the students running the operation hope to inspire other students to replicate what they are doing at universities around the country.  It's an important subject.  And the students and homeless guests are inspiring. For more info: blueberryhillproductions.com/y2y.
A romance novel cover photo shoot featured in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
A romance novel cover photo shoot featured in LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
LP: Bonus: Who do you fangirl over? 
LK: Sorry to be geeky but I fangirl over beautifully made, interesting, entertaining documentary films.  When I see one, I'm jazzed for days.
LP: Where do you enjoy tucking into a good romance novel?
LK: On a hammock between two big trees in my yard.  In the winter, you can't beat a comfy chair in front of a fireplace!"
An excerpt from our interview with romance author Beverly Jenkins, who gave us some insight into where her characters come from.
An excerpt from our interview with romance author Beverly Jenkins, who gave us some insight into where her characters come from.
Connect with filmmaker Laurie Kahn on her website for Blueberry Hill Productions, on facebook and twitter, and through
The buy link for Love Between the Covers is http://radi.al/LBTC
You can check out the film trailer for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS AT: -https://vimeo.com/167886547 
You can see ALL the different places where the film is now available for purchase or viewing at:lovebetweenthecovers.com/filmrelease as well as watch excerpts from the film AND fabulous bonus videos with footage that did not make it into the film!
Authors: Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley in an excerpt from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Authors: Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley in an excerpt from LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
If you watch the film LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS take the time to rate and review it at Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay!  It will make a big difference for this wonderful indie documentary film!!!
To connect with Laurie Kahn online check out the website for Blueberry Hill Productions or the facebook page for LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

He writes books based on the popular TV shows you love! Q and A with Jeff Mariotte #amreading #thriller #supernatural

Jeffrey Marriotte, bestselling supernatural thriller and horror author
Jeffrey Marriotte, bestselling supernatural thriller and horror author
Jeffrey J. Mariotte is the bestselling, award-winning author of fifty novels, including supernatural thrillers Season of the WolfMissing White Girl, River Runs Red, and Cold Black Hearts, horror epic The Slab, thriller The Devil's Bait, and the Dark Vengeance teen horror quartet.
He also writes occasional nonfiction, short fiction (some of which is collected in Nine Frights), and comic books, including the long-running horror/Western comic book series Desperadoes and graphic novels Fade to Black and Zombie Cop. With writing partner Marsheila Rockwell, he has published several short stories and a novel, 7 SYKOS. He has worked in virtually every aspect of the book business, as a writer, editor, marketing executive, and bookseller.
Jeff Mariotte and Marsheia Rockwell (writing partners and life partners)
Jeff Mariotte and Marsheila Rockwell (writing partners and life partners)
I’ve known Jeff for several years and was delighted when he agreed to answer a few of my questions.
DLS: When people see an author’s name, they often see it as a "brand", knowing what kind of story they’ll get. You’ve written in several genres from science fiction to weird westerns to horror. How do you define the “Jeff Mariotte Brand”?

JM: I'm convinced that writing in different genres has been harmful to my career, because readers tend to like a writer who stays put, who delivers basically the same thing book after book. Once you're well established, you can switch around--like Robert B. Parker eventually turning to the occasional western after writing a ton of mystery books in different series. But shifting around before your "brand" is established seems like a bad move, career-wise.
51GoUOdHOiLThat said, I don't see how I could have done it differently. I have to write what I'm moved to write at any given time. I'd get bored writing the same series character over and over. I haven't calculated out the wisest career path, but have written the books that felt like they needed to be written as they came along. I'm true to myself, if not to market considerations. My agent might prefer it the other way around, but I am who I am.
I hope that readers know that when they pick up one of my books, they'll get a compelling, suspenseful tale that'll keep them turning the page; they'll get well-written and engaging stories populated with characters they'll believe in and care about. Regardless of genre, I try to always write books that will brighten a reader's day and life, that entertain and maybe inform and enlighten. My books are generally optimistic, even when they venture into dark places, and one of my central themes seems to be the idea that there's magic in the world, if only you know to look for it.
DLS: Who was your greatest writer influence/inspiration when you started? What are some books of theirs you would recommend?
thejealouskind-198x300JM: I was a bookseller for years before I got published, so I was reading pretty extensively in my preferred genres--horror, mysteries, thrillers, sf, fantasies, westerns. Consequently, I had (and have) a lot of inspirations. Some have changed over the years, and others have been consistent. In the early days, I was strongly inspired by Robert E. Howard (particularly his Conan stories), the aforementioned Bob Parker (his Spenser novels), Raymond Chandler (Philip Marlowe) and Ross Macdonald (Lew Archer). At the same time, I've often been inspired by writers as varied as Stephen King (The StandThe ShiningOn Writing), William Goldman (Marathon ManBoys and Girls Together) and Wallace Stegner (Angle of ReposeRecapitulationWolf Willow). More recent influences include James Lee Burke (any of his books, but especially the Robicheaux novels). That's a pretty male-centric list, but I could also add in works by Joan Vinge, Leigh Brackett, C.L. Moore, Laura Lippman, Barbara Kingsolver, and plenty of other talented women, as well as one of the best writers I know, Marsheila Rockwell.
DLS: You recently married your writing partner, the talented Marsheila Rockwell. How do your collaborations work? How does collaborating compare to writing solo?
JM: Funny you should mention that...
xena-olympiaWe collaborate very well, almost seamlessly. We have different strengths--she's a poet and her command of language is beautiful, while I'm a stronger plotter, for instance--but when we work together, our strengths complement each other, and by the time we're finished with a story, we usually can't tell who wrote what. We try to start with a solid outline so we know where we're going and what each other's vision of the overall story is (and because we both come out of a tie-in writing background, we're used to working with outlines). Then we trade off--scene by scene, chapter by chapter, whatever works at the moment and for any given project. On the first book of the Xena: Warrior Princess trilogy we're working on, we had a relatively tight deadline and had to be writing different chapters simultaneously, which was a little awkward. But we smoothed it all out, and it came out well in the end.
As for the difference between collaborating and solo work, it is a different beast. A solo story or novel is one person's vision, and everything in it, good or bad, is a reflection of that one person. A collaboration is necessarily a shared vision. I've written a lot of comic books and graphic novels, and because I don't draw, those are always collaborations. And I've collaborated with other writers, too. So it's not new to me. It does feel more natural with Marcy, and we work together better than I have with anyone else. Ideally, the result of a collaboration is a book or a story one writer couldn't have written, because each participant brings different skills and life experiences to the table, and that's what Marcy and I get when we write together. The fact that I get to be married to her is icing on the cake.
DLS: What insights have you gained from owning a bookstore that can help writers be more successful and stand out from the crowd?
Image: Slate.com
Image: Slate.com
JM: I think the experience of working in bookstores, managing them, and being an owner of one, has made me less ready to jump on board the e-book train. I think printed books are an ideal marriage of form and function--they don't require a power source, they don't break down or become corrupted, they're always there when you want to read and you can save your place with a bookmark or a piece of paper or a paper clip or whatever's handy. At the same time, I have a more realistic view of the book business than some people, who seem to think that Amazon is the only bookseller that matters. The truth is that printed books still far outsell e-books, and other outlets still sell more books in the U.S. than Amazon does, so if a writer focuses all of his or her efforts on Amazon, he or she is leaving a lot of potential sales on the table.
517h-yJ7q3LDLS: Not only do you write in your own worlds, you’ve written novels and stories for Star Trek, NCIS, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and other franchises. How does “playing in someone else’s sandbox” compare to creating your own world?
JM: I love writing my original novels, and will always want to do that. Creating my own characters and involving them in situations entirely of my own devising is the ultimate creative experience. But it's also a blast to be asked to write novels about characters I love, like Conan, Xena, Spider-Man, Superman, and great TV shows like CSI and NCIS: Los Angeles. I get to tell stories in beloved fictional universes, and get paid for it--nothing wrong with that!
The skills that are called on are the same. I have to create characters, plot stories, write in an engaging and entertaining manner. And the truth is whether I'm writing in an existing fictional universe or my own, I have to be consistent and true to the rules of that universe as it's been developed. So the main difference is that in tie-in work, I have to try to capture voices that were devised by other writers (and sometimes actors). Fortunately, I'm pretty good at that.
DLS: If someone wanted to try their hand at writing and selling a novel in the world of a popular franchise, what would they need to do? How should they start?
tied-in1JM: They could start by visiting the website of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, IAMTW.org. There they can find out a lot about the nuts and bolts of the tie-in business, and maybe find out about licensed fiction lines they didn't even know existed. The organization has also released a book by its membership that contains more details about the trade.
Typically (although there are exceptions) to write a tie-in novel, you have to have had at least one other novel professionally published. Publishers have already invested a lot of money to acquire a license, so they don't want to risk more by hiring a writer who hasn't proven the ability to write a publishable book. And there's often competition for tie-in gigs, so if it's a choice between a writer with a solid track record and an unknown new writer, the established pro will have the advantage. So the best thing a writer can do is write a good book, get it published by a reputable publisher, then approach the publisher of the licensed fiction line of interest and say, "Hey, I wrote X and I'd sure like to pitch you something for your Y line."
DLS: In addition to writing novels, you’ve written and edited comic books. How are writing comic books similar and different than writing novels or short stories? Do you collaborate with the artist ahead of time, or create any kind of storyboard in addition to writing?
200px-Desperadoes_A_Moment's_Sunlight_TPB_coverJM: As I mentioned above, because I don't draw the comics, each one is a collaboration, start to finish. I write the script before the artist draws it, so while I'm writing it I'm only speculating about what it'll look like at the end of the process. Usually what I'm seeing in my head is not much like what comes out on the page. From the very beginning of my career, I've had the good fortune of working with some amazing artists, whose work on my scripts has blown me away.
Ultimately, the skill sets the writer brings to the table are similar. You need to tell a story that's worth telling, that's interesting and surprising and suspenseful and is hopefully enlightening in some way. The differences are in the techniques and the outcome. In comics, you have to be willing to stand back and let the art tell the story. The writer makes up the story (in most cases), and puts it down in a script that no one will ever see, but the artist is the one whose interpretation of the story ends up being what the readers see. The writer has to let the artist do that job, and keep the words to a minimum so they don't get in the way of the art.
I don't try to direct the artist to any great extent. I tell them what has to be in each panel to make the story work, but leave it to them how the panel is composed, how the different panels fit onto the page, etc. I've worked, as an editor, with writers who don't trust their artists and do sketch layouts for them. Fortunately, in most cases, the artists I've worked with are far better at that than I would be.
DLS: What kind of research did you do writing the comic book biography of Barack Obama? Did you get to interview the President or did you work from other resources?
515tE967FAL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_JM: That project was fascinating, and required vast amounts of research. I didn't get to meet or speak with the President (though I'd still love to). I wrote it during the 2008 campaign and the first few months of his presidency, so at the time there weren't even any books about him other than the two he wrote himself. Obviously he was a well-known public figure, but what had been written about him was mostly journalism coming out on a constant basis, along with a few more in-depth magazine pieces. I read his books and every article about him I could get my hands on, and watched him on TV whenever possible to get a sense of his voice. The scripts were vetted by lawyers, and I had to have every fact triple-sourced, and had to be able to show where every line of dialogue came from. The project was originally three separate comic book issues that were collected into a single hardcover book, which was actually the first book-length biography written about him.
DLS: I sense a certain passion for small towns on the southern border of the United States in your writing. What captivates you about those places in particular?
JM: Borderlands of all kinds are fascinating to me. I have written a lot about the US/Mexico border, but I've written about other borders, too--my Age of Conan trilogy, for example, was largely about the border between the Aquilonian Empire and the Pictish lands--which is kind of a parallel to Hadrian's Wall, where the Roman Empire ended and the wilderness began. Other borders in my fiction include borders between our world and another (or many others). Borders are where different people with different interests and backgrounds intersect. There's natural drama in that. Along our southwestern border, there are of course political issues, issues of crime and punishment, and the story of the human race--which is the ongoing story of migration--all of which are rich territory for fiction.
51QsIKsEYWLDLS: Tell us about your latest novel.
JM: The new book is 7 SYKOS, a collaboration with Marsheila Rockwell. It's kind of a science fiction/horror/thriller hybrid. Basically, a meteor has brought a spaceborne virus into the Phoenix metropolitan area, which has the effect of turning those infected into raging lunatics hungry for brains. It's incredibly virulent and there's no known cure or vaccine. In order to keep it from spreading throughout the nation (or the world), the military has fenced off the Valley of the Sun, and nobody is allowed in or out. But everyone knows that's only a temporary solution, so if something more permanent can't be figured out soon, the Valley's going to be nuked out of existence. Trouble is, the only way to come up with a fix is to get enough of the meteor to study, and nobody can get to it. But it turns out that the unique brain structure of psychopaths makes them immune to the virus. So they can go into the quarantine zone, to look for pieces of the meteor. And all they have to do is agree to perform an essentially altruistic act, learn how to play well together, and survive the onslaught of thousands of Infecteds who want to eat their brains. Nothing to it, right...?
DLS: Sounds amazing! Thanks for the wonderful and informative interview!
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