Sunday, October 18, 2009

Author Guest Post - Shayla Black (& a Giveaway - closed)

Congrats to lucky winner - Kim!



Readers, please join me welcoming Shayla Black who will be guest blogging here today! In case you don't already know, Shayla is bestselling author of more than twenty sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances, including the Doomsday Brethren novels Tempt Me with Darkness and Possess Me at Midnight.

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I’m often asked, as an author of nearly thirty novels, where my ideas come from. The answer is as complex as the art of writing a novel itself. Just as there’s more than one way to write a book, there’s more than one way to come up with ideas. There’s more than one solution to filling and mining the well of creativity.

Sure, when you’re first motivated to write, it’s because you have an idea that, for you, is so exciting, so breathtaking and consuming, that you can’t not write it. I remember my first idea, which developed when I was in college. I mulled it while walking in my neighborhood, soaking in rays by the pool, driving to the retail job I hated, sitting through boring lectures. I talked incessantly to my friends at the time—who weren’t readers—about my fabulous idea. Many shrugged. They didn’t understand, but I did.

Fast forward a decade or so. I’d finished that first book, and a second, and a third, then I sold them all. Then came a new day: selling a book before having a new idea and agreeing to write that book to a deadline. Eek! Gads! What would I do??? My husband looked at me and promised me the ideas would come. “Light candles,” he told me. “Listen to music. Talk to your author friends.”

One day he looked at me over dinner and smiled. “The ideas came.” He didn’t ask; he knew. I nodded, wondering how he’d figured it out. He told me it was that faraway look on my face, coupled with that bit of excitement. Bingo! I had an idea to latch onto—one I couldn’t wait to write about.

With every subsequent book, I go through a sometimes frustrating period of trying nail down the plot. I’ll light my candles, find the perfect music, talk to my author friends. I also keep my well full by taking time to enjoy my family every day, always having a book for pleasure reading nearby, using those moments between consciousness and sleep to let my mind drift into all the possibilities of a book.

But when the idea for my current series, the Doomsday Brethren, hit me, I took a step back. Sure, I’d written connected books, even a trilogy before. But a multi-book series with plots for each book and a storyline that arcs over multiple books? Crazy! I had to be certifiable to try this, right? But I could see this paranormal culture set inside a familiar location, modern-day UK. A world where wizards and witches sharpened their special abilities to combat a common enemy, yet dealt with very human emotions—love, betrayal, revenge, death, depression, triumph, envy, insecurity, tragedy. What appeared in my head was so overwhelming, I had no idea how I’d ever harness it and get it on the paper in a coherent fashion.

But again, I went back to the old standbys: candles, music, good friends.

In your own life, you probably have hurdles to climb, situations that make you nervous. What is your equivalent of candles, music and friends? What enables you to relax and find the answers to your tough puzzles? Can’t wait to hear! When it comes to focusing, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas…

Shayla Black
TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS - 9/08 | SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW - 10/09 | POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT - 11/09 * Pocket Books


**Download "Fated" - FREE Doomsday Brethren e-novella - http://www.simonandschuster.com/giveaways/fated-free-download**
www.ShaylaBlack.com | www.DoomsdayBrethren.com
 
Good question. I just pick up a book from among my favorites (and I have way too many to list) and just read in a quiet corner (or as much quiet as there can be with kids running amok!). Reading is what relaxes me and it's a great way to lose myself from my current situation into a new one filled with adventure/romance/mystery etc etc. I always come out of it - renewed!

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A Shayla Black/SJ Day tote bag and a signed copy of the first Doomsday Brethren novel, Tempt Me with Darkness.

To Enter
  • Just answer Shayla's question - In your own life, you probably have hurdles to climb, situations that make you nervous. What is your equivalent of candles, music and friends? What enables you to relax and find the answers to your tough puzzles? Can’t wait to hear!
  • Anonumous comments without an email address will not be considered.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of 18 November, 2009.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!
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82 comments :

  1. Great posting and a great question! I'm interested to see what other people post. I guess I have two techniques for when I'm struggling in life. First off, there's napping, which works even if I don't do any actual sleeping. Just giving myself an hour not to try to do anything is really helpful and gets my creative juices flowing. The other helpful thing is to take a nice long walk with some of my favorite tunes playing. This is especially helpful when I'm nervous and having a hard time focusing.
    I subscribe to your feed.
    beax0002 (at) umn (dot) edu

    ReplyDelete
  2. I find the most comfort in simple things. I love to cook. Making bread and having a pot of soup simmering on the stove is very soothing. Being at home in my comfort zone, cozily ensconced with my cats and my books is heaven.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  3. I am a follower and a subscriber.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love your books.

    as for me, i like to pray the rosary. very soothing...

    brunigirl@yahoo.com

    ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  5. i'm a candles and friends type of person myself and if i'm really stressed I visit with my brother who can always make me laugh and reminds me to stop and be a person not a machine. and if that don't work he buys me better candles.lol
    meandi09@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I tend to get my best solutions to problems while doing housework or driving.

    Yes, I know that daydreaming while driving isn't the best idea, but my mind wanders. With housework, who can blame me? That requires a mental escape!

    ReplyDelete
  7. In your own life, you probably have hurdles to climb, situations that make you nervous. What is your equivalent of candles, music and friends? What enables you to relax and find the answers to your tough puzzles? Can’t wait to hear!

    In my life I find that I relax by reading, or honestly just being quiet and listening. I truly believe when we are quiet that God will whisper the answers to our hearts. Over the last year or so I seem to have taken my DHs and son's way of looking at life, I thank God for each new day I get to live and just let the rest go. It sounds odd I know, but honestly it's been just that easy. I'm not sure how but I think when I watched my MIL pass away with such dignity from Cancer it really changes what is truly a problem and what is just life. I hope that makes sense.

    But reading does help me to relax, as does taking a long HOT bath.

    Great post!
    hugs,
    WendyK
    highlandlovesong@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I often do housework with very loud music to calm down and do some thinking. It helps me to make decisions and if that doesn't work I go to my room and lay down with the curtains closed and just shut my eyes and rest each part of my body. Starting from the toes up. :)
    Leanne109@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I try to take time out and soak in a nice hot bubblebath with a glass of wine and a good book. Quiet time alone always helps me to re-center myself.
    lisaguertin@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have to deal with people all day..so my greatest thing to do is Read and Ride. My horses greatly help me when i want to be alone and relax, riding in this great weather and the woods around Decatur Where i go on the weekends is the best way for me to find my inner peace.
    And when i get back from beeing outdoors i love a long hot bath with a Doomsday breathren book. Can't wait for the next one :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. dang forgot my email address

    diana2507@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Shayla,
    I absolutely love your stories. I love Marroc and can't wait to read the rest of The Brethren.
    I listen to the 70's music station, light my scented candles and grab a good book. Lay back with a glass of Pepsi and zone out. It just seems to relax me in ways nothing else does. Having raised 7 children I had to learn how to zone out at times. lol lol
    But please keep writing because I will always read your stories and refer everyone to your books. It's so worth it.Thanks for so many hours of reading pleasure.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a follower of this blog
    Lucky4750@aol.com
    Carol L.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I also subscribed to the diary email updates.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love long hot bubble baths with a good book. It is my time away from everything and everyone. annettastolpmann@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. I find a lot of solutions come to me just as I lay down to sleep. If's it something really stressful then a hot bath a cup of coffee and a good book to relax.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Email subscriber
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

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  18. I have your button in my fave sites marquee:
    http://babasfarmlife.blogspot.com/
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

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  19. Facebook Fan
    Deborah Sloan
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  20. Following
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  21. I read or i'll watch the food network both of those seem to help : )
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  22. I am a subscriber by email
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  23. I sent you a freind request I didn't see a option for fan (thought that was unusual)
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am a follower
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  25. my equivilant is a good book, a bubble bath and or a nap all of the above rejuvenates me.

    ReplyDelete
  26. also subscrbe via email updates.

    ReplyDelete
  27. your on my blogroll
    www.bookcrazyscrapbookmama.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. My version of candles is baking - cookies, bread, cakes, cupcakes. I'm not that great at it, but I really enjoy it!

    danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Follow via RSS!

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  30. Email subscriber!

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  31. Quality time alone. Breathing and yoga, massage and sauna, swimming and working out. Any of these, or even a good book and a glass of wine-Definitely chocolate.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Email subscriber.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. My relaxation method is a good book. and time to read it.

    eddiem11@ca.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Music- I find it relaxing and it helps me think.
    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. That's a huge problem for me, relax, my body doesn't understand that need. What relaxes me is quite time late at night to read or do some research and contest entering on the web
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  36. Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed
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  38. Add A Book Blogger's Diary Button
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  39. a fan of A Book Blogger's Diary on Facebook
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  40. follow blog
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  41. Music calms me down like no other.

    -Your in my blogroll! http://sexywomenread.blogspot.com

    kaylajohnson3969@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, I also folow your blog!

    kaylajohnson3969@sbcglobal.net

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  43. I turn to God for the answers & this really helps
    plb8156@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Reading historical novels and watching lots of TV are my therapy!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Commented on Kris Radish post!

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  61. Yoga and meditation help me over life’s hurdles. Taking some “me” time helps, too. “Me time” means doing nothing, nada, rien; no cleaning, no reading, no computer… just “vegging” out!.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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  62. +1 I am a subscriber to the feed

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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  63. +1 I am a subscriber to email updates

    Thanks,
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    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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  64. Commented on An Article by Thad Carhart

    Thanks,
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    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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  67. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:27 AM

    My journal, my lounger chair and a cup of tea are what helps me put the day or any situation in perspective. It helps to "write it out"--at least for me.


    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

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  68. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:28 AM

    Old Facebook Fan (rose manning)


    rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

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  69. Madwoman-doing-cartwheelsNovember 10, 2009 at 6:29 AM

    Subscribe on Google reader.


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    Technorati Favorite

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    Follower


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  72. Comment # 1 on author guest post by Fiona Ingram!

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  73. I Subscribe to this Blog .
    And Authors guest post.
    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  74. Reading is what relaxes my to and gets me away from my troubles.
    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  75. If it's summertime I go work in the garden to relax & think. In the winter I read to relax.

    Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  76. I subscribe via Google Reader
    megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  77. I am awaiting friend confirmation on Facebook
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  78. I follow ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  79. Comment #4 on Barbara Knovoba's post!

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  80. Congrats to the winner who has been notified. Thank you all for stopping by!

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