Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Conversation with Lois Winston

Today I'm chatting with Lois Winston, another one of our DREAMS & DESIRES authors. She's the author of TALK GERTIE TO ME.

Amanda: Welcome, Lois. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Lois: Let’s see…I’m a vertically challenged red-head who at one time wanted to become an astronaut, probably because I always harbored a secret desire to be Supergirl. Aside from the fact that at barely 5 feet I don’t think I would have made the height requirement, I have this motion sickness problem. So instead, I write. G-force and zero gravity aren’t factors when sitting in front of a computer as long as that computer is on terra firma. As for the Supergirl fantasy, I realized a long time ago that all women are really Supergirl since we need to learn to juggle 17 things at once in order to survive.

Amanda: Your story in the charity anthology is titled "The Reluctant Bridesmaid." What it is about?

Lois: THE RELUCTANT BRIDESMAID is humorous women’s fiction (formerly known as chick lit, but that appellation seems to be a huge no-no lately.)

Amanda: Ain't that the truth? LOL!

Lois: Here’s a blurb:

It was bad enough when Paige’s cousin Tara stole her boyfriend. Now Tara and the creep are getting married, and Paige is stuck wearing a bridesmaid’s gown that makes her look like a jaundiced Holstein -- make that a jaundiced, dateless Holstein.

Amanda: How did you get involved with this project and what persuaded you to participate?

Lois: I was invited by Heather, one of the editors, and being a sucker for a good cause, how could I say no?

Amanda: You've won many awards for your writing, including 1st Runner Up in the American Title Contest. What have contests done for you and would you recommend unpublished writers enter contests?

Lois: Some of my friends call me the Contest Slut because I’ve finaled in and won so many contests. I was also a 3 time Golden Heart finalist, a St. Martin’s Malice Domestic finalist, and the winner of more than a dozen RWA chapter contests. Now that I’m published I’ve begun entering contests for published books. What can I say? Once a Contest Slut, always a Contest Slut . So far Talk Gertie To Me was a finalist for a Reviewers’ Choice Award and a Golden Leaf Award and is currently a finalist for a Readers and Bookbuyers Best Laurie Award.

I sold because of the American Title contest. I think contests can be a big help to writers in their journey toward publication, but contests aren’t for everyone. I give a workshop on this very topic, helping authors decide whether they should or shouldn’t enter writing contests. There are many factors to take into consideration. Also, lots of people who never won a contest have gone on to have very successful publishing careers while others who have won many contests never sell. It’s all a crap shoot. You have to decide whether you can afford to enter contests (since all but publisher sponsored ones charge a fee) and whether you have the emotional stamina for them. Not everyone does.

Amanda: I just loved TALK GERTIE TO ME. What a fun read! I can't wait for LOVE, LIES, and a DOUBLE SHOT OF DECEPTION to be released. It looks great! But others may not be familiar with it. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Lois: There’s an interesting back-story behind Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception. It was actually the first book I ever wrote over 10 years ago. This was back when I was totally clueless, having written a 50,000 word romance that spanned 35 years. Needless to say, publishers weren’t waving contracts in my face. Because I liked the characters I’d created and didn’t want to see them buried under my bed for all eternity, I went back and revised the book. Now it’s a 95,000 word romantic suspense that takes place over the course of a few months. When Philadelphia's most beloved heiress since Grace Kelly, becomes Philadelphia's most notorious criminal since mafia don Angelo Bruno, she needs to do a lot more than just clear her name if she wants to save her budding romance with the billionaire hunk someone is willing to kill for.

Here’s the back cover blurb from my publisher:
A WHOLE LATTE LOVIN’…Logan Crawford is gorgeous, charming, and his kisses make Emma feel like she’s the only woman in the world. Oh, plus he’s a billionaire. Not that Emma needs the money. As Philadelphia’s most beloved heiress, she has it all: the grand estate, flashy sports car, high-society connections. But the haunted widow also has dark secrets, and someone out there doesn’t want to let Emma forget her past quite so easily. Trouble is brewing darker than a double espresso for Emma and her newfound love. Now if only she can keep from getting burned…

I have an excerpt of Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception posted on my website at . I also have an excerpt posted from Talk Gertie To Me for anyone not familiar with that book. At my website people can sign up for my newsletter. I run some great contests (some only for newsletter subscribers) and will be giving away lots of fab gifts for the launch of Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception.

Amanda: What's next for Lois Winston?

Lois: Well…I’d love to make the best-seller lists and score a fabulous multi-book contract, but that’s up to the publishing gods. For now, I’m waiting to hear about several proposals I have out. One is for an amateur sleuth mystery series that I like to describe as Stephanie Plum meets Kate Reddy. And I haven’t given up on that trip into space. Just need to solve the motion sickness thing first.

LOL! I'll definitely be on the lookout for Lois' latest release. Anyway, folks, we're almost done with the Interview Marathon. Tomorow I'll be chatting with Shaunna Wolf and Tuesday I'll be chatting with Kit Wylde. Then Thursday is the release! Whoo-hoo!

Be sure to join us in Gemma Halliday's chat room for our Cyber Launch Party from 8-10 pm EST/5-7 pm PST.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 10:53 AM :: 1 comments

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