Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an Author Success Coach. She has a twenty-seven year professional background in marketing, advertising and public relations as a writer for print, television and radio. She writes fiction and non-fiction. She’s lived on both the east and west coast of the United States and has traveled the country widely. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and just returned after living in Los Angeles, California for several years.
Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?
Of course I’m old enough to drink! PASS THE MIMOSAS!
We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)
I brought Santa cookies, very yummy chocolate rum cookies! We have a deal, I provide chocolate and rum and he provides everything on my list. Well, sometimes he provides everything on my list. It’s worth a little chocolate and rum to hope again, isn’t it?
Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Isn’t Christmas everyone’s favorite holiday? The decorations, the sparkle, the crazy shopping and cooking and baking. But most of all, the smiles and joy on everyone’s face. So worth a whole year of waiting!
Did you ask Santa for anything good?
Well, for the past fifteen years I’ve been asking him to bring me Russell Crowe, but I think it’s probably out of the question because there’s been no Gladiator under my tree, not even once. This year I’m asking for time and ideas so that I can continue to write and write and write! Maybe the inspiration will come under a gladiatorial helmet???? (I really should give that one up, shouldn’t I?)
What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?
Alone with my thoughts just as dawn arrives. It’s such a promising moment and so peaceful. Of course those moments evolve into crazy family time, shouts a laughter, delicious food and of course, mountains of Christmas paper shreds. Better than anything.
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
A kiss. Not saying anything more. It’s complicated, LOL.
Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?
Sort of … to heal from a nasty heel injury, to get healthy, to write three books in 1012 and to maybe do a little travel. I want to go to Amsterdam, for research, of course. Seriously. Research!
Why do you write romance?
What’s the world without romance? My romance is always wrapped in something else, a strange urban fantasy world or sometimes it’s tangled into the paranormal … but without romance, there’s no real story to grip the heart!
How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey?
I’ve pretty much written all my life. As a kid I loved to write episodes of my favorite television shows. As an advertising executive, I wrote radio and television spots, brochures and articles. I’ve written speeches and media packets. I actually didn’t begin to seriously write fiction until about five years ago when I moved to Los Angeles. Something about the strangeness of that city swept me into the fantastical world of urban fantasy and Cold in California and the Twice-Baked Vampire Series were born.
I had a literary agent, but it was one of the “Bad” ones who charged for everything, so I searched for another agent and after a hundred rejections I was signed. But with all the changes in the publishing industry I chose to walk away from representation and seek a small indie publisher who was interested in working with me. ireadiwrite Publishing handles all my fiction and non-fiction and is probably the best decision I ever made! It’s a perfect marriage of industry expertise, creative outlet and freedom!
Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?
Oh, I’m a plotter, but not one of those crazy OCD plotters. I never start a book until I KNOW how it will end, and I simply plot by starting the manuscript document with 26 or 27 lines, each one representing what will happen in that chapter. It’s my shorthand way of outlining and keeps me on track as I move through the story and creative process.
What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories?
Empathy and imperfections. I can’t connect with a character who is all hero or all villain, I can’t relate to a character who isn’t somehow so darn normal it makes you want to scream. I find there are too many characters being created lately by authors who are absolutely perfect. I adore the flaws and f-ups, the mistakes and regrets, the masterful blunders that give the hero a chance to be rescued. It’s what makes a story real.
What writing resources do you abide by as a writer?
Okay, this may sound weird … Google. Seriously, I use it to check spelling, dates, names, locations, weather, road maps, world wide events and history. It’s my total go to. Certain things simply MUST be accurate, even if they’re only a tiny comment in your manuscript and I find it easiest to locate what I need on Google. Go figure.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Whatever you do … do not forget to get your marketing in line. Know your manuscript and understand your audience, because no matter how you’re published – traditionally through a lit agent and big publishing house or self-published and anything in between – you will need to market, promote and publicize your own work! (Shameless plug here …) Get “Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Magic Within Your Manuscript” (in Kindle and Paper) TODAY and be prepared to be successful!
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on “Monkey Jump” the second book in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Also on the plans for this coming year, a paranormal romance and a paranormal YA. Deadlines are set and I’m enjoying the combination of “have to write” and “want to write”. It’s a great place for an author to be!
I will be teaching online workshops on everything from promotions to platforms, book business plans, publicity and cross marketing at my website beginning in 2012! Anyone interested should go over to http://www.theauthorsuccesscoach.com/ and add yourself to the mailing list TODAY. I’ll send out a schedule for the workshops (all under $20 for the week) as soon as I’ve got them all scheduled.
OH! And in January of 2012, I’ll be launching “Whispers of the Muse Literary Magazine” an online monthly publication. We’re super excited about that!
Where can readers find you?
Others: Writeaholic Blog! http://rileymagnus.wordpress.com/
Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!
Prize: I’ll happily give away 3 ebook copies of Cold in California (first book in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series) AND … 1 ebook copy of Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Magic within Your Manuscript
Through the boring innings they chatted casually about the weather and various cities they’d seen. If, or in that case, when Chicago lost, they’d end the year in dead last but hope reigns eternal. It was the only reason the crowd was so big. At the bottom of the ninth, Brent Titler struggling at the plate, and right in the middle of describing her best friend’s cowboy-themed wedding, Starling made a statement that would have caught Gabriel’s breath, if he breathed.
“I always wondered about the wounds. Do they heal?”
His eyes were cold and hard, he didn’t dare show his intrigue. She didn’t even flinch.
“I mean, do you leave a bad mark, and does it have to be where people can see it … when you … you know … drink? Will I need to take out stock in antiseptic?”
“You’d like to be …”
“Oh yes, especially with a great looking guy like you. You are a man, right? In every sense of the word?”
Gabriel glanced around. Behind them sat a row of nuns, all dressed in medieval black and white habits and clicking rosary beads in their gnarled fingers. Chicago Cubs caps were precariously propped, tilted on their heads over ominous black veils. No doubt they were serious, biblical Cubs fans. Like God, if there even was a God, really gave a damn where the Cubs ended the season. Gabriel could hear their whispered Hail Marys and wasn’t sure if he was more uneasy talking about sex or his unholy nature in their presence. He drew close and spoke quietly in Starling’s ear. “Are you asking if I can perform intercourse with a woman? Yes I can. Antiseptic optional.”
She giggled a nervous laugh. “So, no infection?’
“Not that I’ve ever caused.”
“Maybe we can go now?” she suggested in a husky low voice, leaning closer even though he could have heard her whispered indecent proposal from across Wrigley Field. “This will be so cool!”
By the look of her, he could only assume she’d voraciously read Anne Rice. He just as voraciously hoped he could meet her expectations. A shiver rippled over his body like a minor earth tremor. Gabriel stood, smiled and reached to grip her hand. This was more than promising and he actually felt giddy for the first time in decades.
They had great seats, third row, just past the dugout on the first base side. Sweet seats, even with the Cubbies losing. Her warm hand gripped his as the crack of the bat resounded and he turned. It was a high pop up, but unlike all the other fans around him, Gabriel wasn’t watching the ball, illusively hidden in the lights. He was watching the sharp shard of a broken wooden bat soar … at breakneck speed … right … at … his … chest …
Well, this sure as hell wasn’t supposed to happen. Staked in the heart by a fucking broken bat? Who does that happen to? His hand shot to the wood, it was buried deep and he was weakening by the second. Agonizing sensations of explosion and implosion flooded through his body, noise blasted in his ears and suddenly he was staring up at the lights. Behind them, black night. There were stars but he couldn’t see them. The pain was excruciating and Gabriel begged any god who’d listen to make it end quickly. Heat. Searing. A stench. Then came the blackness and peace he had dreamed of for nearly eighty years. Finally, an end to it all. Dead as he was meant to be.
But his brain. Was it still buzzing? Sparks floated in and out of his awareness. Had any vampire ever survived a staking? Would he be the first? Nah, never happened. He was dead, sure as hell. But how could he be thinking? Especially, how could he be thinking the things he was thinking?