Sunday, June 28, 2009

Figuring out the whole social network network...

I recently went to speak to a lovely group of readers in Scottsdale (thank you Diana, for inviting me. I had a great time!) and one of the Q&A's that they found interesting had to do with the life of a writer. If you've read my blog before, you know I work full-time in addition to writing. I'm also a mother, although my kids have reached an age when it's more about keeping track of where they are then anything. Still, sometimes keeping track can be a...well...a full-time job. Then there's the marketing.

Most readers assume that the publisher does all of the leg work in promoting a book. And that may be true for some writers, but for most of it, spreading the word is the writers' responsibility. With the ever changing world, that word spreading can be a challenge.

For example, when my very first book released many, many, many moons ago, the Internet was still in its infancy and only a handful of people knew how to use it. Email was just coming into the spotlight and had yet to change lives and bring the world closer. Social networks weren't even in a twinkle in their PCs eye yet.

Fast forward to today. I have 2 websites I design and maintain ( and ), a blog I try to update regularly, a facebook account, a twitter account and identies on and I have a myspace account too, but honestly, I hate myspace so I never even go there.

All of these require time to learn, create and maintain. Facebook was easy and I love facebook, but it's taken quite some time to figure out twitter and how to do it and to what purpose. The websites too require some skill, some hit and miss designs, and time to keep it updated.

In the end, I'm always left wondering if I'm wasting my time or it is really connecting me to readers (which is my whole purpose. I love readers. I'm the person craning her neck to see what you're reading when I walk through a park, past a cafe, in an airport. :-)

Anyway, since I just learned to tweet from my phone, I thought, I'd blab about it on my blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Renee Bernarrd

Today I am thrilled to introduce my new featured author, Renee Bernard. I had the pleasure of meeting Renee in San Francisco at last year's RWA Nationals conference and she was so much fun that I new I wanted to host her here!

Renee's novels have won Romantic Times “Best First Historical Romance of 2006” and appeared on the USA Today Bestseller List. Her next book Revenge Wears RubiesI is the first book in her new Jaded Series with the second, Seduction Wears Sapphires releasing July 2010. She is a very busy lady!

If you read my interviews before, you already know that they are a bit unconventional...but then again, so am I. :-) So let's dive right in.

Erin: Renee, tell us, what's the kindest act you have ever seen done (either to/by you or another)?

Renee: Tough one. I seem to be surrounded by incredible people that amaze me every day, and they inspire me to try to keep up. My husband, my friends…No one gets recognition for those well-timed “pot luck dinners” when a friend’s refrigerator is empty, or the loan of a vehicle when a family needs a car, or a box of gently-used toys when a little person’s birthday is around the corner. I’m lucky to be part of a group that just quietly gives and receives, but I think it’s important to do what you can.

I think putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is the first step. I wish I could say I’d done something heroic beyond all the little things, but maybe the little things will add up one day. I remember when I was a college kid in an airport in a foreign country and I met a young American mother with three small children who was in tears. Her husband was military and she was joining him, but her flight had stranded her for the night. The exchange booth had closed and she didn’t have any local currency to buy anything to eat or make do while they waited. I just emptied my wallet and gave her everything I had. I wouldn’t need yen where I was going! It was the most natural thing to do in the world. No big deal. I didn’t give her my name. I just told her how great Japan was and what a wonderful adventure she was about to have! And then I caught my flight.

Kindest act? No way! That’s what anyone would have done!! I believe that. You do what you can, whenever you can, because the next time, it’s you with that empty refrigerator or in tears somewhere out of your element.

Erin: Okay, maybe you weren't throwing your body on a bomb before it went off, but that was a great act of kindness in my humble opinion. She will probably never forget you did that for her and someday she may pay it forward.

Next probing question: What is your worst nightmare?

Renee: I can’t say. It’s too embarrassing and a yearly occurrence at RT conventions. Needless to say, friends of mine will tell you it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever seen, so I am at least grateful to keep my friends entertained.

Erin: This wouldn't have anything to do with the dance floor would it? :-) And if so, yes it was the funniest thing I've ever heard (missed the show but caught the replay, lol). You know my readers are going to be dying of curiosity, right?

And easier question....if you could have had the starring role in one film already made, which movie would you pick?

Renee: “Elizabeth”…Cate Blanchett was wonderful, but what red-head wouldn’t want to play that role? Power, a throne, dresses beyond imagining, surrounded by men and danger… Now, there’s a fantasy role a girl can sink her teeth into!

Erin: LOL. That's funny. But then there's that whole virgin queen thing--or do I have my royals mixed up? I loved the first movie--which now I can't remember the name, but still haven't seen Elizabeth. Will have to watch it and picture you on the throne. :-)

Last question before we talk about your wonderful books! What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done.

Renee: Brave or stupid? Because I find that sometimes, at least for me, these things seem to coincide… ;-)

Erin: Personally, I think it takes courage to be as stupid as I am, lol.

Renee: Okay, this is NOT a poor me story but seriously, the bravest thing would have to be following my heart and quitting a perfectly wonderful job with benefits to pursue writing full-time. Two weeks later, my husband (who had supported this brave decision) announced out of the blue that he was leaving me. That day. His car’s packed. Thanks for all the fish. (Now, mind you, there’d been “I love you’s” right up until the big surprise and not a single fight…so when I say out of the blue, I mean Out of The Blue.)

But here’s where the bravery/stupidity kicks in! My job had evaporated behind me and the urge to seek the security of another cubicle was beyond measure. Even so, the opportunity and courage to jump off cliffs doesn’t come everyday and I had this strange feeling that it was now or never for me. So I stuck it out. I took hilarious part time jobs to try to keep groceries in the cupboard, sold everything that wasn’t nailed down and tried not to make a face every time someone wisely stated in a seminar “don’t quit your day job!”

So there you have it. I’m poor but happy, and I’d like to think there’s a measure of bravery in that. (And as an end note, I met a fantastic man who swept me off my feet and married me and who demonstrates what real love and loyalty are every single day… so there you go!)

Erin: Now that is a great story and it even has a happy ending. That's beautiful. I dream of quitting the day job every single day of my life. (sorry if any of my co-workers are reading this. Really sorry if my boss is, lol).

Okay, onto the book questions... Your books are set in the Victorian period. How is this different from the Regency period?

Renee: You mean, beyond that silly fifty year difference? ;-) Just kidding.

Erin: See above, re: stupid and me.....

Renee: My last trilogy was late Victorian and my next series is early, but essentially, you have so many developments during the period that make it very fascinating to play with as a backdrop. From the industrial and social changes, and strange schisms in behavior, boundaries were falling and more and more restrictions were being created at the same time. The rules tightened, but behind the scenes, people were naughtier than ever. Ah, joy! Human nature is always a constant, but I love the Victorian eras quest for ideals and reform, allowing them to achieve so much and occasionally fail so spectacularly.

Erin: Okay, that is very cool. I didn't know any of that (not surprising when considering the source). Tell us about what your next release. When does it come out?

Renee: My next books are part of “The Jaded” series, and the first book “Revenge Wears Rubies” will be out in March of 2010 , followed by “Seduction Wears Sapphires” in July 2010. Set in early Victorian London, it’s about the members of an informal gentlemen’s club known as “The Jaded”. The men became fast friends while trapped in India during the Sepoy uprising, and after a miserable year in a raj’s dungeon, they share a bond of suffering and survival that colors their view of the world they return to. To seal their fate, not one woman whose memory they clung to, remained loyal—and so the nickname for the brotherhood is extremely apt.

Erin: That sounds fabulous. I can't wait to read! So why do YOU you think we’ll love this series? (because I know we will)

Renee: I hope the readers will fall in love with these heroes as deeply as I have. The Jaded are each unique, and from different walks of life (so not all blue-blooded playboys this time!) and definitely almost too hot to handle. Second sons of nobility, a soldier, an artist, a doctor, a scholar, a rake—hopefully these books will give historical romance readers a nice new vantage point at the world of Victorian London. And the women who restore and heal them are going to be equally unique and compelling. Add a hint of danger and intrigue and it’s a compelling mix.

Erin: Okay, I am COMPLETELY sold. I just searched on amazon and they aren't available for pre-order yet, but I'm thinking soooon.... right? Please let me know and I will let readers know!

I'm running a contest to celebrate having Renee here. Make sure to check out the CONTEST PAGE on my website to enter. Renee is giving away a copy "A Rogue's Game" or reader's choice from the Mistress Trilogy and I am giving away a copy of one of my previous titles. In addition, I'll throw in a Borders Books gift certificate and a HAUNTING BEAUTY mug!

Thank you, Renee, for stopping by and sharing your stories with us!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

At last....

I did it. I finally finished HAUNTING WARRIOR. There were points in there when I really didn't think I would ever hit THE END. But lo and behold, it happened!

I also received my first review for HAUNTING BEAUTY and it was featured on several sites this week.

Berkley featured HAUNTING BEAUTY on the Berkley/Jove authors site. The contest is over, but the review was amazing:

Leah Hultenschmidt at Dorchester blogged about HAUNTING BEAUTY in the previews section of Romantic Reads:

And Kimberley Swan of Darque Reviews gave HAUNTING BEAUTY a great write up:


Haunting Beauty is the first novel in the Haunting series and introduces readers to the deeply intertwined MacGrath and Ballagh families. Ms. Quinn has created an intricately woven story where each day is touched by magic, and there’s little distinction between the living and the dead. Haunting Beauty is filled with fascinating characters, wonderful detail, and the beautiful scenery of Ireland. Readers will be drawn in right from the start. I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance that enjoy mystical elements and edge of your seat suspense. I’ll be eagerly awaiting Haunting Warrior that’s currently due to release in May of 2010.

Life is good again. :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where in the world have I been?

Where have I been? Well I'll tell you the truth. I've been immersed in my new book, HAUNTING WARRIOR. The final, final draft is on my desk waiting for the final, final read through and then it's outta here. After that, I get to have a life again! Woo wooo!